Books for Nature Lovers
Medicinal Plants of South Africa 2nd Edition
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Review By: Simply Green - Nov/Dec 2010

This excellent book has been a long time coming. Southern Africa, with its various climatic regions, and including the unique Cape Floral kingdom, has thousands of endemic and globally unique plant species with a rich and ancient heritage of medicinal and food usage, going back to the earliest times of our own species' occupation of this part of Africa. Western medicinal knowledge, and its modern equivalent in phytomedicines, is all very well, but the vast body of knowledge about local plants' medicinal usage had, by late in the 20th century, been partly lost or was in danger of disappearing - wiping out many millennia of hart-won wisdom. Bringing together key areas of interest - local botany and natural health care - the three experts who've collaborated to put this valuable reference work together (including two professors, each leading lights in their own fields) have done a profoundly important piece of work, and made it available in a relatively accessible, readable and usable format, not just for academics to use. With plenty of supporting images, this one is set to be a key part of any library designed to provide local solutions to local issues, in this case saving and preserving the knowledge of which plants do what in this part of the planet. We'll certainly be using it a lot. Excellent stuff.

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South Africa