Please note that you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer which is not compatible with some elements of the site. We strongly urge you to update to a newer version for optimal browsing experience.

5 useful indigenous and medicinal plants for your garden

05 Nov 2019

Having a well-planted and established garden is often a homeowner’s pride and joy in that it increases kerb appeal, creates atmosphere and offers a place of sanctuary. The idea of a gorgeous garden is made even more exciting if the garden is filled with indigenous plants that are not only easy on the eye, but useful as well.

Aloe reduces the sensitivity of the skin, helps to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation.

Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate, shares his thoughts on the value of gardens: “Having a well-kept garden is definitely an investment in your property. This is especially true of water-wise and indigenous gardens that have a lower than conventional demand on the scarce water supply of the country. Currently, there is also a very popular move towards homeopathic remedies for common ailments. Having plants in your garden that can treat these ailments is a huge bonus to any homeowner.”

According to Greeff, these are useful plants for your garden:

1. Cape chamomile

Cape chamomile is one of the lesser-known ‘chamomile’ plants used for its oils and healing properties. This indigenous fynbos can be recognised by its fruity fragrance and deep blue colour extracted from the stems and leaves. The oil has calming properties and can be used in the treatment of anxiety, lack of sleep and headaches. Cape chamomile is anti-inflammatory and can also be used to treat muscle and joint pains associated with arthritis, neuralgia and back pain.

2. Aloe ferox

Aloe is known for being a healing succulent. Its fleshy leaves are used to treat many ailments, most commonly skin-related. Aloe ferox is known as ‘bitter aloe’ and single-stemmed plants can reach up to three metres in height. Notable benefits of aloe ferox for skin care are:

- Improves the elasticity of the skin, which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines.

- Reduces excessive dryness and oiliness of the skin.

- Helps to keep skin hydrated.

- Reduces the sensitivity of the skin, helps to soothe irritation and reduce inflammation.

- Improves skin texture.

3. Buchu

Buchu (‘boegoe’ in Afrikaans) is prized for its medicinal properties worldwide. Medicinally, Buchu is used to treat kidney disorders and chest complaints. It is also an excellent anti-inflammatory and is used in topical ointments, sold as Buchu water or as a pure oil.

The plant's leaves are natural detoxifying agents and provide natural relief for menstrual cramps and bloating. Buchu oil is generally accepted as ‘safe status’ by both the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Union. Buchu is native to the lower slopes of the mountains of the Western Cape. Buchu prefers sandy, well-drained acidic soils and can be grown from seed.

4. Pelargonium Sidoides

Commonly known as black pelargonium, ‘kalwerbossie’ and ‘rooi rabas’ (Afrikaans) this small perennial has mildly aromatic velvety leaves and almost black flowers. It has been shown to safely and effectively treat acute upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, tonsillopharyngitis, sinusitis, the common cold and can also be used for the treatment of infections such as cough, fever, sore throat, as well as fatigue and weakness.

5. Sutherlandia frutescens

Possibly the most famous of South African Medicinal plants, Sutherlandia Frutescens or ‘kankerbos’ (Afrikaans) has immune boosting, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for ailments such as arthritis, cancer and as a treatment of adult-onset, type-2 diabetes mellitus.

The entire plant can be utilised with infusions from the leaves and stems being used to treat liver, kidney and stomach ailments. Dried and powdered plant parts steeped in hot water are used to stimulate appetite as well as in the treatment of irritability, anxiety and depression.


Including these plants in your garden can have an immense impact on the lives of your family. While these plants have exceptional medicinal value, their use should always be at the advice of a trained medical professional. Always consult your doctor prior to beginning any homeopathic treatment.

Print Print
Top Articles
There are signs that an upturn is likely to be seen in Cape Town’s property market over the next 12 months, with improved agent confidence and indicators in recent weeks.

Only 50m from the beach and ideal for South African investors, this new water village development blends high-end living with the natural environment. Here are prices...

Longing for a bit coastal bliss? With prices from R1.698m, you can get a lock-up and go apartment with inspiring views in the Cape’s Bloubergstrand. Take a peek…


Your browser is out of date!

It looks like you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.

For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724