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What is Sutherlandia?

I read an interesting email I got from a website I had purchased some pure African herbs from a while ago, called AfricanBotanicals.com.  The herb in the article was one I had never heard of called Sutherlandia.  It seemed like a long name, and it sounded intriguing because of its slightly exotic and complicated name, so I decided to read about this new (to me) herb and what its indications are. 

While I don’t think it has any use for me personally, since it mentioned that it stimulates appetite, it could have some very wonderful implications for cancer patients and others who are in danger of succumbing to wasting away due to a degenerative disease. 

Here’s some of the other benefits that AfricanBotanicals mentions about their Sutherlandia herb :

  • Mood
    Sutherlandia decreases anxiety and irritability and it elevates mood.
  • Appetite and weight
    It is an established fact that up to a third of cancer patients succumb to the wasting syndrome, rather than the actual tumor mass. Appropriate doses of Sutherlandia dramatically improves appetite, and weight-gain can be expected in wasted patients. The first 5 kg gain is common after six weeks of treatment. In patients who are not wasted, weight-gain is not usual.
  • Energy levels and exercise tolerance
    Sutherlandia typically improves the energy levels and exercise tolerance of patients, and gives an enhanced sense of well-being.
  • Respiratory
    Sutherlandia is traditionally believed to shorten the duration and severity of ‘flu’ and it can also be taken as a convalescent tonic for post-‘flu debility’. Sutherlandia has traditionally been used in both the prevention and treatment of the symptoms of asthma and TB, including wasting, and bronchitis.
  • Gastrointestinal
    Sutherlandia has been used to treat symptoms of ‘heartburn’, reflux oesophagitis, gastritis and peptic ulceration. Herbalists say that Sutherlandia is for ‘nerves and stomach ulcers’. Sutherlandia was historically used to treat diarrhoea and dysentary, and it was used as a supportive remedy for people with unspecified liver conditions. It is slightly purgative at higher doses and has therefore been used as a gentle remedy for constipation.
  • Urogenital Tract
    Sutherlandia was used to treat urinary tract infections, including gonorrhoea, and cystitis, particularly what would nowadays be termed ‘interstitial cystitis’.
  • Diabetes
    Sutherlandia is widely used to this day by rural herbalists to treat diabetes.
  • Musculo-Skeletal
    Sutherlandia has traditionally been used to treat gout, rheumatoid arthritis (known to Zulu healers as “the disease of the lady teachers” ) and osteoarthritis.
  • Cancer
    To this day Sutherlandia is used as a traditional treatment to improve the quality of life in patients with malignant tumours.

 

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