Tours and Workshops

Jean-Francois Sobiecki, (B.Sc.Hons. EthnoBot., UJ), one of South Africa’s leading specialist ethnobotanists (medicinal plant researchers) and a traditionally trained herbalist healer (Inyanga) offers a full day guided traditional medicine tour of the Johannesburg Muti (medicinal plant market) and then the beautiful Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve in the South of Johannesburg to explore and learn about African Traditional Healing and Medicine practices.

International visitors:

Private Full Day Tour (9:30 to 4:30pm) with Jean: $230 (1 person), 2 persons: $215 per person. Discounted prices: For group Full Day Tour (3 or more people): $195 per person.

South African Citizens: individuals R2600, groups: 2 or more: R1800 per person

To book this rare and stimulating tour contact Jean on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,

+27 76 163 0504.






South African medicinal plants and traditional healing mentoring


Jean as an ethnobotanist and plant medicine healer mentors individuals on the use of Southern African traditional plant medicines for healing and growth, having being taught these medicines by his late teacher Mrs.L.Maponya who he knew for 14 years.  


Who is the mentoring process for?

For people who require a transformative healing process (for psycho-spiritual integration), healer initiates-twasa's needing ubulawu initiation and training on the use of the main classes of South African traditional medicines and those who want to learn to use medicinal plants for self medication and health promotion. The latter persons are not required to take initiation medicines themselves as it is not a healing process for them.

Therefore, it is important to know why you are wanting to do this training and what you will be using the knowledge for which needs to be conveyed to Jean to help you best get what you need from the training. 


What does the mentoring involve?

The training involves learning South African medicinal and initiation plant use.

Training sessions are usually 5-6 hrs at a local nature reserve/muti market where instruction and teaching will be done, with meetings or correspondence between sessions for initiates and those undergoing healing. The training is intensive.

The sessions will involve teaching about the most important medicinal plants used in South African traditional medicine and particulary for initiates the 4 major classes of initiation South African traditional medicines (cleansing, opening, strengthening and protection), usage info: dosages, preparations methods, practical demonstration and instruction on how to use the medicines and for initiates providing the medicines themselves, as well as the essential monitoring, mentoring and guidance in and between sessions.

The initiation medicines include: phalaza vomiting medicines with ubulawus’ and other cleansing medicines, steaming (futa), bathing (geza)  kota (powder ingestion) and burning inhaling medicines.

During the process Jean will also instruct on other popular medicinal plant use for treating various conditions, umhlonyane: artemisia afra for infections, zifozonke for digestive issues etc. 


How will I know if it is what I need?

This will depend on your purpose of doing the training. Healing with the medicines will require a longer process than merely learning plants for interest, and the length of time varies on the individuals progress.

Those wanting to use the knowledge for applied research should inform me as access benefit sharing (ABS) agreements are required by research institutions who will be using indigenous knowledge for research applications.

For those wanting to embark on this training are required to have a preliminary meeting-discussion with Jean to ascertain your needs.


What will I need to do this process?

For those doing the the ubulawu initiation healing process, discipline, focus and the intention to heal is necessary. During the initiation training and while using ubulawu it is important to dedicate to the process by abstaining from new intimate relationships or new sexual partners, usual entertainment, alcohol, and certain food restrictions that will depend on the individual. Spiritual practice needs to be the focus of this time. 


Do I qualify as a traditional healer after this process?

No. The training is not a qualification to become a traditional healer and does not result in one being an isangoma but is thorough training on the plants medicines and how to heal with them. You will need to continue your study and undergo other processes if you want to become a practicing traditional healer, in fact you never stop learning. I often train twasas who have not had good training on the herbs or who want to boost their knowledge. Sangoma training (if that is your path) is long-term learning and practice on how to deal with clients, conducting consultations, etc and requires more training, from 6 months to 5 years depending on the rate and competency of learning: e.g. either living with teacher or away from her/him.


What is the cost of the program?

The medicinal plant training for healer initiates costs between R3500 to R9000 depending on the prior knowledge and training of the person and so will need to be individualy assessed. The training will entail visits to the muti market, nature reserve, sessions at Jeans Home practice as well as email or phone correspondence (monitoring) of healing process between sessions ie Ubualwu. The price includes not only mentoring but the medicines as well. For those wanting individual sessions more for self interest health promotion costs are R2600 for a full day training.  

For those wanting to embark on this healing and learning process email Jean at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




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