Africa has long been known as a land of rich biodiversity in terms of both plant and animal life. However, very little is known in regards to the miraculous qualities of its native medicinal plant life, with only one percent of tropical species having been researched for their medicinal abilities.—a primary source of natural medicine for locals that have been using them to cure and/or remedy a wide variety of ailments, including preventing infections, fighting hunger, and strengthening the immune system. This source of natural medicine—vital to many natives who cannot afford the luxury of being prescribed with western prescriptions—is quickly being eradicated by human industry.
WHAT WOULD WE BE MISSING?
The short answer is, the world would lose vital areas of progressive medical research, and for many locals, a primary means of survival. Here are just a few of the natural, herbal remedies that are in danger of becoming extinct:
For starters, the beautiful Terminalia bentzoe, found only in the island-country of Mauritius. Long used by locals to fight off infectious diseases, scientists have recently found this tree to possess the amazing ability to ward off disease-causing bacteria in humans, thus serving as a natural and effective antibiotic.
Think of the Hoodia Cactus as a natural diet supplement, able to ward off hunger. Local hunters have been known to use this cactus as a means to suppress their appetite as a means to survive and stay focused for long stretches of time.
CANCER BUSH PICTURE
Generally seen as an extremely important medicinal plant in Africa, the Cancer Bush has been known to act as a fully-functional, natural remedy for stomach ailments. Recent practices have also shown its potential to improve the general well-being of those with HIV/AIDS, as well as cancer.
WHAT’S BEING DONE TO SAVE THEM?
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim—Mauritius’ first female president—has made her interest in preserving the medicinal plant life of Africa. While no legislation has been passed yet to prevent their extinction, Farkim has recently stated her plan to give natural medicine the same kind of government endorsement that western medicine tends to get worldwide. To Farkim, not only do these medicinal plants deserve proper research for healthcare advancement, but are vital to the survival and general well-being of a great portion of the world’s population.
A NEW GLOBAL STATUS
A recent study shows that nearly 80% of the world’s population relies solely on natural, plant-based medicine—mostly in developing nations such as Africa. In order to keep these miraculous plants from going extinct, Farkim suggests that we must first begin take the concept of natural medicines as seriously as China and India do—two countries that give medicinal plant-based drugs a status equal to western medications.