OUR NATURAL HERBS

Our Natural Herbs

AFRICAN POTATO - Hypoxis hemerocallidea

ALFALFA - Medicago sativa

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name: ALFALFA

Scientific Name: Medicago sativa

Alternative Names: Lucerne




Description


  • Perennial
  • Slender, bushy perennial, blue-green leaves, pea-like flowers, coiled pods containing shiny seeds.
  • Fully hardy.
  • Full sun, regular watering, neutral to alkaline soil.
  • Culinary Uses

    • Leaves: Eaten raw/ cooked like a vegetable.
    • Seeds are sprouted.
    • Use it in salads, stews, teas, soups and stir fries.

    Parts Used

    • Whole plant, leaves, seeds.

    Medicinal Uses. It is said that

    • Mineral supplement.
    • Calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, D, E, K, contains 8 amino acids, chlorophyll, nutrients like carotene.
    • Immune-system stimulant - promotes normal blood clotting.
    • Aids in the assimilation of protein, fats, carbohydrates.
    • Excellent blood purifier.
    • Alkalizes/detoxifies body.
    • Help arthritis, intestinal ulcers, gastritis, liver disorders, bleeding gums, asthma, high blood pressure, eczema, anemia, constipation, body/ breath odor, infections, burns, athlete's foot, cancer.
    • Diuretic.
    • Benefits for specific health conditions:
    • Slows progress of atherosclerosis - keep cholesterol from entering the body from food. Effect on activity of immune cells - (macrophages): will not stick in the linings of damaged artery linings.
    • Counteract effects of cancer chemotherapy - increases production of white blood cells with up to 60%.
    • Diabetes: Improve condition of diabetes when people fail to respond to insulin.
    • Endometriosis/menopause related problems: Contains phyto-estrogens (natural plant hormones) - is related to estrogen. Reduces risk of estrogen-linked cancers (breast cancer).
    • Vitamin K - helps blood to clot normally - does not interfere with normal circulation.
    • Osteoporosis/ Menopause related problems: Vitamin K - can partially prevent bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency. Interacts with Vitamin D to increase formation of new bones.
    • Treat ulcers and the bioflavonoids build capillary strength and reduce inflammation of the stomach lining.
    • Vitamin A help to maintain stomach health.

    Other Uses

  • Pour Lucerne tea over your house plants.
  • Adds nitrogen to the soil.

ALOE VERA - ORANGE FLOWER - Aloe barbadensis

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name: ALOE VERA - ORANGE FLOWER

Scientific Name: ALOE VERA - ORANGE FLOWER



Description


  • Perennial
  • Succulent, drought resistant.
  • Orange flower.
  • Full sun to partial shade.
  • Can be grown in a pot.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Leaf gel contains Aloectin B.
  • Stimulates the immune system.
  • Protective healing effect.
  • Externally: Heal wounds, burns, sunburn, scrapes and ulcers.
  • Apply the clear gel to speed up the rate of healing and reduce risk of infections.
  • Treat eczema and fungal infections like ringworm and thrush.
  • Internally: Use for peptic ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome

ASHWAGANDA, INDIAN GINSENG - Withania somniferia

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

ASHWAGANDA, INDIAN GINSENG

Scientific Name: Withania somniferia

Alternative Names: Geneesblaarbossie (Afr), Winter cherry (Eng), Ubuvimbha (Zu), Ubuvuma (Xho), Bofepha (So)



Description


  • Perennial
  • Indigenous.
  • Upright evergreen shrub - mealy stems and ovate leaves.
  • Small green to yellowish flowers in short clusters in the leaf axils - followed by small orange-red berries, enclosed in a brown papery inflated calyx.
  • Frost hardy.
  • Drought resistant.
  • Sun/ partial shade.
  • Cut back in spring.

Culinary Uses

  • Seeds are used to coagulate milk

Parts Used

  • Whole plant: roots, fruits, leaves and root bark


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Also called Indian Ginseng - because it is used the same way than Indian ginseng!
  • Bitter-sweet, astringent, warming herb with a horse-like smell.
  • Acts on the reproductive system - impotence and infertility.
  • Stimulate uterus - induce contractions in prolonged labour/ retained placenta. Aprodisiac
  • Nervous system, sedative, insomnia, rejuvenate.
  • Debility, convalescence, geriatric complaints, waisting diseases and failure to thrive in children.
  • Help epilepsy, joint-, nerve and rheumatic pains.
  • Roots: ingredient in Ayurvedic tonic formulas - multiple sclerosis, asthma, tonics.
  • Externally: Wound healing, open cuts, swelling, burns, stings, abscesses, inflammation,
  • hemorrhoids, rheumatism and syphilis.

ASPARAGUS - GARDEN - Asparagus officinalis


PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:ASPARAGUS - GARDEN

Scientific Name:Asparagus officinalisc



Description

  • Perennial
  • Perennial with upright stems that appear in spring as stout fleshy shoots.
  • Hardy plant that needs rich, well-drained soil in sun.
  • Young 'spears' (shoots) are cut in late spring from established plants when about 23cm. high - and eaten fresh or juiced.

  • Culinary Uses

  • Spears are steamed and served hot or cold as a vegetable, and pureéd or finely chopped in soups.

  • Parts Used

  • Young shoots and rhizomes.

  • Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Strong diuretic - useful for variety of urinary problems, including cystitis
  • Treat rheumatism and gout - flush waste products accumulated in the joints, out of the body into the urine
  • Bitter digestive stimulant
  • Mildly laxative and sedative
  • Source of folic acid and selenium

CANCER BUSH - Sutherlandia frutescens

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

CANCER BUSH

Scientific Name: Sutherlandia frutescens

Alternative Names: Kankerbos, Gansies (Afr) Umnwele (Zu)



Description


  • Perennial
  • Indigenous to South Africa.
  • Perennial shrub, grows up to 2m.
  • Bright red flowers.

Parts Used

  • Dried twigs and leaves

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Adaptogenic bitter tonic - normalises body functions.
  • Increases body's ability to adapt to environment, resistance to disease and stress.
  • Changes coarse of an illness into favourable outcome.
  • Supports immune system against chronic diseases and immune deficiency diseases.
  • Reduces wasting from cancer.
  • Supportive treatment toTB and Aids.
  • Stimulates appetite in severely ill and emaciated patients.
  • Helps to gain weight - people in good health does not gain weight
  • Type 2 dibetes - regulates and stabilises blood sugar levels
  • Treat viral hepatitis, bronchitis, flu, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, peptic ulcers, liver conditions, urinary tract conditions, stress and anxiety.
  • Topically: burns, wounds and inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Daily dose: 1 - 2 g dried herb.

CELERY - Apium graveolens

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

CELERY

Scientific Name: Apium graveolens



Description


  • Biennial
  • Hardy robust plant with bright green leaves.
  • Needs full sun, well-drained soil, regular watering and pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
  • Lime acid soils before planting.

Culinary Uses

  • Celery seeds can be used as flavoring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, called celery salt.
  • Celery salt is used as a seasoning on food and in cocktails - will enhance the flavor of Bloody Mary cocktails.
  • Leaves can be eaten raw but have a very strong flavor - use sparingly.
  • Celery is used in cuisine, sauces and soups.

Parts Used

  • Seeds, leaves and roots.


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Celery seed is used as a "blood purifier" and to reduce the degeneration of body joints that commonly occurs with age and can also ease joint discomfort that occurs due to inflammation.
  • Used mainly in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
  • Urinary Antiseptic - has diuretic properties to help relieve fluid retention, cystitis, bladder and kidney disorders.
  • Promotes the elimination of uric acid and also promotes the onset of menstruation.
  • Soothes the nerves, relieves pain and consuming celery seed in food will aid in the digestion of protein.
  • Celery seeds are also a great source of calcium, and are regarded as a good alternative to animal products.
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Celery is used in weight-loss diets to provide low-calorie dietary fiber bulk.

Other Uses

  • Insect repellent - repels the cabbage white butterfly - good companion for brassicas.

CLOVER - RED - Trifolium pratense

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

CLOVER - RED

Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense

Alternative Names: Purple Clover



Description


  • Perennial
  • Hardy perennial, long-stalked trifoliate leaves, purple-pink tubular flowers

Parts Used

  • Flowering tops


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Sweet, cooling alterative herb
  • Purifying - skin conditions
  • Treat cancer: breast / ovaries / lymphatic system, chronic degenerative diseases and spasms
  • Source of estrogen-like isoflavones - treatment for menopausal woman
  • Reduces impact of falling estrogen levels - protect heart and circulation in menopausal women
  • Traditionally used to treat breast cancer
  • Diuretic - help gout
  • Expectorant - spasmodic coughs, whooping cough and dry coughs

Other Uses

  • Cultivated for hay - is a nitrogen-fixing crop

DANDELION - Taraxacum officinale

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

DANDELION

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale

Alternative Names: Perdeblom (Afr)



Description


  • Perennial
  • Hardy, variable perennial with a thick taproot, white latex, and a basal rosette of entire, saw-toothed or pinnately lobed leaves.
  • Solitary, bright yellow flowers appear from spring to autumn, followed by ribbed fruits, bearing a tuft of fine, white hairs.

Culinary Uses

  • Blanche young leaves and add to salads
  • Roots roasted as a coffee substitute

Parts Used

  • Fresh or dried leaves, roots, flowers


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • • Diuretic, bladder and urinary infection
  • • Appetite-stimulating bitter tonic.
  • • Rich in minerals and vitamins including cholien (B-vitamin) that helps liver
  • • Treat stomach, liver, gall bladder and rheumatic complaints
  • • Eczema, acne warts
  • • High inulin content - good for diabetes
  • • Lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol

FENNEL - BRONZE - Foeniculum vulgare purpoureum

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

FENNEL - BRONZE

Scientific Name: Foeniculum vulgare purpoureum



Description


  • Biennial
  • Tall, clump-forming biennial with deep roots, erect hollow stems and glossy deep brown foliage.
  • Needs well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun.
  • Fennel should not be planted near coriander, beans, kohlrabi or tomatoes as it is said to affect their growth adversely.
  • Do not plant close to Dill as well since hybridization will produces seedlings with an indeterminate flavour.

Culinary Uses

  • Aniseed flavour
  • Tea, sauces, stuffing, marinades, soup, salad and vegetable dressing
  • Traditional seasoning for fat meats like pork.
  • Poultry and lamb.
  • Counteract oiliness of some fish
  • Chopped/ whole/ cooked/ raw in soup, salad, yoghurt

Parts Used

  • Leaves, flowers, seeds


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Strengthen eyesight.
  • Wash/Compress for sore, inflamed eyes
  • Carminative action - wind problems, flatulence
  • Reduce griping effect of laxatives
  • Winds a baby, relieves colic better than commercial Gripe water
  • Diuretic - combat water retention
  • Arthritis
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Chronic coughs and catarrh of upper respiratory tract (adults and children)
  • Calms the nerves - promotes mental clarity
  • Boost metabolism - weight loss

FENUGREEK - Trigonella foenum-graecum

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

FENUGREEK

Scientific Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum



Description


  • Annual
  • Erect, aromatic annual with trifoliate leaves, divided into toothed leaflets.
  • Solitary or paired, yellow-white flowers (1cm. long), tinged violet at the base appear in spring and summer - followed by pods.
  • Small green to yellowish flowers in short clusters in the leaf axils - followed by small orange-red berries, enclosed in a brown papery inflated calyx.
  • Can grow up to 60cm high and 30 - 45cm wide.
  • Needs well-drained, fertile soil in sun.

Culinary Uses

  • Seeds are used to coagulate milk

Culinary Uses

  • Use seeds and leaves as spice in curries, with mangoes in chutneys.
  • Meat dishes: mince, grill, roasts and vegetarian dishes.
  • Sprout and use as winter salad herb


Parts Used

  • Seeds and leaves


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • One of oldest medicinal herbs.
  • External: skin inflammation, boils, abscesses, swollen glands, bruises, eczema, ulcers
  • Reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol, late-onset diabetes
  • Period pain and menopausal problems related to kidney weakness
  • Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, stomach ulcers
  • Face wash and scalp massage
  • Coughing, bronchitis, emphysema
  • Detoxify system
  • Impotence and loss of libido
  • Treat loss of appetite, anorexia and weight loss

GINKGO BILOBA - Ginkgo biloba

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

GINKGO BILOBA

Scientific Name:Ginkgo biloba

Alternative Names: Maidenhair Tree



Description


  • Perennial
  • Oldest tree on the planet
  • Erect slow-growing deciduous tree - grow up to 35m.
  • Male and female trees.
  • Hardy.
  • Full sun.

Culinary Uses

  • Seed nuts are edible.
  • Can be roasted as a snack, canned or dried - use in soups, stir fries and stews

Parts Used

  • Pick leaves in autumn and dry.
  • Ripe fruit


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Leaves: help irregular heartbeat
  • Anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic, astringent
  • Circulation stimulant and tonic
  • Improve memory, reduce possibility of a stroke
  • Preventative for Alzheimer, Senile Dimentia and Raynaud's disease
  • Anti-inflammatory - help multiple sclerosis
  • Anti-allergenic - control allergic inflammatory responses
  • Seed is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
  • Anti-asthmatic

LIQUORICE - Glycyrrhiza glabra

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

LIQUORICE

Scientific Name:Glycyrrhiza glabra



Description


  • Perennial
  • Liquorice is a hardy perennial with stoloniferous roots, downy stems and pinnate leaves and can grow up to a height of 2 meters.
  • The roots are straight pieces of wrinkled, fibrous wood, which are long and cylindrical (round) and grow horizontally underground.
  • Liquorice roots are brown on the outside and yellow on the inside.
  • In late summer it bears pale blue to violet pea-like flowers in loose spikes followed by oblong pods, containing 2-4 kidney-shaped seeds.

Culinary Uses

  • The flavor that we associate as liquorice in liquorice candy is actually anise.
  • Liquorice candy is primarily flavored with anise oil and then sweetened with liquorice root.
  • The root contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sucrose.
  • The powdered root is also used as a sweetener in soft drinks, other herbal teas and the leaves are used as a tea substitute in Mongolia.
  • A tea made from the roots is a thirst quencher.

Parts Used

  • Root is harvested in autumn, 3-4 years after planting - and is dried for later use.


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Liqucorice treats bronchial complaints such as catarrh, bronchitis, colds, flu, coughs and reduces irritation of the throat.
  • It relieves stress and is a potent healing agent for tuberculosis.
  • Liquorice helps to reduce fever and is used in the treatment of chronic inflammations such as arthritis, mouth ulcers, rheumatic diseases, chronic skin conditions and autoimmune diseases.
  • Liquorice can be used to treat ileitis, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease (it is anti-spasmodic in the bowels).
  • It can also be used for auto-immune conditions including lupus, scleroderma.
  • The dried root can be chewed and is excellent for teething children - it is also a good tooth cleaner.

Other Uses

  • Liquorice adds a mellow, sweet woody flavor and enhances the taste of tobacco.
  • Extracts from the root are used as a foaming agent in beers and fire extinguishers.
  • A fiber obtained from the roots is used for insulation, wallboard and boxboard

PARSLEY - CURLY MOSS - Petroselinum crispum

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

PARSLEY - CURLY MOSS

Scientific Name: Petroselinum crispum



Description


  • Biennial
  • Hardy biennial.
  • Full sun/ partial shade

Culinary Uses

  • Most popular culinary herb
  • Sauces, soups and salad, garnish

Parts Used

  • Leaves and stalks


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • • Multi-vitamin - A, B, C, iron and minerals
  • • Anti-inflammatory - reduces allergic responses and act as an anti-oxidant
  • • Help rheumatism
  • • Carminative, breath freshener - chew a leaf
  • • Antiseptic, diuretic action and cleanser - kidney, kidney stones, jaundice, bladder and urinary tract infection
  • • Parsley juice - soothes conjunctivitis and eye inflammation
  • • Female corrective - has oestrogenic factors - normalize menstruation and help menopause

ROSEMARY - IRENE - Rosmarinus officinalis 'Irene'

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

ROSEMARY - IRENE

Scientific Name:Rosmarinus officinalis 'Irene'



Description


  • Perennial
  • Evergreen shrub - low-growing, prostrate
  • Dark blue flowers - grow up to 50 cm
  • Full sun, well drained alkaline soil pH 5-8
  • Hardy, drought tolerant
  • Grow well in containers/ plant as a hedge

Culinary Uses

  • Pine-like aroma - strong herb - use sparingly - fresh or dried
  • Superb in cooking
  • Use in bread, biscuits and scones, stews, soups and sprinkle over vegetables.
  • Oven baked meat and poultry

Parts Used

  • Leaves, sprigs and flowers


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Improve memory, stimulate nervous system
  • Anti-oxidant and inflammatory
  • Inhibit free radical damage and strengthens capillaries
  • Raise low blood pressure
  • Chew a rosemary flower to cleanse breath after eating garlic
  • Treat depression, migraine, liver disorders, sluggish digestion and long term stress
  • Antiseptic gargle and mouth wash
  • Hair rinse - treat dandruff, hair growth and for additional shine

STEVIA - Stevia rebaudiana

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

THISTLE - MILK

Scientific Name: Silybum marianum

Alternative Names: Blessed Thistle, St. Mary's Thistle



Description


  • Biennial
  • Milk thistle is native to SW Europe, S Russia and N Africa.
  • It is a biennial herb that can grows up to 2m, bearing dark green leaves mottled with white along the veins and with toothed, spiny margins.
  • Numerouw purple florets are borne in large, spiny heads.
  • The fruits are brown to blackish.
  • It needs neutral to alkaline soil in sun.
  • Seeds can be sown in autumn.

Culinary Uses

  • Harvest young leaves, buds and roots when tender and use fresh
  • Boil flower heads like artichoke
  • Cook leaves like spinach
  • Peel roots and stalks and stir fry

Parts Used

  • Roots, seeds, leaves, flowers


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Liver protector - help against gall bladder disease, cirrhoses, infections, hepatitis, jaundice, poison and drug and alcohol abuse
  • Counters ingestion of toxic substances like paraffin
  • Silymarin - stimulates liver repair
  • Scavenges free radicals - prevent toxins from entering liver cells
  • Milk thistle therapy resulted in decline of fatal mushroom poisoning
  • Minimize side effects of cancer therapy
  • Bitter digestive and diuretic tonic herb
  • Stimulates bile flow, increases milk flow production, relaxes spasms

TURMERIC - Curcuma longa

PLANT INFORMATION

Common Name:

TURMERIC

Scientific Name: Curcuma longa

Alternative Names: Geneesblaarbossie (Afr), Winter cherry (Eng), Ubuvimbha (Zu), Ubuvuma (Xho), Bofepha (So)



Description


  • Perennial
  • Perennial with large, yellow-fleshed rhizomes and pointed oblong leaves.
  • Can grow up to 1 m.
  • In summer, yellow-white, pink-tinged flowers with pale green lower bracts and pink upper bracts, are produced in a dense inflorescence that arises from the base of the plant.
  • Foliage dies down in late autumn and the rhizomes remain dormant in winter.
  • Needs well-drained soil in sun or light shade.

Culinary Uses

  • Rhizomes can be used sparingly for flavoring curries.

Parts Used

  • Rhizomes.


Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • • Circulatory system - improves blood circulation to the heart and lowers blood pressure.
  • • Curcuma aromatica is used in cancer therapy. It's oily components enhances fibrinolysis (the process that breaks down fibrous proteins, such as those that protect tumors from the immune system), promotes secretion of bile, which helps to clear congestion of the liver, promotes digestion of fats, and aids intestinal peristalsis (intestinal movements that help evacuation).
  • • Help to remove cell accumulations such as tumors, help to remove excessive lipids from the blood, reduce aggregation of platelets (sticking of the blood cells to form masses), and reduce inflammation and alleviates pain.
  • • Thus, it help to get rid of many types of accumulation.