Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Power Of the Lemon Bush

Lippia javanica , Lemon Plant (English) . Also knwn as Zumbani in Shona (Zimbabwe), Umsuzane in Xhosa (South Africa), Umsutane in SiSwati (Swaziland) is a plant with aromatic leaves and has been used in Africa for generations for its medicinal properties. The plant is purely African and generally grows all year round on grassland and stream banks.

Fresh leaves are sometimes used as a tea subtitute in many parts in Southern Africa. The herb is used to treat coughs, colds, fever and bronchitis, malaria, influenza and measles.

When the leaves and twigs are burned the smoke is said to be effective for treating cough and asthma.

Skin disorders, such as heat rash and other rashes, as well as scratches, stings and bites can also be treated. Here the tea is usually cooled and then applied like a lotion. Even lice and scabies can be treated with it.

The plant is grown as a windbreak on the edges of gardens.

A pesticide can be made from the crushed leaves and branches.

In Zimbabwe, it is used to wash hands when people are immediately from the grave to cleanse "evil spirits". When placed on top of a fresh grave, it is said that the plant protects the corpse from scarenging animals of the night.

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