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Blessing´s original notebooks from South Africa published

26 June 2012
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South African Traditional Medicinal Plants from KwaZulu-Natal

South African Traditional Medicinal Plants from KwaZulu-Natal is based on the beautiful notebooks that the Norwegian medical doctor Henrik Greve Blessing wrote when he was visiting the KwaZulu-Natal district in the years 1901-1904.

Blessing was the medical doctor on board the ship Fram that went towards the North Pole with Fridtjof Nansen during the years 1893-96.

In the notebooks he described 98 plants, both botanically and with their local use for illnesses, pains and as agents against poisoning. For most plants the only names given were the Zulu names. The last part of this book is a facsimile of Blessing´s original notebooks. Scientists from Norway and South Africa have identified the plants, taken photographs of them, and described the use of the plants traditionally as well as modern knowledge about effects.

The book is of both cultural, medicinal and pharmaceutical historic interest, and represents part of the historic relations between South Africa and Norway.

 

"Victory awaits him, who has everything in order - luck we call it.  Defeat is definitely due for him, who has neglected to take the necessary precautions - bad luck we call it"

Roald Amundsen

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