Online Course in Phytomedicine and Natural Products
Brief Description
Online Course in Phytomedicine and Natural Products aims to provide you with the practical and specialised skills in the discovery of new and natural products from plants as well as their derivative uses especially in the health and agricultural sectors.
The course will enable you to work on the interface between a specialised research environment and the practical problem-solving area of phytomedicine production in the pharmaceutical industry.
Phytomedicine is a multidisciplinary and collaborative field that incorporates plant science, phytochemistry and pharmacology.
The course also focuses on the safety and efficacy issues around commonly used phytomedicines, with a particular emphasis on pharmaceutical applications.
Learning Outcomes
After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:
  • Have comprehensive insight into the field of Phytomedicine and a familiarity with the relevant literature.
  • Should have gained knowledge on pharmacological action of low and high molecular plant constituents.
  • Will have learnt different bioassays used in the laboratory to scientifically prove or reject the claims made on traditional use of medicinal plants for various ailments. This includes antimicrobial bioassays and antityrosinase assays.
  • Will have learnt practical aspects related to the manufacture of plant based drugs, quality control and Phyto-drug formulation.
Course Content
South Africa and the worlds pharmaceutical, phyto-drug industries are growing and we believe that there will be substantial opportunities for us to contribute a new guild of excellent graduates to benefit this industry.
Africa has a rich source of medicinal plants. Perhaps, the best known species is Phytolacca dodecandra. Extracts of the plant, commonly known as End, are used as an effective molluscicide to control schistosomiasis. Other notable examples are Catharanthus roseus, which yield anti-tumour agents such as vinblastine and vincristine; and Ricinus communis, which yields the laxative- castor oil. In Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa, Harpagophytum procumbens is produced as a crude extract for export. Similarly, Hibiscus sabdariffa is exported from Sudan and Egypt.
Extracts of Pelargonium species are being exported to Germany from South Africa and it has gained a high reputation for its use for bronchitis.
Appetite suppressant from a South African cactus, Hoodia gordoni is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials.
One of our main interests is to better understand the biological effects of medicinal plants used by South Africans to discover new lead compounds for future drug development.
Our activities involve biological testing of plant extracts, the isolation of their active components and, ultimately, their clinical validations.
We focus on well-defined plant extracts, which are used for specific illnesses.We live in the country with the highest diversity of plant species in the world about 25 000 different species are found in South Africa (1/10 of Worlds population).
Our indigenous people therefore, had a powerful resource for their experimentation.
South Africa might not have the economic resources and scientific development of the first world, but the synergism between our indigenous knowledge and biodiversity might perhaps make us worthy competitors in the race to develop new medicines.
Phytomedicine course will enable the students to have better understanding on all the aforesaid aspects.
Entry Requirements
Prospective delegates should at least have a Bachelors Degree or B-Tech, or a national senior certificate (matric certificate) with five years experience in the relevant industry will be considered under exceptional circumstances.
Candidates will be selected by a steering committee and preference will be given to applicants who hold a degree or diploma.
Course Number:
Catalogue and Category:
Environmental Management and Geophysics
Who Should attend:
  • Students interested in Medicinal Plant Sciences.
  • Employers at pharmaceutical industries, alternative therapy treatment organisations such as naturopath, homeopath, herbal, food and cosmetic industries etc.,
  • entrepreneurs at pharmaceutical industries.
Delivery Mode:
Blended, Online
Contact Days: