Did You Know South Africa Is Rich in Plants Used for Skincare?

People have been using plants in skincare for thousands of years, for cleansing, perfuming, beautifying and healing. Today, plants contribute significantly to the beauty and medicinal industry, which is worth billions of dollars. Though orthodox medicine can treat many skin disorders, traditional herbal medicines and cosmetics remain popular especially in rural areas where they are part of people's culture.

In South Africa, it is estimated that about 27 million people still rely partly on traditional medicine. And more than 3,000 indigenous plants have been reported as having traditional medicinal uses. More than 90 indigenous South African plants have been evaluated for their commercial potential. Of these traditionally used plants, 32% are traded in traditional medicine markets and contribute an estimated U.S.$201,4 million to the South African economy annually, write Abiodun Olusola Omotayo, Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu, Peter Tshepiso Ndhlovu and Wilfred Otang-Mbeng for The Conversation.

InFocus

The castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) .

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