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Ambiguities in the making of an African Medicine: clinical trials of Sutherlandia frutescens (L.) R.Br (Lessertia frutescens).

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Abstract:

This paper attends to the large and heterogenous array of people and things that come together in the making of a medicinal plant, Sutherlandia frutescens (Lessertia frutescens) as an African medicine through clinical trials. It is a messy, contested and ambiguous process and is constantly being revised and is always open to surprises and the possibility of failure. I use Sutherlandia to introduce some of the issues that complicate the landscapes of knowledge in South Africa in relation to phytomedicines and pharmaceuticals.

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