Books for Nature Lovers
Muthi and Myths from the African Bush
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Review By: Southern Mail - 25 November 2009

When Heather Dugmore opened the door of an electric pink home somewhere on the Wild Coast she was startled by the welcome. "I've been expecting you," said a sangoma. She had been surprised by a violent storm which had forced her to seek shelter. The sangoma explained that the storm was sent to bring her there. This was the beginning of her journey into the world of muthi and myths from the African bush, a journey that alos led her to meet botany professor Ben-Erik van Wyk, an authority on medicinal plants. 
This beautifully illustrated book tells 52 African tales, tracking the trails of traditinal medicine on the continent. Many years ago doctors studied botany as part of their degree because they had to prepare and prescribe drugs derived from medicinal plants. 

With around 4% or Africa's plants used medicinally it's more than likely that there are plants out there to cure deadly illnesses. 
The book tells the stories about controversial plants, such as the "miracle-cure" African potato and the appetite suppresant hoodia. It also features commercial plants like aloe and rooibos. With muti used to improve sexual powess and win love, it's not surprising that tales covers this topic - Aphrodisiac of Hope, it starts with a Kiss, Love and Leopard Orchid and A Very Sexy Tree. This book is an important achievement in capturing and documenting our culture and oral traditions and it will have a wide appeal.

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