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Sutherlandia Frutescens

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Find Calm amidst the Chaos...

An adaptogenic tonic, Sutherlandia Frutescens helps the body find resources to cope with stress, both mental (such as grief and anxiety) and physical (during illness and times of great exertion).This is attributed to the high levels of GABA in Sutherlandia, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter known as the ‘peacemaker chemical’ in the nervous system. GABA in the body is low during times of stress.

It also displays anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.


Sutherlandia Frutescens is a small shrub with beautiful red flowers and large bladder-like pods. It grows in dry regions of Southern Africa and was named after James Sutherland, the first Superintendent of the Edinburgh Botanic Garden.

The Sutherlandia plant has many other names in many other cultures that give us an indication of its uses. Here are just a few of them, and some anecdotes too:

- Kankerbos ('cancerbush') in Afrikaans
- Motlepelo ('bringing back the light') in Sotho
- Lerumo-lamadi ('the spear for the blood') in Northern Sotho

The ancient Zulu name is Insiswa, which translates as 'the one which dispels the darkness'. The wives of slain Zulu warriors used to take Sutherlandia to ease their grief.

The Khoi San of the Cape used an infusion of Sutherlandia to wash wounds and ingested it to bring down fevers.

Sutherlandia was administered during the 1918 flu pandemic (a mix of human and avian flu). It was thought to shorten the duration of the illness and lessen the symptoms.

Presently, Sutherlandia is taken to help the body cope with a range of stress-related conditions, and conditions caused by low levels of GABA, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Panic Attacks
  • Nervous Tension
  • PMT
  • Menopausal Symptoms

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