Spekboom Plant Environmental Benefits – South Africa. The Spekboom or Pork Bush (Portulacaria Afra) is a versatile, evergreen plant with numerous health benefits, especially to the environment. Spekboom is indigenous to South Africa. It is a resilient plant found predominantly in the semi-arid Karoo region of the Eastern Cape. The plant can also fit in most types of environments – from desserts to rain forests – due to its unique photosynthetic procedures. Spekboom propagates very easily, and a broken-off branch can quickly grow roots and create a new plant.

The Spekboom is also called Pork Bush, Elephant Food and Dwarf Jade Plant. Although similar in appearance to the “Jade Plant” (Crassula ovata), it is not related. The Jade Plant is toxic to horses, dogs and cats, as well as mildly toxic to humans, in some cases, with skin contact. The Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) is edible to humans and other animals.

This Proudly South African Plant is easy to grow indoors (in pots, in bright light to direct sunlight), in your garden, as an excellent, hardy hedge (responds well to pruning), and cultivated as a bonsai.

SPEKBOOM PLANT ENVIRONMENTAL & HEALTH BENEFITS:

  1. HEAL THE ENVIRONMENT BY HELPING TO PURIFY THE AIR:
    Helps fight pollution – one of the best carbon sequestrators in the world.
    Improves the quality of breathable air.
    Fight against climate change. Hectare for hectare, Spekboom thicket is ten times more effective than the Amazon rainforest at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world.
  2. EDIBLE, WITH A HIGH NUTRITIONAL VALUE:
    It is a favoured food of black rhinos, elephants and kudus.
    Spekboom flowers (pink) are nectar-rich and provide food for many birds and insects, including endangered bees.
    Commonly eaten by humans in Southern Africa, usually as one component of a salad or a soup. (It should not to be confused with the jade plant, which is mildly toxic).
    Popular Cape Town restaurants (like the Pot Luck Club) use this succulent as accents to their beautifully crafted dishes.
  3. MEDICINAL USES:
    Citrus or lemon-like flavour that will help cool you down during a long day’s hiking in the arid Karoo.
    Can be used to treat dehydration and exhaustion, as used traditionally (sucking a leaf to quench thirst, treat exhaustion, dehydration and heatstroke).
    Using crushed leaves to provide relief for blisters.
    Chewing leaves can treat a sore throat and mouth infections.
    Juiced leaves are used as an antiseptic and to soothe skin ailments such as pimples, rashes, insect stings and sunburn.
    (the content is merely for information purposes and should not be taken as medical truth).
  4. CONSERVATION:
    Landscape restoration projects – the roots act to compact the soil, preventing it from being washed away.
    Restore degraded landscapes, focusing on the planting of Spekboom in previously overgrazed areas.

REFERENCES:
briefly.co.za/25761-5-spekboom-health-benefits-improve-health-2020.html
www.shamwari.com/5-amazing-facts-about-spekboom/
www.samara.co.za/blog/five-things-didnt-know-spekboom/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulacaria_afra