Daniel, our sweet and highly knowledgeable guide, was stopping every few meters to show us another medicinal plant, and another and another … And all this on a short walk down to Temi waterfalls.
I really had no idea! When I looked around all I could see were masses of green plants in different shapes and sizes. I couldn’t imagine that so many of them can heal.
Over time I discovered that almost anyone who grew up in the villages (rather than the city) knew exactly which leaves to pick on the way and chew them to relieve a stomach ache, and which stem to chew on for headache relief. It’s basic knowledge known by everybody, and a part of everyday life.
More complex herbal remedies are prepared by traditional healers that are initiated by the elder healers in their tribe. The knowledge is passed down the generations.
Just like my friend Digna from the village of Shimbwe, my Kilimanjaro home. Digna was initiated into the role of a healer by her bibi (grandmother). She will only pass on her valuable knowledge to her daughters and granddaughters. People travel distances to see Digna for a cure for various diseases and pains.
Mount Meru’s healing bounty
From curing stomach aches, through severe respiratory illnesses, strengthening the body, relieving women during breastfeeding, and to more trivial uses such as brewing the traditional beer, and using herbal toilet paper…
The most dramatic story Daniel our guide told us, was about a local snake whose venom will kill you within 15 minutes! In the very same area where the snake lives, grows a plant that if you find it within these 15 minutes – you will stay alive!!!
This is how Mother Earth loves us. Every disease has a cure, and the cure is often really close by …
I was really very moved by the abundance. Sure, I know about medicinal herbs, but never experienced walking next to so many in the same place… It makes me feel very grateful for this beautiful world we live in.
I’ve collected for us just a few examples from all the healing plants we encountered on our hike:
And keep reading till the end, and find out which tree is sacred to the tribes around mount Meru…
Diombea forest tree
The leaves and bark of this tree are cooked in soup for generally strengthening the body and preventing illness, and also for curing chest problems.
It’s poisonous, and animals know not to eat the fruit. But it’s also healing.
Roots – are boiled and then you drink the water alone, without the roots- to cure stomach problems.
Fruits- are chewed and then you spit them out, for tooth aches.
Please don’t try this yourselves! You are not local. don’t play around!
Boiling the leaves for washing the hair and face. A natural cosmetic product for women…
Quinine tree is the very famous cure for Malaria!
A less known use is for fermenting the traditional beer of some tribes…
Wild toilet paper
Natural and ecological toilet paper. Very soft leaves 🙂
Making soap from leaves
The guys called it Maasai soap. this was fun! Watch till the end to see how well Bariki was able to froth the leaves:
Maasai soap🌿 סבון מסאי כמה אמא אדמה שופעת ואוהבת! כל מה שנזדקק לו נמצא סביבנו זמין ופשוט... כותבת לכם פוסט מיוחד לכבוד 🌍יום אמא אדמה🌍 שנחגג מחר 🙂 אפרסם עוד מעט...פורסם על ידי Ella Harari ב- יום חמישי, 21 באפריל 2022
There are some trees who are sacred to different tribes. Mostly to more then on tribe. The very impressive African cape mahogany is one of these special trees.
People come to the ancient trees, the same once their own foremothers and forefathers used to come to. They come to pray, to ask for healing. to connect to the spirits of their ancestors for guidance an protection.
I will write more about sacred trees. It’s a whole amazing story for a separate post.
If you wish to make the same tour with the amazing Daniel, to learn about the healing plenty and of course to enjoy the hike and the waterfall, all you need to do is to contact Victor, Daniel’s brother who arranged our whole day.
Contact Shimboni Africa tours.