I'm educated through conventional tertiary schooling (SACS - Cape Town) but my love of nature and medicinal plants really started at 19 years old when I hiked and explored Table Mountian in Cape Town. I met traditional Cape bushdoktors who took me into the bushdoktor training camp above Slangkop in Oceanview, Cape Town. I was taught and apprenticed by Vissie Benjamin, Master healer who was born on Table Mountain and taught by his father, passing on generations of knowledge first hand.
I learnt about many of the 2100 plus plants that are found in the Cape Peninsula region of which at least 10 percent have medicinal uses. I was fascinated by the aromas of the herbaceous wild shrubs like blue flower sage, camphor pelargonium, liquorice buchu, wild rosemary etc and learnt how and when to pick them so that the plants thrived like a garden plant having a good loving pruning. Master Benjamin taught us how to respect roots and how to remove only selected plants, leave the elder roots and the young ones but dig up carefully around selected roots of bulbs that grew too close to each other in order to make space for one to grow to maturity. Flowering plants were not to be picked as they are seeds for the plants survival. Then we were taught how to dry the plants slowly to preserve thier power and how to prepare infusions and decoctions in the correct ratios and strengths according to the patients aliaments and needs. Which plants to boil strong and which plants worked with synergy with thier companion plants. Then treating different ages and body types and how to diagnose ailments and diseases.
Knowing a patient's blood pressure, blood sugar and any allophatic drugs, antibiotics etc was key before any diagnosis was advised and the herbal mix given. It took me 20 years of training before I was ready to be fully qualified as a traditional healer or phytotherapist. I've worked and trained with many renown shangomas, doctors and inyangas around South Africa. I studied S.A. and some international plants chemical properties, uses and warnings over the years. Also grow many plants like Echinacea, Artemisia afra, Sutherlandia, Hypoxis, pelargonium etc organically and infuse them in honey to make medicinal honey.
All my children are home births with me as mid-wife or dulla and I have used natural medicine to build thier immune systems naturally.There is definitely a time and place for allophatic drugs but modern medicine has 'forgotten' its root base through the greed of isolating, synthesizing and then patenting plants chemical constituents for profit.
In these times we need to merge traditional medicine with modern medicine if we really want to win this Covid war in my opinion. Don't for 1 second dare to tell me 'that there's no scientific proof' on any of the plants I'm going to talk about because I'm a scientist after the truth. Open your minds and you decide, your choice for life.