NATURE BOOKS - SOUTH AFRICA
Books for Nature Lovers
Muthi and Myths from the African Bush
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Review By: ournal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics of Subtropics (DITSL Vol.110 No.2 2009)

he authors, Heather Inez Dugmore, a journalist and Ben-Erik van Wyk, a professor of Botany, endeavour to bring to light a fundamental part of indigenous African knowledge which has been passed on orally over generations, and which may be partially or totally lost in due course, if not documented. Medicinal plants, i.e. muthi, and myths which go along with them, are closely associated with healing practices applied by medicine men or woman all over Africa for times immemorial. They are an important part of African culture, and, as such, enjoy growing interest in western societies, today. A total of fity-two medicinal plants are mentioned in the book. A small portion, though, out of thousands endemic to African natureal environments, but the associated cures and effects, along with the stories and beliefs behind them, allow an interesting insight into traditional African culture and indigenous knowledge. 

The stories are easy to read and nicely supported by numerous colourful photopraphs. The book may be of interest to scholars of anthropology as well as of natural sciences medicine, and others.


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