South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world and inhabitants have for centuries employed the help of indigenous medicinal plants. These healing plants treated all sorts of maladies including cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis (TB) as well as more benign complaints such as the common cold, arthritis, menstrual problems, stomach issues, to ward off lighting, evil powers and chase away mosquitoes and dogs.
The earliest historical records of herbs are found from the Sumerian civilisation, where hundreds of medicinal plants including opium are listed on clay tablets. The Ebers Papyrus from ancient Egypt, c. 1550 BC, describes over 850 plant medicines. The Greek physician Dioscorides, who worked in the Roman army, documented over 1000 recipes for medicines using over 600 medicinal plants in De materia medica, c. 60 AD; this formed the basis of pharmacopoeias for some 1500 years.
Come and learn more about these fascinating plants, their history and their uses in ancient and modern treatment of illnesses. Our speaker is Julia Premmer from Plett. Visitors are welcome at R20 p.p. No need to bring chairs, but don’t forget a mug for tea or coffee.