By Ruvimbo Jeche
The effects of novel covid-19 virus has this year seen an increasing number of people shifting from all other teas to zumbani. Purportedly it is said to be helpful is dealing with the flue-like symptoms of the pandemic. However, this article is going to look into the benefits of Zumbani in general, not limited to it’s medicinal ability in dealing with covid-19 symptoms.
The leaves and twigs of the herb are used as tea, mainly to treat coughs, colds, fever and bronchitis. The plant can be grown as a repellent windbreak on the edges of gardens. A pesticide can be made from the crushed leaves and branches. Zumbani also contains zinc which is ideal in fighting prostate cancer and prostate enlargement disorders. It is also important in detoxifying the body, removing cholesterol and blood clots in the veins. Zumbani also acts as an anti-oxidant especially when mixed with makoni tea to slow the effects of high and low blood pressure.
It is a woody shrub reaching 2m. It is a wild herb and interestingly it can be grown at home as well. Saving yourself from moving around in the wild searching and harvesting the natural shrub, it can be harvested right in your backyard as well. This is best grown from cuttings when the temperatures are high towards the rainy season. Zumbani tolerates most soils but prefers full sun and well-drained soils. The plant should be pruned regularly to encourage bushing.
The leaves have a lemon smell when crushed. They are harvested before they dry up. Afterwards, the leaves are dried away from direct sunlight- usually under a shed to avoid loss of nutritional properties. Upon drying, water is sprinkled on the leaves to give them color. Two or three weeks later, they will be ready for processing into tea through grinding after which the tea will be ready for grinding.
Zumbani has so many benefits and should become the mainstay in every Zimbabwean herb garden. As we prepare to enter the rainy season, make sure to leave a little room in your garden for Zumbani
Photo Credit : https://tuningin.co.za/2015/01/28/medicinal-plant-lippia-javanica-fever