Nature is incredible. It has the power to recharge your batteries after a long day and sustain human life. Thankfully, South Africa is home to a variety of edible indigenous plants. Equipping your garden with these delectable treasures are a great way to add fresh ingredients to your recipes while simultaneously creating an eco-friendly habitat for local wildlife to thrive.
Here are five edible indigenous South African plants that you can add to your pantry:
Confetti Bush (Coleonema Pulchellum)
If you’re looking to add a touch of sweetness to your dishes, then toss this sweet-smelling herb into your recipes. The Confetti Bush is often used as a way to neutralise odours and freshen up your space, but it can also be added to any savoury dish for a little pizzazz. Strip the leaves from the stems (similar to Thyme).
African Wormwood (Artemisia Afra)
This traditional African plant is often used in cocktails, iced teas, and herbal drinks, adding a strong flavour to any drink or meal. It’s also a plant that many South Africans use when treating symptoms related to colds and flu. If you’re suffering from a nasty earache, fresh leaves can be rolled up and inserted into your ear to alleviate your earache.
Wood Sorrel (Oxalis Pes-Caprae)
Wood Sorrel is a tiny green plant that goes by many names, including Goat’s Foot and Buttercup Oxtails. This vibrant plant tastes a bit like lemon and will definitely spruce up any salad. Keep in mind that it is considered a weed, so be cautious when adding this to your garden as it will grow uncontrollably if it’s not maintained. It also contains oxalic acid, which gives off a sour taste, but it’s best to consume this plant in small quantities.
Balderjan (Mentha Longifolia)
The alternative name for this plant is Horsemint, and it is well-known for its peppermint aroma and taste. It’s a great substitute if you don’t have mint leaves in your pantry and can help ease health issues such as asthma, respiratory conditions and a stuffy nose. You can add some raw Balderjan to a fruity salad for an interesting flavour or blend it with a delicious syrup.
Tassel Berry (Antidesma Venosum)
This shrub-like tree will be the perfect addition to any garden. The fruits of this tree are edible but not easily digested and have a somewhat acidic and sweet taste. Decorate your space with the branches or use the bark and leaves to cure your stomach issues.
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