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.

The magic of water


• Street-wise----Medicinal herbs growing wild and recognised as weeds in the streets, garden and the wild.
• Tinnitus part 2


Agathosma Betulina and Crenulata.

A great marketing company the Dutch east India company in 1652, helped to make Buchu a well known herb. Used initially by the Koi for perfume and medicine, the company found ways to market Buchu including steeping in brandy – any excuse to hit the bottle was ok. Buchu brandy is still a favourite today, used for arthritis and minor digestive complaints.

crenulata twig with flrs.

While walking in the Western Cape Mountains, likely you would smell it before seeing this proudly Western Cape Shrub. The two varieties used are Agathosma Betulina and Agathosma Crenulata. The Betulina is fatter and rounder and preferred.
The pungent aroma from sulphur and the essential oils camphor and menthol contribute to the respiratory effect----often used in colds and chest complaints as a tea using I cup of boiling water to a teaspoon of dried leaves.

Look at the leaves shaped like a kidney – gives a clue to its main action.

The Kidney system, Bladder, Prostate, Urethra all benefit from a dop or cuppa tea.
As a good strong diuretic and antiseptic it is tops. The three musketeers, diosmin, quercitin and hesperidins with the help of the essential oils claim responsibility for helping oedema, getting rid of excess water.
They clear uric acid, soothe and strengthen the urinary system.

Be kind to kidney week starts when spring shows its liveliness and thoughts of bikinis and summer clothes promote slim tablets and extra pound shedding. Unless you have an acute (inflammation) of the kidney or are quite pregnant, Buchu is a way of relieving that extra wet weight. For this purpose drink usually 2 to 3 cups per day and remember your potty training.

No scientific evidence yet disproves the used of Buchu for prostrate hassles. Hundreds of years of usage often say more than scientific research, which often depends on handouts from vested interests such as big pharmaceutical companies where shareholders not sick people are the beneficiaries.

For diabetics, the question of normalizing blood sugar levels may have some solutions with Buchu. It acts to prevent rapid lowering of blood sugar (hypoglycaemia). Two cups per day have shown favourable results.

crenulata leaf.

When dealing with a breakdown in one aspect of the body health, it may be wise to treat the whole system rather than focus on a single organ or system. In this way mixtures of herbs may work more effectively than a single herb—some helping with elimination and detoxing.

Our mixtures contain herbs, which do all that and fortify the mineral and vitamin supply hence providing a more complete healing process with no side effects.

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

Tinnitus part 2

This section is quite long so in future the section will be divided to shorter versions over more newsletters as in the following newsletters about Cholesterol

Recap- Tinnitus is a sensation of sound (which is not actually present in the external environment) in one ear, both ears or the head. It can be heard as ringing, buzzing, roaring, hissing, whistling, throbbing or booming. It can manifest as a single sound or a number of different sounds and can develop either gradually or suddenly.

The resultant buzz when your GP tells you Tinnitus cannot be cured and neglects to tell you that you can be helped and Tinnitus can be managed may be quite destructive.
Some people can go into instant depression.
First you get rid of your GP then after accepting the Tinnitus you can manage it in a variety of ways and often it just goes away by itself.

General measures to improve overall health such as quitting smoking, eating fresh organic fruit and vegetables, consuming less meat eating organic chicken and fish, avoiding the sludgy blood flow associated with high fat diets which can actually decrease the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the inner ear, becoming physically active, getting sunlight, Vitamin D, Omega 3 fatty acids, removing toxic metals by chelation, and taking multivitamins, nutrients and minerals can prove beneficial to hearing and tinnitus but is unlikely to cure the problem.

Herbs such as Yarrow, Gingo Biloba and Rosemary increase the flow of blood to the ear. Increasing the flow or making the blood thinner takes more nutrients to the ear.
The herbs may not have an immediate explosive effect, they work unobtrusively in the background, often cumulative over time and often it seems like they have no effect, yet many influence at a subtle level and in our fast life situations we don’t recognize it and immediately label it as not working.
We need to give nature more credibility and trust.
Normal adequate dosage is 1 cup boiling water to 1-teaspoon herb twice daily or when needed.
You need to work with a doctor on this if you are on blood thinning medication.

There is Ample proof that Stress exaggerates Tinnitus, so avoid stress—herbs such as Oats and Vervain help chill you out. So perhaps that bowl of oats in the morning may have a positive effect after all.Tinnitus Retraining Therapy ( provides patient with counseling and long-term exposure to white noise to overcome the internal sounds. It can take a long time (one to two years) to achieve satisfactory results, however.

Relaxing techniques also help control the stress associated with tinnitus.
Meditation will help you change the way you think about and react to your tinnitus.
Counseling helps you learn how to live with your tinnitus. Most counseling programs have an educational component to help you understand what goes on in the brain to cause tinnitus.
Basically you retrain your brain to tune out the noise so you can change the way you think about tinnitus and learn ways to focus your attention away from your tinnitus
Many patients with tinnitus are found to have out of control inflammatory processes. This includes purulent ear drainages, infections, and chronic fluid drainage from the ear. My favourite ear cleansing drops was given to me by a ear nose and throat specialist – was probably used in Noah’s time and it works for me.
Ear drops
Acetic acid 3%
Peroxide 3%
Mix 1 to 1
5 drops per day for 5 days.

Avoid Loud Continual Noises—road works, chain saws, some kind of “music,”‘ In most cases, tinnitus doesn’t happen overnight,’ explains Dr Veronica Kennedy, consultant audiovestibular physician at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
‘Many people have mild tinnitus but the brain screens out the noise so they can ignore it. But if something happens to exacerbate it — exposure to prolonged loud noise, or worsening hearing loss — they suddenly notice the noise and it becomes an issue.’

Sound Therapy

A number of devices are being developed to help tinnitus sufferers.

Some high-end hearing aids are designed to mask tinnitus noise at the same time they improve hearing.
Wearable sound generators are small electronic devices that fit in the ear and use a soft, pleasant sound to help mask the tinnitus.

Tabletop sound generators are used as an aid for relaxation or sleep. An ipod dock can be used. Placed near your bed, you can program a generator to play pleasant sounds such as waves, waterfalls, rain, or the sounds of a summer night. Perhaps our president singing one of his favourite songs will do it for you.

Acoustic neural stimulation is a relatively new technique for people whose tinnitus is very loud or won't go away. It uses a palm-sized device and headphones to deliver a broadband acoustic signal embedded in music.


Cochlear implants are sometimes used in people who have tinnitus along with severe hearing loss. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged portion of the inner ear and sends electrical signals that directly stimulate the auditory nerve.
The Neuromonics system ( creates a sound that matches the patient's particular tinnitus noise. This is then embedded in relaxing music that the patient listens to for at least two hours daily. Within two months, many patients experience some relief, but the full program takes at least six months to complete. The set back is that it is an expensive process.

One company, check Tinnitus Control produces a homeopathic spray with components -
Silicea - It has been cited in medical literature as a remedy for roaring ears.
Arnica 30x - It triggers symptoms similar to the after effects of accidents like falls, contusions, and blows.
Kali phophoricum - It offers relief from surging and noise-filled ears.
Chininum Sulphuricum – It has been traditionally used when hearing grows dull or a buzzing sound fills the ears.
Natrum sulphuricum – It helps relieve the ringing sound in the ears.
Pulsatilla – It helps relieve tinnitus symptoms like tinkling, humming, and roaring.
Thiosinaminum – It is also a recognized homeopathic remedy for tinnitus aurium.

The enzyme preparation Wobenzyme N formulation(trypsin, chymotrypsin, bromelain, papain, pancreatin and the bioflavinoid rutin) has produced good results in tinnitus.

Note that we are pointing out some ways of management. We don’t advocate any of the treatments as cures. The devices and preparations mentioned are gleaned from the Internet and reflect both recent scientific advances and some more plausible private companies.
Bear in mind that some called “cures” offered may be cons not cures.

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.

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.

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.

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 Buchu and other herbs visit < our website > or go to <<herb info and pictures page.>>



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 << za 2>>and we will do our best to help you find them.
Outlets for our herbal teas are at this address----Shops that sell our teas
A list of our products can be viewed at Our Products on our website.


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