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Herbal Drugs

The Herbal Drugs Research Unit, based at Tshwane University of Technology, uses modern scientific techniques to understand the true value of South Africa’s indigenous botanical assets in medicine. The Unit’s research provides the knowledge needed to increase the development of phytomedicines (herbal-based traditional medicine).

Key focus areas

  • Unlocking and advancing the potential socio-economic value of the country’s indigenous resources to benefit all South Africans;
  • Technologically advanced scientific research to develop accessible information on herbal medicines;
  • Promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of herbal medicines;
  • Identifying the best herbal extraction techniques;
  • Documenting the chemical characteristics (chemotypes) of local medicinal plants;
  • Using the natural characteristics (biomarkers) of medicinal plants to create quality assurance protocol standards;
  • Creating an accessible online database of commercially important indigenous plants; Promoting ongoing research on South Africa’s medicinal plants; and
  • Producing a reliable resource on the potential toxicity of certain herbal extracts.

Prof Alvaro Viljoen
Unit Director
  • +27 12 382 6360