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Cancer bush    
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Sutherlandia frutescens

With its scarlet flowers and strange, swollen seed pods, its has a number of common names like balloonpea, peakankerbos, blaasbossie, hoenderbelletji the so called Cancer Bush, is a distinctive plant in the three Cape provinces of South Africa.

The Khoi and Nama people of the southwestern Cape and Karoo used parts of this plant to treat fevers and other ailments, and its medicinal uses were quickly adopted by the Dutch settlers. ‘Kankerbos' has long been used as an old Cape remedy for stomach ailments and internal cancers, and also to treat diabetes, rheumatism, influenza and liver problems. It appears that the traditional procedure has been to boil the leaves, or other parts of the Sutherlandia plant, to make a decoction or powdered herb.

So I thought i would give it a try, since i lived in the Cape actually in the swartland and I had seen some cancer bushes growing on my hikes so I took a walk about 300 meters he he, yes the wonder drug grows like weeds out here, I found quite a few bushes they are very distinct in winter when all the renostervelt is pretty much devoid of colour, with their bright red flowers, I picket some leaves carefully not to damage the plants that I harvested from.

I got home gave the leaves a rinse then popped them in a large saucepan heating it slowly not boiling, low heat, simmering, then left the pot to cool, once it was cooled I bottled it, about 2 litters, this lasted about 2 weeks, I took it after my meals in the evening.

Well first issue was the taste wowzer the name said it all bitterblar (bitter leaf) it was awful and hard to get down so the next batch I added Pelargonium tomentosum a mint flavoured wonder I brew it into my rooibos tea it’s a great taste and amazing in coffee so give it a try.

Anyway getting back to my 2 week adventure it did feel like it had a calming effect on me, not that I am a highly stressed individual , not in the least but it was soothing, appetite seemed to increase, also noticed that sleeping was deeper, I know 2 weeks is not really long enough to give these direct effects but I have always been highly sensitive individual when it comes to environment and pharmaceuticals.

Article posted by: Bossiedokter (21 August 2011) [Send private message]
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