The African Plant Hunter at work

Devil’s Claw – Africa’s Herbal Remedy for Arthritis and Inflammation

Despite the ominous name, there’s nothing devilish about this plant, Harpagophytum procumbens. In fact its magical healing properties have been known by the San and other ethnic groups in the Kalahari for millennia. In this episode, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) ventures into the wilds of the Kalahari desert in north-eastern Namibia to go and …

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Buchu – Quintessential Fragrance of the Cape Floral Kingdom

When early Dutch settlers first came to the Cape in South Africa, they were struck by the pervasive and intoxicating smell of the Buchu bush. They didn’t know they had reached one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, but they quickly learned of the rich history of traditional use for many of the …

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Better Quality Baobab for Better Lives in Africa – Update From Kenya

The baobab is no ordinary tree. Not only are its fruits packed with nutrients, its seeds also make an exceptional moisturising oil, and trade in its products generates much needed income for rural harvesters across Africa. But if the quality of those products is below par, consumers won’t buy them and the harvesters won’t make …

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The Cheeky Casuarina

The Cheeky Casuarina – Tropical Imposter Tree that Mimics a Conifer

Time to impress your friends with the riddle of the cheeky Casuarina tree – the tree that looks, smells and even tastes exactly like a conifer, but isn’t. Join Gus, the African Plant Hunter, on his roving travels around Africa. This time he’s in Lamu, the ancient Swahili town on the north-eastern corner of Kenya, …

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The Gloriously Glabrous Madagascan Rubber Vine

From his location in the Swahili coastal town of Lamu, in north-eastern Kenya, Gus (the African Plant Hunter) talks us through the difference between “glabrous” and “puberulent” leaves, in the context of the striking-looking Madagascan Rubber Vine. If these terms are new to you, and you’d like to impress your friends by throwing obscure botanical …

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The Extraordinary Multi-Purpose Coconut Tree

From its humble origins in south-west Asia, the coconut has spread all over the tropical world, and is synonymous with beaches and surf. While holidaying in Lamu, Kenya, with his family, Gus, the African Plant Hunter, dons a Kenyan kikoyi and takes time out to explore the reasons behind the success of this remarkable tree. …

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Brewing beer without hops – African plant-based substitute!

As all home-brewers will tell you, it sucks when the hops run out just as you’re reaching the boil. But not every brew has to be made with hops. Here’s a handy substitute in the form of an unusual, sausage-shaped African fruit. Handy if you happen to be home-brewing in African bush, that is. Here’s …

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