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South African medicinal plants around Lions Valley Lodge

May 14, 2015

Game rangers at Lions Valley Lodge are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable you could hope to find. Their training and work in the Bush has given them an intimate understanding of the animal and plant life in the area. They can even share some of the ancient healing and medicinal secrets of the original inhabitants of South Africa.




South African medicinal plants have played an important cultural and spiritual role throughout history. Traditional healers still to this day use various roots, leaves and flowers in traditional medicine.


Many South African medicinal plants follow the route of ancient human migration. Proving how important they were to ancient people.


Some of these medicinal plants are ancient. Their use can be traced back to the San people. They were the first to use Boophane Disticha (incotho). Incotho is a spiritual medicine to the San. The scales from the plants’ bulb are found in ancient graves. The scales also make an effective anti-bacterial plasters. In small doses, the pulp was used to treat mental illness. In larger doses, it causes hallucinations, an insight into the future so the San people believed.


However, incotho is incredible poisonous and can result in mental illness and even death.


In the last decade or so, Western medicine has been intensely exploring these ancient remedies in the hope of harnessing the medicinal properties of these plants.


The cosmetic, food and beverage industries already incorporate herbal and medicinal plants into their products. Numerous plants’ extracts, oils and other derivatives are in skin creams for anti-aging, anti-acne, anti-wrinkle and skin pigmentation treatments.


In the bush, many plants look very similar but can have widely varying effects. While some are incredibly useful, others are potentially deadly. Even different parts of the same plant can have different properties, like Ubuvimbho or Ashwagandha plant. While the inside of the roots can make a powerful immune booster and stress reliever, the berries and leaves are deadly toxic.


It’s always advisable never to try any plant whether externally or internally without consulting an expert game ranger, like those at Lions Valley Lodge, or an ethnobotanist. As beautiful as nature is, it can still be incredibly dangerous.


Learn more about these plants and the incredible power of nature first hand. By booking with us, you’ll experience a guided tour of one of the most beautiful regions of South Africa while staying in complete luxury. Read more about what’s in store for you when you arrive, here [LINK].

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