Publications

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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].
A hitherto 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


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