Our National Training Manager Sonja Hindley gives us an insight into the powerful plants of our indigenous soils, and lists some of her favourite winter supplements...
Medicinal plants have been our allies for centuries, and numerous cultures still rely on indigenous plants for their primary health care needs. There has been a major resurgence of interest in the benefits of traditional medicine, and we are starting to tap into the powerful history of indigenous wisdom in South Africa. While scanning our shelves, you may have noticed African potato, aloe ferox, rooibos, buchu, devil’s claw and sceletium – these are all beautiful, healing plants from African and South African soil.
While we stock a wide variety of super supplements, my current favourites for winter immune support are:
Sutherlandia is a traditional African herbal supplement that was first used by the Khoi and Nama people as a multipurpose adaptogen. Because of its adaptability, sutherlandia has several vernacular names which reference its ethnomedicinal significance. These include “phetola” which means “it changes” in Setswana, referring to the plant’s ability to change the course of (i.e. remedy) a multitude of illnesses.
You can use sutherlandia in a tincture, or try out the Wellness Herbal Sutherlandia Tea with added peppermint and ginger for maximum immune support.
Pelargonium sidoides, also known as the black geranium or Cape pelargonium, is a plant that has long been used in South African traditional medicine. Pelargonium is bacterio-static, meaning that it inhibits the growth and reproduction of bacteria, and it may be used to assist with the treatment of acute and chronic upper respiratory tract infections (coughs, colds, ear, nose and throat ailments).
Trying using a pelargonium tincture, such as the Wellness Pelargonium Oral Drops, at the onset of infection to assist in treatment.
The baobab tree is known as the tree of life, and with good reason – for centuries it has provided animal and human inhabitants of the African savannahs with shelter, clothing, cordage, medicine, food, and water. It is a powerful antioxidant superfood thanks to its high vitamin C levels, as well as it’s impressive mineral content which includes calcium, magnesium and potassium. The prebiotic fibre in baobab feeds beneficial gut bacteria to keep the health of your gastrointestinal and immune systems humming.