Medicinal Plants


This section is for information purposes only. For any medical condition, please contact a health practitioner.

 The Rooibos Heritage Route offers a wide range of indigenous plants that was and is still used for medicinal purposed by the locals. Some of the popular plants and their medicinal uses are listed below.


1. Kapokbos

(Eriocephalus africanus, Asteraceae)

 The leaves and twigs are used as diaphoretics (it causes increased perspiration) and diuretics (promotes the production if urine). To relieve chest ailments in children, an infusion of the seed hairs and a couple of green twings together with a few drops of harlemensies.  An fusion of kapokbos with bitterbos is used in an drink to cure cold (Van Wyk et al..2008)


 2. Sandolien, ysterhouttoppe

(Dodonaea angustifolia, Sapindaceae)

 A decoction of the leaves is an early Cape remedy for fever. It is still used for colds, influenza, stomach trouble and even measles, and as a gargle for sore throat and oral thrush.


 3. Kankerbos

(Sutherlandia frutescens, Fabaceae) 

Sutherlandia frutescens is thought to be among the most profound and useful of the medicinal plant in Southern Africa. The leaves are mainly used. This is an old Cape remedy for stomach problems and internal cancers. According to tradition, the virtues of the plant extend to include remedies for colds, chicken-pox, diabetes, varicose veins, piles, inflammation, and liver problems. The Khoi and Nama people used decoctions to wash wounds and internally for fevers and other ailments. (Willem Du Toit)



4. Suurvy, perdevy, vyerank (sour fig)

(Carpobrotus edulis, Mesembryanthemaceae)

The leaf juice is gargled to treat infections of the mount and throat. It is also taken orally for dysentery, digestive problems, tuberculosis and as a diuretic. It is highly astringent and is applied externally to treat eczema, wounds and burns. A mixture of leave juice, honey and olive oil in water is an old remedy for TB.



5. Aambeibossie

(Chironia baccifera)

The Christmas berry has been used to treat several ailments in traditional South Africa medicine. It was originally used by the Khoi and adopted by the early European settlers. One of the main uses is a purgative. Infusions and tinctures are used to treat a range of ailments including haemorrhoids (piles), stomach ulcers, and syphilis, leprosy, diabetes and kidney and bladder infections. It is also used as a bitter tonic and to expel a retained placenta after childbirth.

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