SPONSORED TICKETS: Sponsorship is available. Send your request to

WHEN: 10 – 12 June 2022
WHERE: Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch (website)

A three-day, integrative, evidence-based, introductory course on indigenous herbal medicine and its safe, effective and sustainable use in clinical practice. This course is open to traditional health practitioners, health and allied health professionals, pharmacists, nursing and veterinary professionals. No previous experience with herbal medicine is required. Limited to 35 delegates.

CPD accreditation of the course is in process.




Select the number of tickets required, and fill in attendee details. Please include your professional details for inclusion on the certificate of attendance.

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for Healthcare Professionals

AIM: To provide an introduction to indigenous plant medicine for healthcare professionals. 

Empowering healthcare professionals to better understand the ancient healing practices of First Nation peoples; to make sound clinical decisions; to provide informed advice and patient education; to support quality products and ethical enterprises; to collaborate on essential research; and to promote local and national policies that nurture the health and wellbeing of our communities, and the planet too.

This course will be followed by a series of organ-system-based courses on indigenous herbal medicine for healthcare professionals.

THEME: The theme for this introductory course is wound healing. This focus allows us to emphasise the wellbeing of the healers, explore basic concepts and preparations used in herbal medicine practice, and empowers delegates to share what they learn with their communities after the course.

TOPICS: Foundational topics covered include the practice of herbal medicine in South Africa – First Nation herbal traditions, lifestyle, and practice; animal self-medication; indigenous food plants; indigenous knowledge systems (IKS); legal framework; economics; ethics; sustainable wild harvesting and biodiversity conservation. Each indigenous herb profile will include information on the plant’s habitat, qualities, traditional use, clinical research, phytochemistry and pharmacology, safety and toxicity, herb-drug interactions, preparations, cultivation, and harvesting. In the practical sessions, we learn to correctly identify the herbs, explore herbal qualities using our senses, and create a variety of herbal preparations such as infusions, decoctions, poultices, plasters, and balms. In the therapeutic sessions, we apply all we have learned to a range of wound types, and minor psychological, respiratory, and digestive disorders.

INDIGENOUS HERBS: This introductory course presents 15 important indigenous medicine plants emphasising those that are local, easily cultivated, and useful for first-aid, minor complaints, and primary healthcare applications.

Agathosma betulina, Aloe ferox, Aloe arborescens, Artemisia afra, Bulbine frutescens, Carpobrotus edulis, Eriocephalus africanus, Lessertia frutescens, Mentha longifolia, Salvia africana, Tulbaghia violacea, Helichrysum odoratissimum, Leonotis leonurus, Lobostemon fruticosus, Olea europaea subsp. africana, Pelargonium graveolens


  • Integrative – presenting both the traditional wisdom and modern science of our indigenous medicine plants.
  • Best-evidence based – including published research, clinical experience, and traditional knowledge.
  • Collaborative – delegates with knowledge and expertise are encouraged to contribute.


Facilitated by a diverse team of experienced healthcare professionals who use indigenous plant medicines in their clinical practice or have a special interest in indigenous herbal medicine.

  • TDr John Ontong – Traditional Health Practitioner
  • Dr Caren Hauptfleisch – Phytotherapy Practitioner
  • Dr Gaynor Grace – Medical Doctor
  • TDr Vulikhaya Sihluku – Traditional Health Practitioner
  • TDr Brian Damonse – Traditional Health Practitioner
  • Dr Jimmy Symmonds – Veterinarian
  • TDr Peter Von Maltitz – Traditional Health Practitioner
  • TDr Noxolo Sekhobo – Traditional Health Practitioner
  • Dr Karen Niszl – Veterinarian
  • TDr Mavuso Gqola – Traditional Health Practitioner
  • Dr Craig Wright – Phytotherapy Practitioner


We are grateful for the support and input from several experts, including –

  • Professor Loretta Feris (University of Pretoria) – legal, indigenous knowledge systems (IKS)
  • Loubie Rusch (Making Kos) – indigenous foods
  • Associate Professor Nox Makunga (University of Stellenbosch) – plant science
  • Dr Rupert Koopman (Botanical Society) – biodiversity conservation

DATE: 10 – 12 June 2022
SCHEDULE: Friday 8.00am – 5.00pm; Saturday 8.00am-5.00pm; Sunday 8.30am-3.00pm
Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch (website)
ACCOMODATION: Please contact the Sustainability Institute to find out about local accommodation options.

COST: R4000
Sponsorship is available. Please email us with your motivation.
Access to online course, access to professional online community, CPD accredited certificate of completion, practical materials, handbook, and lunches and teas.
REFUND POLICY: Tickets will be refunded in full if the course is cancelled for any reason. Tickets can be transferred if you cannot attend. Email us to arrange the transfer.

COVID-19:  All requisite COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to. The venue is spacious allowing distancing if needed and outside areas are available for socialising. Hand sanitizer will be provided. Please bring your own mask if required.


“In traditional medicine we learn more about the spiritual attributes of plants than their physiological effects on the body. In the program I learned more about the medicinal aspects of plants. Furthermore, our interactions as professionals from different fields of study also taught me how to better engage with people of different mindsets. I thank you.” – TDr Phozisa Bhosa – Traditional Health Practitioner

“What an incredibly enriching, rewarding, and humbling experience to learn from so many healers, scientists and plant-people. With the plants literally at the centre, we shared and learnt and left rejuvenated and re-connected to ourselves, others, and our wonderful South African plants. A very special experience.” – Dr Craig Wright – Phytotherapy Practitioner

“As a medical doctor, I have never experienced a more insightful and interesting course! I loved that this course gave me a unique insight into the local medicines of our beautiful country, taught by the custodians of the herbs. What a privilege to witness the sharing of ancient healing knowledge and rituals from our traditional healers, in real time. The stories of how these herbs work will stay with me forever.” – Dr Julienne Fenwick – Medical Practitioner.

“The weekend was an immersive, integrative experience with a beautiful interconnection of modern research and ancient wisdom. Hearing the different perspectives of our traditional healers and bush doctors not only empowered me with knowledge to treat my patients with local plants, but also allowed for a deeper healing within myself.” – Dr Karen Niszl – Veterinarian

“Well-initiated and structured Introduction to Herbal Medicine for Healthcare Professionals. Much wisdom, value and integration were shared across platforms by all who attended.” – TDr Lynne van Zyl – Traditional Health Practitioner

“Thank you so much for an absolutely brilliant botanical weekend. Being a newbie to the plant world, I have little information to offer in this area, by am now a gleefully inspired novice.” – Dr Stuart W. Dwyer – Medical Practitioner.


  • Sustainability Institute

We want to ensure an empowering, integrative curriculum and access for all healthcare professionals. We invite individuals and organisations wanting to co-create for the wellbeing of all to partner with us. We need financial support – the cost to run this professional course sustainably is R150 000. We also need expertise in education, administration, marketing, fundraising, editing, WordPress, and Zoom. We would love to hear from you if you want to see this project succeed. Send us an email on


Additional information

Select a Profession

Traditional Herbalist, Phytotherapist, Pharmacist, Veterinarian, Medical Doctor