Indigenous Healing Plants, by Margaret Roberts and Sandy Roberts
Indigenous Healing Plants, by Margaret Roberts and Sandy Roberts, is about many of South Africa's indigenous healing plants, plants of all colours, shapes and seeds, used by people of all colours, races and creeds.
It all began long ago when I was a child, in the early 1940s, living in an old house with a large garden in Pretoria. My Scottish grandmother lived with us and it was she who taught me the names of the plants, and their many uses. My parents, too, were both avid gardeners. My father taught me the joy of good compost making, and good digging in the rich earth, and my mother taught me to see the beauty of each flower, each leaf, each seed through her artist's eyes, and inspired me at the age of 6 or 7 to draw, to observe and to appreciate. Plants were an integral part of our lives, and this laid the foundation of interest which has crept into every aspect of my life as the years have gone by. For certain times of the year during the parliamentary sessions in Cape Town, my sisters and I lived with my grandmother in her cottage at Gordon's Bay. It was during those times that I planted and dug in the sea gardens with my grandmother, and came to learn about some of the indigenous Cape plants and their uses. Sometimes the staff who worked for my grandmother and great-grandmother, seeing my joy in the plants, would bring me a flower or a leaf or a piece of grass from their home in the mountains, or picked along the path on their way to work. I would often have more than 20 flowers standing in small jars and bottles along the dressing table. I soon learnt their names, their uses, and to recognise their glorious smells. We always took our dogs for walks through the veld, along the then unmanicured pavements, and so I got to know the wild plants; their colours, their shapes, their leaves, buds and seeds. I knew them by their common names, I pressed them, I drew them and I loved them, and my grandmother, my parents and my sisters shared my interest. When I grew up I trained as a physiotherapist - a long way from my botanical interest, yes, but my parents and grandmother wisely guided me into a profession that would form a stable background for my life's passion and work: natural health, medicinal plants and the precious plants of my own country. At the age of 23, I married and went to live on a farm. My closeness to nature wove ever more deeply into my life. I brought up my three children with all the good natural things that farm life offers, and they too developed an interest in the things around them-the weather, the veld, the gardens and the crops. The men who herded the cattle and the farm workers taught us how to use the wild plants, and as I created the herb gardens, so the local African people and visitors from further afield all came to collect plants for medicine or simply to enjoy the herb garden - one of the first in South Africa. We sat under the thorn trees and talked, sharing knowledge as we shared plants. I knew then, as I increasingly know now, that plants link people, they link cultures, they link countries. As we sat talking, often not understanding one another in words, the precious plants formed a language that surged and flowed around us, and we went our separate ways with the plants uniting us in a common interest and friendship. Then, shatteringly, 25 years later, my life on the farm ended, and I was forced to move away. In those next desperate and anxious years a new life had to be begun and the plants saved me. [...]
This is an excerpt from: Indigenous Healing Plants, by Margaret Roberts and Sandy Roberts.
Title: Indigenous Healing Plants
Authors: Margaret Roberts, Sandy Roberts
Publisher: Briza Publications
Pretoria, South Africa 2017
ISBN 9781875093823 / ISBN 978-1-875093-82-3
Hardcover, 21 x 28 cm, 320 pages, 150 photographs, line drawings
Roberts, Margaret und Roberts, Sandy im Namibiana-Buchangebot
This ethnobotanical plant guide introduces to the various uses of more than 140 indigenous plants of Southern Africa.
100 herbs, food and medicinal plants and their companions, how, when and where to plant, harvest and use them