Publications serve as the concrete art form for the scientist. It is his modus operandi. Authorship is akin to success and achievement. It cannot and should not deteriorate into a bargaining tool or commodity.
Hulley, I.M., Tilney, P.M., Van Vuuren, S.F., Kamatou, G.P.P., Viljoen A.M., Van Wyk, B-E. 2016. San and Nama indigenous knowledge: the case of lnhora (Pteronia camphorata) and its medicinal use. South African Journal of Science [in press].
unidentified medicinal plant described in this journal by Laidler1 34 in 1928 as
‘D/nhora buchu’ and one of the important types of buchu used by the Nama
people, is here identified for the first time as Pteronia camphorata (L.) L., an aromatic shrub of the Asteraceae
family endemic to the western and southern coastal region of South Africa. Traditional
medicinal uses of San and Nama origin are reported, based on interviews with several
rural participants. These include the treatment of colds, influenza, chest
ailments and tuberculosis but also inflammation of the neck, convulsions and
haemorrhoids. The major and minor chemical compounds of the essential oil that
is produced by the plant have been identified, together with the site of
accumulation of this volatile oil within the leaf. Its antimicrobial activity
against a selection of one yeast, two Gram-negative and one Gram-positive
bacterial, all of which are associated with respiratory infections, was also
investigated. Pteronia camphorata is scientifically poorly
known but an important San and Nama traditional remedy. Our study not only
prevented the potential loss of historically important indigenous knowledge but
also provides the first scientific evidence to validate the traditional use of ?nhora
against upper and lower respiratory tract infections, including tuberculosis.
This detailed study has wider application in demonstrating the fragility of the
oral-traditional knowledge of a scientifically neglected indigenous group. It also
highlights the scientific and practical importance of preserving traditional
plant use knowledge within a botanically diverse region