An overview of different herbal realities focusing on the medicinal value of plants, indigenous herbs of South Africa and aspects of the herbal industry that affect the person in the street.
Since time does not allow most of us to read long newsletters, this newsletter will only deal with one herb at a time starting with the series kitchenwise and streetwise.


• Street-wise-Medicinal herbs growing wild and recognised as weeds in the streets, garden and the wild.
• Recipe for liver conditions 1.




Often a single stem with a white ball of fluff at its end appears in the least expected places - children may still pick it and blow the seed watching the seed scatter in glee.
Because the seed is wind disseminated, it gets around :from the Cape flats to the high mountains of Tibet.

The elders of ancient times when man was in tune with natures way, classified herbs according to where they grew, the colour of the flower (which usually corresponded with a body organ), shape of leaves, their use by animals and birds.This information is called the doctrine of signatures which was the old way of finding uses for herbs and which largely is verified with modern scientific findings about herbs.
The yellow flower is one of Dandelion's signature and it is used for liver complaints.

It seems that the more common the weed, the more it is undervalued
Dandelion is the big time liver herb from jaundice to hepatitis it serves man well---root and leaf. The root is boiled in water--1 teaspoon of grated dried herb to 2 cups water---this is called a decoction unlike a tea which has the boiling water added to it and is brewed.Both the leaf and root have similar effects except the root may have a side effect of gastric discomfort.
The leaf is effective using 1 teaspoon to 1 cup boiling water.
The wild dandelion in S A has a slightly different leaf to the cultivated variety--I suspect that they have the same effect bearing in mind the signatures are similar.


The dandelion leaf is more potent as a diuretic than the root and is very useful when you need to get rid of excess water ln conditions of swelling and rheumatism. Theunusually high potassium content and its bitter substances (sesquiterpene lactone) may be the active ingredients which promote water loss.

It is safe unless you have any complications to do with the gall bladder and bile duct otherwise there are no contraindications with known drugs and no side effects--
Ok when pregnant and lactating.

The leaf is used in Europe for indigestion and fullness--1teaspoon to 1 cup boiling water.Dandelion has really lots of Vitamins and Minerals especially Vit A, B's, C and E and is a wonderful food supplement---the young leaves are often used in salads.

Its ok to take any herb by itself, yet when mixed with care with other healing herbs a really powerful combination may result--Herbs are not always a quick fix and often depends on the sensitivity of the person as to how fast the herbs would work. As a daily ritual to prevent illness taking herbs is effective and health promoting. Remember the onus of healing is on the patient not the practitioner----"Prevention is better than cure".

Dandelion contains inulin and that substance is helpful in mild diabetes: it is one of the herbs which help to lower blood sugar.
and it also purifies the blood by its diuretic action removing toxins from the blood stream.

In the next newsletter we will deal with Mint in the series called Kitchen wise - talking about medicinal properties of the usual herbs found in the kitchen.

About Liver conditions and recipes

Since the liver is the largest organ (excluding the skin), we will discuss the conditions over a number of newsletters. It works together with the gall bladder but is different to it.

There are 3 main manifestations of liver conditions
1. Congestion --- Jaundice.
Due to heart or lung disease also excessive eating and drinking.
Chronic constipation and blockage of the bile duct.
If a jaundiced person has a fever then suspect Hepatitis
It is linked to depression, temper, nervousness, groundless fears and general negativity.

2. Degenerative disease --- Cirrhosis.
Middle age onset associated with drinking and toxins from iatrogenisis (diseases due to medical “negligence” on the part of the professional)

3. Cancer of the liver

The liver functions as the chemical factory of the body. It’s the recycle centre of the body.
If the rubbish removal system of the planet was as efficient as the liver, we would have a clean planet not this plastic dumping ground------one spot in the Pacific ocean has the equivalent of about 150 billion kilos of plastic waste in an area the size of Texas-----like 50,000 000 bakkies piled in a dump---whew can you imagine that !

“When the liver is right you feel merry and bright
When the liver is low you feel sluggish and slow
How’s life—it depends on the liver.”

Old man liver is a busy guy-
The liver produces hormones and cholesterol.
Some of the main functions are to makes bile (used in the digestive process about 2 pints daily).
It stores sugars as glycogen, stores vitamins and minerals (esp. iron).
Breaks down toxic products in the blood and. when the red blood cells breakdown, as part of the natural process the liver makes Bilirubin from the recycled products (haemoglobin) and sends it to the intestines for excretion.
It Manufactures heparin—the blood anti coagulant..

Frustration and disappointment is the main psychological causes of Jaundice. A chill pill like a walk in a forest, meditation, relaxing exercises, forgiveness is a life and liver aid.

Jaundice is caused when there is an excess of Bilirubin and it accumulates in the skin and whites of eyes giving the skin a sickly yellow pallor.

The following herbs are good for the liver---I suggest that mixtures are used for a broader acting spectrum.
Wilde Als,
Stinging nettle
Wilde dagga

The herbs are usually taken 2 to three times a day—one teaspoon to 1 cup of boiling water—add a bit of lemon
If you have the fresh herb then use a few leaves instead.
Any Sweeteners are not recommended for liver conditions.
We will discuss food to avoid and eat in the next newsletter in Liver 2.
We do a liver mixture and a tonic using the organic herbs grown organically on our farm.


Guidance with professional health practitioners from the naturopath, sangoma, dietician, alternative healer to a MD is an responsible course of action when dealing with any substance affecting your health.

For more in depth details about Dandelion and other herbs visit


The herbs in this mixture are obtainable at any good health shop or pharmacy.
We do a ready made mixture, which is obtainable from our outlets called KIDNEYTEA. It is available in teabags or loose.

The process of cutting a herb generates heat so the finer the cut of the herb so too does the potency diminish that little bit. So I recommend the rough tea cut rather than teabags even though it appears to be a mission to make in the rush rush everyday world.

We are also a mail order source for our own organic teas , singles and  herbal products. Working with you, we can develop custom formulations specific to your practice. Our goal is long term working relationships that evolve over time.

If you have a problem getting the herbs contact us at <<>> and we will do our best to help you find them.


Glossary (The meaning of some of the technical terms which may be used)

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