Books for Nature Lovers
Muthi and Myths from the African Bush
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Review By: Landscape - February 2009

This book comprises 52 compelling tales about the use of traditional medicine or muthi on the African continent. Many of the stories have been inherited through Africa's oral tradition and are committed to paper here for the very first time. It is the author's wish that as people read the stories about some of Africa's indigenous plant cures, they will experience the fascination of the continent and its contribution to our understanding of 'the human being'. 

Many of the continent's medicinal plants are threatened by habitat encroachment, land mismanagement and excessive harvesting. As the plants disappear, so too does the knowledge about them, as little of Africa's healing history is preserved. This book brings to light the history of 52 of the thousands of indigenous medicinal plants of Africa. The focus is towards southern Africa because this region is a hotspot of cultural and botanical diversity, containing 10% of the world's plants on less than 2% of the earth's total surface. 

The authors are Heather Dugmore and Ben-Erik van Wyk. Dugmore graduated with a journalism degree from Rhodes University and Van Wyk is professor of botany at the University of Johannesburg.

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