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Millions of years ago, Madagascar separated from the other continents and evolved separately. Today it has about 12,000 plants most of which can be found nowhere else in the world. Many of these plants have medicinal properties, but their habitat is under threat.
In the town of Tolear, people rely on herbs as the nearest hospital is far away. Traditional healers combine plants and a little bit of magic to cure patients.
“The forest helps us to cure all illnesses,” Dimbiraza, a traditional healer, told Reuters Africa Journal. “So we need to preserve the forest everywhere in the world, not just in Madagascar, in the world because the forest is nature. It’s our second God. There’s God up there and the forest is our second God.”
The forest around Tolear is like a huge natural pharmacy.
Malagasy companies such as Homeopharma manufacture plant products for sale at home and for export to Europe and the United States.