Myrothamnus flabellifolius also known as Resurrection bush or “uvukwabafile” in Zulu “umazifisi” in Ndebele and bergbogoe in Afrikaans is a truly fascinating and enigmatic African medicinal plant. It is popularly used as a local medicine in South Africa, other Southern Africa nations, and Central Africa.
A small woody shrub with tough branches and small fan shaped leaves, this plant favors growing among the rock outcrops on “koppies” or small hills of Southern Africa. It enjoys harsh dry terrains and has mastered the heat of the hills.
The plant possess the ability to survive extreme drought by losing most of its water and existing in a seemingly dormant state for approximately half of the year with its leaves folded inwards. After the summer rain-fall, its seemingly dead and dried-up leaves return to a green, fully hydrated state and it continues to live and grow normally. It resurrects! This is where it gets its name uvukwabafile from; to come back to life as if it resurrects after seeming to be dead!
The plant is very adaptable to extreme temperature differences and and its roots will expand to intercept any water found in the hollows spaces between the rock or where erosion debris is typically found.
The plant does not only have interesting physically resurrecting properties but also has powerful healing chemicals. This one discovers when one crushes the leaves-that releases a powerful menthol like fragrance that elicits an immediate uplifting affect on the mood and spirit. It is believed to be able to boost the effect of other medicinal herbs it is mixed with.
Uvukwabafile has many interesting tradition uses: In summary; M. flabellifolius is used in treating several ailments including epilepsy, mental disorder, cough, pain, stroke, shingles, diabetes, hypertension, wounds, asthma, kidneys and chest ailments.
Traditional Uses and Actions
Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic: The smoke from the burning plants is inhaled in a pipe for pains in the chest by the Pedi people of South Africa. This indicates it has analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory actions. This is further supported by its uses for a variety of complaints in Zimbabwe; for example root decoctions are taken for headaches. Shona healers use the plant for coughs and abdominal pain. It is also reported to treat asthma and general chest ailments. In Malagasy ethnomedicine, the dried leaves are smoked like a cigar for the treatment of asthma and are also used in infusion to treat coughs.
All together the Resurrection bush can be seen as one of South Africa’s most promising tonic plants for new product development.
For more on South African plants I offer herbalist in person full day training (pm me for details) and also online plant courses here: http://phytoalchemy.co.za/faq/
& For Myrothamnus medicines contact Jean directly @ +27 063 537 5413 email@example.com