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Africa's Ancient Tradition

african herbs

The beginnings of civilization and the origins of the healing arts can be traced back to Africa and the divine Inmhotep, healer to the Pharaohs. The ancient African healers had an elaborate materia medica, most of the over 5,000 plant species have been used for food and medicine for centuries. There is no clear distinction in traditional African medicine as to when a herb ceases to be a health food and becomes a medicine. The traditions of Africa have not been documented nearly as well as the cultures of India and China, leaving African medicinal plant species underrepresented in modern herbal medicine. Valuable species are in danger of being lost to deforestation before we ever come to understand them, and some such as Pygeum have become an endangered species because of the high demand. Hopefully we will find the wisdom to preserve this ancient and immensely valuable resource for the Earths children.


  • Common Name Botanical Name Other Names
    , Caralluma fimbriata
  • Acacia Acacia , Acacia senegal
  • Aloe Vera Gel Aloe Vera Gel, Aloe vera
  • Argan Oil Argan Oil, Argania spinosa
  • Arrowroot powder Arrowroot powder, Maranta arundinacea
  • Buchu Buchu, Agathosma betulina
  • Castor Oil Castor Oil, Ricinus communis
  • Devil's Claw Devil's Claw, Harpagophytum procumbens
  • Geranium Geranium , Pelargonium graveolens
  • Ginger Root Ginger Root, Zingiber officinale
  • Gotu Kola Gotu Kola, Centella asiatica (L.)
  • HoneyBush HoneyBush, Cyclopia spp
  • Hoodia Hoodia, Hoodia Gordonii
  • Kola Nut Kola Nut, Cola acuminata
  • Myrrh Myrrh, Commiphora myrrha
  • Pygeum Pygeum, Prunus africanum
  • Rooibos Rooibos, Aspalathus linearis
  • Sceletium Sceletium, Sceletium tortuosum
  • Shea Nut Butter Shea Nut Butter, Butyrospermum parkii
  • Yohimbe Yohimbe, Pausinystalia johimbe
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