Africa as a continent is full of healing herbs. Some of these herbs contain antioxidants, anticarcinogenic, antitumorigenic, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Below I’ll share with you 5 of the most powerful African herbs that you should never ignore.
- Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)
Aloe Vera is a succulent herb originating from North Africa, the Canary Islands, and Southern Europe. But it has now spread to all tropical climates of the world. An aloe Vera herb comprises thick leaves that store water, even during the hottest weather. This water, known as gel, is one of the most commonly used parts of an aloe Vera.
The aloe Vera gel has numerous antioxidants, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic compounds. For this reason, people around the world apply aloe Vera gel on wounds for these healing and therapeutic properties.
Research shows that aloe Vera gel can heal skin wounds much faster than store-bought drugs. It also treats dental plaque and helps to reduce aging.
- Stinging/Common Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Stinging nettle is native to North Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe. It is a weedy perennial herb, famous for its leaves that cause redness, itching, and swelling on the skin. However, this plant has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries.
A stinging nettle herb contains a wide range of minerals, vitamins, fats, pigments, and amino acids. Most of these components are nutritional and double up as antioxidants, which help prevent aging.
What’s more, this herb has shown promising results in treating hay fever and other seasonal allergies. Stinging nettle prevents the body from releasing chemicals that cause allergic reactions. Many communities in Africa have also relied on common nettle as a natural remedy for high blood pressure. It relaxes the heart and blood vessels. Common nettle is also used to treat arthritis and managing diabetes.
- Basil Leaves (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is native to Central Africa and Asia. However, this annual herb has now spread to most other parts of the world. Basil is available in many species, including lemon basil, sweet basil, holy basil, Italian basil, lettuce-leaf basil, and Thai basil. And although basil is grown mostly for its scent, it also has many other health benefits.
It helps restore the body PH level by balancing the body’s acidity level, promoting better digestion. And thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, basil also helps to cure various wounds. It may relieve sore throats, headache, fever, flu, and coughs.
Basil also has numerous skin benefits, especially for people with oily skins. It helps to unclog pores, making it an excellent natural skin cleanser. Finally, basil leaves have strong detox capabilities, which promotes a healthy liver.
- Buchu (Agathosma betulina)
Buchu herb, also known as Boegoe, Bookoo, Bucco, and Diosma, is native to South Africa. It has aromatic leaves with a peppermint and rosemary aroma and is used to treat swellings and urinary tract and kidney infections. It also treats yeast infections, prostatitis, urethritis, leucorrhea, and cystitis.
- Devil’s Claw (harpagophytum)
The Devil’s Claw herb is another medicinal herb that is native to Southern Africa. Its name comes from the appearance of the fruit, which has several hook-like claws. Since ancient times, the devil’s claw root has been used as a pain reliever. It also treats other conditions such as indigestion, fever, and arthritis.
The devil’s claw contains iridoid glycosides, a plant compound, which helps treat inflammations from cuts, injury, and infections.
Herbs have since time immemorial been used for their medicinal purposes. But did you know about the five herbs we’ve discussed above? As you have seen, these African herbs contain plenty of health benefits.
DO you know of any other African herb? Feel free to share in the comment section below.