Documenting and validating the indigenous knowledge on the use of the dwarf sage plant in Namibia
This article is based on research that focussed on the documentation and the validation of indigenous knowledge on the use of the Dwarf Sage plant in Namibia. The purpose of the study was four-fold: (a) to conduct a systematic recording of the body of indigenous knowledge of the Dwarf Sage; (b) to record and document the use of the Dwarf Sage; (c) to document the types of diseases that can be treated with the Dwarf Sage; and (d) to validate the healing properties of the Dwarf Sage.
Interviews were conducted with thirteen respondents belonging to two categories: practitioners (those who use the Dwarf Sage for treating patients) and beneficiaries (those who were treated with the Dwarf Sage). In addition to the interview information, the Dwarf Sage plant was submitted to the analytic laboratory to determine trace elements that could
potentially play a role in wound healing.
The findings revealed that knowledge of the Dwarf Sage plant had been obtained through observation and informal apprenticeship training. All respondents in the two categories: IKS practitioners and the beneficiaries from the Dwarf Sage reported that the plant is used to treat wounds known as Shingles. The results of the laboratory analysis found seven trace elements namely, copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, chromium, arsenic and selenium. The elements that directly play a role in wound healing are copper and zinc; however, it was made known that the other elements complement their efforts in the rapid healing of wounds.
Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, indigenous knowledge systems practitioners, plant-derived medicine, Dwarf Sage, Litogyne, Epaltes gariepina.