We’ve often mentioned that our aperitif / vermouth is different due to the unique ingredients, mostly Fynbos found only in the small Cape Biome. South Africans (of all reaches and races, tribes and traditions) have used these plants for their medicinal properties for centuries. When you look at our history in terms of indigenous flora, it’s clear that Afrikaans oumas, Xhosa sangomas, Coloured aunties and Zulu gogos have all been using these plants for various ailments and issues.
A great example of this is Impepho, aka Kooigoed, aka Silver Bush.
According to one Masters Research Paper from the University of KZN, “Impepho is an indigenous African plant that, once dried, is burnt in order to communicate with one’s ancestors. Impepho is well-known to the majority of Sub Saharan Africans as it is used to communicate with their ancestors and it is also used by traditional healers to communicate with the deceased.” The research paper specifically looks at the fact that Zulu women are traditionally not allowed to burn the plant… especially in this age where there are so many female headed families.
Its Afrikaans common name of kooigoed translates as “bedding stuff” and it is still used to provide a soft and aromatic mattress.
The essential oil has been investigated for its anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves and twigs are boiled and prepared as a sort of tea to soothe coughs and fever. The leaves are also applied to wounds to prevent infection, and are ceremonially burnt to produce a traditional incense. (thanks Wikipedia).
**Please note: We are in the business of making drinks and not licensed or registered healthcare practitioners. No post should be considered health advice. You are responsible for consulting a medical professional before trying any new herb or remedy, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing. You are responsible for your own health. As with conventional medicine, herbal medicine is vast and complex, and must be used responsibly. People react differently to different remedies. Some herbs are contraindicated with certain pharmaceutical drugs. Further, some helpful herbs may be confused with harmful and/or deadly substances. There, we said it. 1,2,3 blok myself…