Updated: Oct 13
Zumbani - Lippia Javanica. Also known as the fever tea
as it has strong fever reducing properties
A gift of the pandemic has been that out of the initial fear for our own health and well-being we have done more research around what it actually takes to stay healthy; how to let food be our medicine and which simple remedies can support us in strengthening our immune system. Much of what we are finding is in deep resonance with indigenous and traditional ways. Much is in line with what we have known for a long time, but not always practiced.
This has now been the time to begin to practice with big shifts in the everyday diet of people in the village. Many more families are now fermenting foods - some are using the traditional fermented foods like mahewu or sour milk; others are experimenting with sauerkraut and kimchi enjoying finding new ways to ferment a simple cabbage. The indigenous teas are making a big come back.
Tsitsi, our centre manager, is so excited to discover that the zumbani that grows outside her window has more anti-oxidants than the rooibos tea she used to buy in the shops, and it taste much better!
Out of our exploration we created a simple health guide, which we have shared through Gateway Zimbabwe. It has received such positive feedback and has been shared in communities across Zimbabwe and also into the continent. It has inspired many in researching and returning to more of their indigenous foods and indigenous medicines. A real return to these will surely go a long way in reducing people actually falling ill, but can also serve to support people when they do get sick. We are not seeking to replace the role of the medical establishment, but the reality in Zimbabwe is that our hospitals and clinics are under staffed, and short of medicine and so to shift underlying practices towards greater health and well-being is key for a sustainable future of Zimbabwean communities.
Christina and Enock demonstrating how to make sauerkraut - fermented Cabbage