He’s a Walking Herbal Encyclopedia!

Cactus Plant

A flower on the spiny, cactus-like Bushman’s Hat plant Dr.  Mawanda saw growing on the side of the road in Africa.  I was amazed he even spotted it!

He’s a walking encyclopedia of herbs.

I took a drive with him, and he recognized every plant and tree along the road.

At one point, we even turned around so he could show me a flowering Bushman’s Hat plant he had spotted tucked off the side of the road. We were doing over 60 miles an hour at the time. I don’t even know how he saw it.

He also has a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutrition from the University of Beijing.

His name is Prince Dr. David H.M.J. Mawanda, and he’s the chief production and research officer for SEFA Organic, an organic and natural health products company here in Kampala, Uganda.

Many Years of Herbal Healing

Dr. Mawanda has been using his knowledge to heal Africans naturally for more than 20 years now:

• Opened the Chinese Medical Center of Kampala in 1994.

• Formed natural medicine development organization called NAMEDO in 1999. It has been the representative of Action for Natural Medicine (ANAMED), an international Germany-based group that helps train local communities and health centers worldwide.

• NAMEDO has also worked with the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (www.uwec.ug) to educate people about natural medicine. Dr. Mawanda was appointed consultant on herbal medicine and healing plants.

• Created the well-known medicinal plant reference “Family Medicinal Plant Gardens in the Rwenzori Region” in 2005.

He also teaches through the Plaskett International Nutrition College.

Dr. Mawanda is very interested in bringing Africa’s healing plants to the rest of the world, and he has a lot of experience in commercially producing herbs. He’s researched and created himself many of the formulas SEFA sells.

I was so impressed with Dr. Mawanda that we’re going to set up a computer at SEFA Organics that’s connected directly to my Wellness Research Foundation. I want to facilitate as much regular communication with him and his team as I can.

He’ll be helping us research and work on some of the new supplements we’re formulating from what I’ve learned during my time in Africa.

For example, one of Dr. Mawanda’s favorite healing herbs comes from a little shrub you’d hardly notice, but that holds a big secret.

Its Latin name is Aspalathus linearis, and in Africa they call it “rooibos” (ROY-boss).

When I visited South Africa last week, I had a foaming “red cappuccino” made with ground rooibos leaf. It was creamy and tasted great.

Dr. Sears with Cappuccino

My foaming cup of “rooibos” cappuccino.

For centuries, locals have brewed “red tea” from this unique plant that grows only around South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains.

They use it for digestive complaints, seasonal allergies, nervousness, and poor sleep. They also apply the plant topically to soothe and moisturize their skin.

Outsiders didn’t “discover” red tea – or rooibos – until the 20th century. Even then, no one really studied its healthful properties. So this herb sat on the back burner for many years.

But recently, scientists have been taking a closer look at red tea. And they’ve uncovered some impressive properties.

Red tea is rich in the rare antioxidant aspalathin. Animal studies show it could lower the risk of heart disease 1 it promotes a healthy immune system, and it supports production of SOD – one of your body’s most powerful antioxidants.2 It also promotes DNA health. 3

I mention rooibos because it’s one of the few African healing herbs you can actually get in the West right now.

It’s becoming well-known as an anti-aging ingredient in skin serums. Rooibos reduces wrinkles,4 stops itching, and soothes and moisturizes.

Many health-food stores have this remarkable herb in the form of tea, and there’s a company called RedEspresso that sells rooibos you can make tea and other “red” drinks with.

You can also get it from various online resellers, such as Beealive, who makes a rooibos “antioxidant drink.”

As a supplement, rooibos is fairly uncommon, but you can get the extract in capsules and in a tincture. For capsules, I recommend 100mg per day. If you want to take a tincture, a quarter teaspoon is a good start.

If you want a “red cappuccino” like I had, simply use your rooibos tea to make an espresso shot with an espresso maker or French press. Then add equal parts milk and foamed milk, and top with a little cinnamon.

1. Marnewick J, et. al. “Effects of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) on oxidative stress and biochemical parameters in adults at risk for cardiovascular disease.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jan 7;133(1):46-52.
2. McKay DL and Blumberg JB. “A review of the bioactivity of South African herbal teas: rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia).” Phytother Res. 2007 Jan;21(1):1-16.
3. Baba H, et al. “Studies of … effects of Rooibos tea in rats.” Pediatr Int. 2009 Oct;51(5):700-4. Epub 2009 Mar 27.
4. Chuarienthong P, et al. “Clinical efficacy comparison of anti-wrinkle cosmetics containing herbal flavonoids.” Int J Cosmet Sci. 2010 Apr;32(2):99-106.