There are around 27 million consumers of indigenous healing medicine in South Africa
African Indigenous Healing
In Zulu societies, the Sangoma is a highly respected indigenous healing person and Nyanga is the esteemed herbalist. Men and women take up the profession after a long training period in Southern African society.
The Traditional Healers and Indigenous Healing Organization organizes about 69,000 traditional health practitioners in South Africa to promote African Traditional healing as a holistic healthcare practice. Traditional indigenous medicines use herbal, animal, and mineral materials for physiological and symbolic purposes. Twenty-seven million South Africans use traditional medicine in one form or another because pharmaceutical drugs are too expensive or traditional methods are considered an appropriate tradition.
Traditional Healers contribute to the economy by expanding commercial trade in plants and animal parts for use in traditional medicine practice. The importance of the trade in indigenous plant species for traditional medicine in South Africa is estimated at 40 million dollars a year.
The most popular species traded as traditional medicine are the African Rock Pythons, Black Mambas, Black Rhinos, Dwarf Chameleons, Giant Golden Moles, Hyaenas, Monitor Lizards, Crocodiles, and Vultures.
African Indigenous Healing
Traditional indigenous healing is linked to wider belief systems and remains integral to the lives of most Africans. People consult indigenous healers whether or not they can afford medical services. A true indigenous healer cannot take part in any action that can harm or negatively influence another person and believes God has the ultimate power, it is a spiritual calling.
Five most popular indigenous healing garden plants are aloe, African ginger, milkweed, cancer bush and devils claw root.
The five most popular herbs used for centuries in South African indigenous healing medicine are aloe, African ginger, milkweed, cancer bush and devils claw root.
Aloe gel is the clear, jelly-like substance found in the inner part of the aloe plant leaf. Aloe latex comes from just under the plant's skin and is yellow in color. The useful parts of aloe are the gel and latex. The gel is obtained from the cells in the center of the leaf, and the latex is obtained from the cells just beneath the leaf skin.
Devil’s Claw Root
Devil’s claw, scientifically known as Harpagophytum procumbens, is a plant native to South Africa. It owes its ominous name to its fruit, which bears several small, hook-like projections. Traditionally, the roots of this plant have been used to treat a wide range of ailments, such as fever, pain, arthritis, and indigestion.
Aloe leaves are traditionally used in indigenous healing gardens