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Barefoot Herbs Newsletter April 2009

Nov 03, 2009

Issue 53                                                                                               April 2009

Autumn is definitely upon us which means we are very busy harvesting herbs.  The veggie garden is also full and I think we will be eating pumpkin and butternuts the whole winter.  They are huge this year!

This month has two major functions of interest.  This coming weekend is the Herb happening at Doonholm nursery in Midrand.  Those of you who have attended in previous years know how informative this is, and there are always lots of  herbal goodies available.  Barefoot herbs will have a stand there, so we hope to see old friends and meet new ones!  Then on 18 April, I will be part of a vermiculture workshop at Ditton’s Farm in Muldersdrift.  So if you want to know more about earthworms and the wonderful benefits they can have on your garden, contact Ken Reid at kreid@iafrica.com to book a place.

The Barefoot Kitchen is growing daily!  Deliveries are now going to the Sunninghill, gallo manor areas too, so contact me if you are interested in delicious home made meals delivered to your home or office.


Herb of the Month


Helianthus annuus

So aptly named, the Sunflower could be the symbol of summer. Have you ever noticed how the flowers follow the sun during the day? In fact in Ancient Peru it was the emblem of the Sun God and was also dedicated to the Greek Sun God, Helios

Such a cheerful flower could surely bring brightness into the gloomiest of persons!

It was first cultivated over 3000 years ago by the American Indians, and introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century by Spanish explorers. The first people to cultivate it in vast quantities were the Russians.

All parts of the plant can be used, and for a variety of different things.  Because of its ability to absorb water, the plant has been used to reclaim marshy land in the Netherlands. It can be used in homes for exactly the same reason and it is perfect if you have a problem with damp, just plant it close to the walls which are affected. The dried leaves can be used as a tobacco substitute

Most people know of the sunflower as a cooking oil or bird food, but it does have a lot more uses. Remember to use cold pressed oil.
Cultivation: Easy!  Throw a few seeds on the ground and they will grow.

House & Garden:  An ideal windbreak for tender flowers or vegetables. Plant to absorb dampness. Use the dried plants for fire kindling.  The ash is a good potash fertilizer. Use the fibrous pith for textiles and paper making. It is also used for making lifebelts because it is so light. Boil the flowers for a yellow dye. Give the seed to chickens to increase egg yield. It is a good companion plant for mielies.  Use it in oil lamps instead of the fancy oils that are sold for the purpose.  Add a few drops of citronella oil to chase away mosquitoes

Medicinal: Chew seeds or add to a syrup to ease asthma and relive coughs.  Seeds are also used to heal kidney infections.

The whole plant, as a tincture, is used to treat malaria in some places.

Culinary:  Seeds are roasted, used in breads, biscuits, stir fries, stuffing etc.  Sprout seeds.  Use within two days of sprouting as they become bitter. Oil is the most commonly used cooking oil in the Western world. Made into margarine

Cosmetic: Use as a base oil for massage, add to body creams

Indigenous Page

Uit Letitia se tuin:

Goeie nuus – Prof Ben-Erik van Wyk het sy boek "Medicinal plants of South Africa" hersien en daar is 18 nuwe plante in!  Dit is 2 weke gelede bekend gestel en al is jy gelukkig genoeg om die eerste een te besit, is dit die moeite werd om hierdie een ook te koop.  (Briza sal by die Herb Happening wees)

Ek het verlede week die voorreg gehad om Bill Kerr te ontmoet en 'n oggend in sy tuin te spandeer. Wat ‘n verskeidenheid rissies, bone, tamaties, en soveel inligting, my kop draai nog.

Dit is inspireerend om met mense te praat wat soveel passie het vir wat hulle doen.

Hou ‘n oog oop vir sy artikels in die pers, baie interessant.

Hard besig om reg te maak vir die Herb Happening.  Dis vanaf Vrydag die 3de tot Sondag die 5de.

E-pos my vir padaanwysings en die program.

Kom sê gerus hello en proe die

Sweet Chilli Sauce wat gemaak is van Bill se rissies.


PS. Daar is 'n meerderheids gevoel dat alhoewel daar na Lippia javanica in "Zulu Medicinal Plants"  verwys word as Fever tea/tree en in Margaret Roberts se "Indigenous healing Plants" as Lemon bush /  fever tree / fever tea, dit meer bekend is as


Jammer as ek iemand verwar het.


Diospyros lycioides

Family:  Ebenaceae

A hardy, large, erect shrub or small tree up to 5 m, with blue-green leaves, hence the name.  There are about 450 – 500 species and are mostly found in the tropics.  Around 14 species and 4 sub-species occur in South Africa.  There are 12 species from various areas reported to be poisonous.  Some of these areas are Asia, Madagascar and North America. Propagation from seed rather than cuttings.

Also known as:  The genus commonly known as ebony trees and persimmon trees.

The species as: Bushveld bluebush, Kalahari star apple, monkey plum, Toothbrush bush (English); bloubos (Afrikaans); Muthala (Venda) Lethanyu, Letlhajwa (Tswana); Umbhongisa (Xhosa), Umbulwa, Umnqandane (Zulu); Monkga-nku (Sotho)

What is in a name:  Diospyros refers to a plant with edible fruit and literally means “divine wheat”.  Lycioides means “resembling Lycium”, a genus in the family Solanaceae.

Many place names in S.A. refer to the colour of the shrub – Bloubosdrift, Bloubospan and Bloupoort.

The common name “Kalahari star apple” refers to a distinctly star-shaped calyx.  The Southern Sotho name “monkga-nku” means smells like sheep.

Traditional use:  Twigs and the root are used as chewing sticks to clean teeth – studies showed compounds that inhibits the growth of oral cariogenic bacteria and periodontal pathogens.  The seeds are used as a substitute for coffee by grinding and roasting them.  An ointment made from dried powdered root and mutton fat is used for body pains or as a dressing to dislodge thorns.

The Nama of Namibia believed that if a tree is cut with an upward stroke, it will cause vomiting, an emetic action.  If it was cut with a down ward stroke it will produce a heavy purgative action.

The Vhavenda used decoctions made from the roots with other ingredients for epilepsy.

An infusion of the root is used by the Shona from Zimbabwe to treat abdominal pains and infertility in women.

For protection from enemies the Venda mixed parts of bluebush shrub, with hedgehog prickles and duiker blood.

In Zimbabwe and Malawi pieces of the roots are buried in each corner of the house to protect the inhabitants against witchcraft.

Other uses:  The fragrant flowers and red fruit attracts birds and insects to the garden.  A yellowish brown dye obtained from the roots are used in the basketry industry.  The roots and palm leaves are boiled in water for about 2 hours.

Bluebush quinines have recently been patented for possible anti-tuberculosis effects.  Studies are currently being conducted on in-vitro tuberculosis bacteria –

Muthi and Myths – Heather Dugmore & Ben-Erik van Wyk


unflower Cough Syrup

Place ½ Cup Sunflower seeds into a pot with 2 cups of water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, or until reduced to half.

Strain and add 4 Tablespoon

of brown sugar.

Stir until dissolved.

Bring to the boil and boil fast

for 2 minutes.

Allow to cool, and then pour into

 a glass bottle.

Label and store in a cool place.

Take 1-2 teaspoons 3 times a day for coughs or asthma

Children can also take this syrup, use half the dose.

Seed Bread

625ml cake flour

850ml nutty wheat flour

2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp sugar

125ml sunflower seeds

65ml linseed

65ml flax seed

1 Tbsp sunflower oil

750ml luke warm water

1 egg

Mix dry ingredients together.

Add other ingredients, stir well and pour into 3 greased loaf tins.  Leave to rise for 30 minutes and then bake at 190C for 40 – 45 minutes.

Persimmon Avocado Salad

Alternate slices of persimmon and avocado on

a bed of salad greens.

Dress with a light spray of lemon juice

Sunflower and Cinnamon Squares

1 cup butter, softened

1 ¼ cups castor sugar

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups self raising flour

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp cinnamon

2/3 cup sour cream

½ cup sunflower seeds


Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, mixing well.

Fold in the flour, cinnamon and bicarb, taking care not to over mix.

Gently add the sour cream and sunflower seeds

Spoon into a greased 23cm square cake tin and bake at

180 C for 45 minutes until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Turn out and cut into 12 squares.


These can be served on their own as a cake, or warm with fresh berries and cream as a special pudding. They will keep for 2-3 days or can be frozen

Delicious edible Diospyros species  –  Persimmons

Nutritional Breakdown:

Persimmon – One medium-size raw:

118 Calories, 134.9g Water, 0.3g Fat, 168g Weight, 1.0g Protein, 31.2g Carbohydrate 13mg Vit.C, .03mg Vit.B-2, 13mcg. Folate, 3640 IU Vit.A, 0.5mg Vit.B-1, 0.2mg Niacin, 3mg Sodium, 13mg Calcium, 15mg Magnesium, .18mg Zinc,.596mg Manganese 270mg Potassium, 28mg Phosphorus, .26mg Iron, .190mg Copper.

Persimmon – One medium-size dried:
93 Calories, 7.8g Water, 0.2g Fat, 34g Weight, 0.5g Protein, 25g Carbohydrate 0mg Vit.C, .01mg Vit.B-2, 190 IU Vit.A, 0 Vit.B-1, 0.1mg Niacin, 1mg Sodium, 8mg Calcium, 11mg Magnesium, .14mg Zinc, .473 mg Manganese, 273mg Potassium, 27mg Phosphorus, .25mg Iron, .150mg Copper.

Persimmon Grapefruit Salad

Cut 1 persimmon in quarters.

Place 4 grapefruit segments between the quarters.

Top center with a heaping teaspoon of mayonnaise.

Serve on a bed of salad greens.

Persimmon fruit salad

In a salad bowl, coarsely chop

1 apple
1 banana

1 orange

Add the pulp and pieces of 1 persimmon

Mix and chill before serving

Makes 2 servings.

The Last Page

Herb Courses  April 2009


18 April 9.00am    Module 4 Respiratory system

18 April 1.00pm    Module 3 Babies, pregnancy and skin


Workshops are now being taught as Shades of Nwenya in Muldersdrift.  For booking information please contact Helen 074 448 8504



Liqueur making



Liqueur making


The following workshops are available on request for groups of 5 or more at Muldersdrift:  Liqueur making, organic gardening, bath and skin products, herb and spice mixes for culinary use, herbal first aid box, herbal products for babies and toddlers, herbal remedies for common ailments, green cleaning for the home.

Courses and workshops cost R300, which includes all materials, a recipe booklet and refreshments



4 April           Mod 4, Respiratory System – Syrups & remedies            

11 April      Asian Cooking with locally available herbs                       

16 April         Mod 8, Muscular System, Making tinctures & Cream

9 May                 Mod 4, Respiratory System – Syrups & remedies

16 May            Workshop – Feet – Creams, Lotions & Potions

23 May           Asian Cooking with locally available herbs


 Other workshops are available on request for groups of 5 or more

Courses and workshops cost includes all materials, a recipe booklet and refreshments.

New Free E-mail Newsletters.
We have recently made contact with Maati's Market who sends out a free e-mail newsletter every week.

Interesting and informative topics covered are:

ADHD, health, study techniques and old age problems.

Plus relevant links to local and overseas online newspapers.
Go here to view previous issues.

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In many ways it's like an online Readers Digest

with a Home-Health focus.

Contact Us



Tel 011 957 2413      Cell: 082 415 3743



Tel: 016 362 0754      Cell:  082 451 9876

Visit our Website


and see photos, past newsletters, products and recipes

EIGSA Workshop

18 April 2009

Presentation by Sharon on “Propogating and using Herbs” .

See next newsletter for more information.

Please book now – only 100 participants.

For full details and to book, please contact Allison at Allison@earthwormbuddies.co.za

or phone 083 791 1198

Essential Herb Products

For  all of your herbal requirements

Contact us for more details

Edward Proctor

082 463 1360


Or go to our website www.essentialherbs.co.za


Prime Spot!!!


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