(Very) Alternative medicine

Nambiti Private Game Reserve is full of trees and plants, bursting with natural ingredients that the local people have used as medicines. Here are just a few to keep an eye out for, you never know, they could come in handy.

The roots of this bush are famously nutritious and are enjoyed by all kinds of animals including the rhino, giraffe and impala. Root infusions are also used to treat stomach pain and coughs in humans, while powdered roots can be sniffed to help stem a nosebleed.

Bitter Aloe
Juicy Aloe leaves are a lifesaver for animals during a drought, while the sap works as a natural laxative for humans. It’s also used to cool burns, make cosmetics and as an ingredient in jam.

Mountain Aloe
Dried Mountain Aloe leaves are employed by local people to make snuff, and the sap can be applied to breasts to help wean babies.

Blunt-leaved Currant
These leaves are mashed into a paste to treat swollen glands, while chewing the roots can apparently relieve backache. The berries are often roasted, ground and used as a coffee substitute. Powdered bark, meanwhile, can help to relieve sores.

Monkeys eat the fruit, birds eat the seeds and porcupines eat the roots, so everybody’s happy.

Buffalo Thorn
The roots, leaves and bark have all long been used locally, to alleviate respiratory complaints, skin infections and for general pain relief.

Silver Cluster Leaf
Also allegedly good for respiratory complaints and stomach disorders.

Bushman’s Fever Tea
The Xhosa people drink this infusion to treat coughs, colds and bronchial problems. It’s also said by them to be effective against fever.

Evening Primrose Oil
This remedy has been used globally, for centuries, to help with acne, eczema, PMS symptoms and high blood pressure.