For every human illness, a plant exists which is the cure

South African Healing Plants

In celebration of Spring and the month of change we’d like to pay tribute to our South African fauna and flora. South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world and inhabitants have for centuries employed the help of indigenous medicinal plants.
These healing plants treated all sorts of maladies including cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis as well as more benign complaints such as the common cold, arthritis, menstrual problems, stomach issues, to ward off lighting, evil powers and chase away mosquitoes and dogs.
The philosopher and teacher Rudolf Steiner once said,
“For every human illness, somewhere in the world there exists a plant which is the cure.”

African Ginger (Siphonochilus aethiopicus) is a popular Zulu herbal medicine that was believed to offer protection against snakes and lightning. More conventionally it was found to aid digestion, relieve sinusitis and asthma as well as reducing fevers by inducing sweating.

African Potato Plant. Traditional healers have used it as a muthi to treat delirium, ‘bad blood’ (in diabetes), PMS and as a parasiticide. Conventional uses include application of a deep penetrating ointment to treat symptoms associated with arthritis, psoriasis and fibromyalgia. It is also beneficial against skin conditions such as eczema, acne, scars, burns, rashes, bed sores, warts, stretch marks, sunburn, insect bites and dry skin.

Buchu has long been described as a “miracle herb” and medicinal plant in South Africa, being used for centuries as a folk remedy or “boereraat” for anything from urinary tract infections to nervousness.

Buchu has long been used as a primary treatment for multiple diseases and conditions in various countries, including South Africa, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, but its favour declined in the modern era with the development of more effective western solutions.

The herb is currently enjoying renewed interest, due to more and more people seeking alternative natural health remedies, with social media being abuzz with photos of home-made Buchu edibles, such as smoothies, teas and even salads where the leaves are used as garnish.

Camphor bush, Tarchonanthus camphoratus is also known as leleshwa, African wild sage or ‘vaalbos’ (Afrikaans). It’s name refers to the strong camphor smell of the leaves. It is a small tree with grey leaves and grows between 2 m and 9 m high. It’s creamy white flowers form white fluffy seed heads which were used to stuff pillows. Wild animals can often be seen rubbing against the bush. Studies indicated that these animals suffer less from insects. Similarly, it is used as bedding by the Maasai people who believes it aids in deterring insects and promotes deep sleep.

Traditional uses by the Khoi and early Cape settlers included treating stomach ailments, as a mood enhancer and as an relaxant. It was also thought to help with hair growth, breaking addictions and letting go of negative emotions. Similar to rosemary, Cape Snowbush has an invigorating effect and acts as an antidepressant, also relieving feelings of stress, anxiety and anger.

Cape Snowbush oil relieves spasms (muscle, respiratory, digestive) and is effective to stop bleeding. Its antiseptic and antiviral properties protect the body against infections. It is also used as a diuretic (to expel toxins from the body), treats coughs and colds and soothes headaches. Rubbing the leaves, the plant gives off a fresh camphor smell.

Also known as ‘Everlasting’ by some, locals call it ‘Imphepho’ (Xhosa, Zulu), or ‘Kooigoed’ (Khoisan, Afrikaans). Traditionally it was used to invoke ancestors, clear negative energy from rooms or to fumigate sick rooms. As it repels insects, Helichrysum Oil was used as bedding and helped against insomnia. It is said to relieve tension and headaches and can be used to treat coughs, colds and fever. It has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it an essential in a first-aid kit to treat insect bites and even spider, scorpion and snake bites.

Helichrysum essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which is ideal for tendonitis, tissue pain and rheumatism. It is also antifungal, antiseptic and due to its regeneration properties can aid the healing of scar tissue, dermatitis and acne.

Moringa leaves, gums, roots, flowers as well as kernels have been utilized for managing tissue tenderness, cardiovascular and liver maladies, normalize blood glucose and cholesterol. It has also profound antimicrobial and anti-TB activities. In developing countries, the moringa leaf powder is commonly used as a medicinal herb, rather than food as in Asian populations. It is often taken as a supplement by HIV-infected people to enhance immunity and manage opportunistic infections.

The caffeine-free tea reputed to have medicinal properties including lowering the incidence of cancer. It is safe to use on babies and is used to treat stomach cramps, skin irritation and nappy rash. The polyphenols (organic chemicals with antioxidant properties) in rooibos have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-mutagenic (prevents mutation) properties and can protect the body from free radicals which can cause cancer and heart disease. Rooibos is a good source of antioxidants and is the only known source of a potent antioxidant called aspalathin, which may assist in treating diabetes by balancing blood sugar levels and improving the absorption of glucose.

Medical disclaimer

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.


So You’re interested in flying?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions you might have before your first paragliding experience.
– Where do we meet?
The Winelands Standard and Cross-Country tandem experiences meet at the following locations. Make sure you have the right one!
FRANSCHHOEK paragliding location is in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, we will meet at the parking area and hut at the start of the Mont Rochelle hike ( on Franschhoek pass. Every person who wants to enter the reserve to fly must pay R70 CASH at the hut as a conservation fee. There are no shops but outside toilets are available.
DU TOITS KLOOF paragliding location is at the last look out stop before entering the kloof on Du Toits Kloof pass(R101). There are unfortunately no shops or toilets near the launch area.
PAARLROCK we meet at the Bootleggers at Frater Square on Paarl’s Main road. From there we drive up Jan Phillips drive to Paarl Rock in an open air game viewer style vehicle. If you prefer you can meet us at Paarl Rock.
CAPE TOWN Please meet us at the Signal hill view point at the end of Signal hill drive ( There is a parking area with some public toilets near the launch area. Be sure to ask for Winelands Paragliding.
The Hike and Fly meeting locations are shared with you when you make a booking.
– Where do we fly?
The WINELANDS Paragliding experience can take place at any of the three locations mentioned above; Du Toits Kloof pass, Franschhoek and Paarl Rock. Where we are able to fly on the day of you booking is 100% dependant on the weather and wind direction and speed. The locations are all just over half an hour’s drive apart which allows for quick access.
The CAPE TOWN Paragliding experience can take place at either Signal hill or Lion’s head. Where we are able to fly on the day of you booking is 100% dependent on the weather and wind direction and speed. The two locations are very close to each other and can easily be accessed from the meeting point on Signal hill drive.
– Who can fly?
We can accommodate almost any disabilities for our Winelands Tandem and Cross-country tandem experiences. There is no age restriction anyone can fly. The maximum weight is 135kg. The Hike and Fly required a moderate level of fitness to complete the hikes.
– How do I get my pictures and video?
Your pilot will upload the files directly to the clients phone using a memory card adaptor, no data or connection needed, only approximately 1,5GB of storage space available on the device.
– What must I wear and bring with?
Comfortable trousers and a light jacket is normally sufficient. Please bring comfortable closed hiking shoes or trainers, and sunscreen.
– How does payment work?
We recommend you make full payment when making the booking on Activitar. Payment can be made cash or by credit card on the day. I can also send you a payment request link on WhatsApp that you can simply click on to make a quick and secure payment. If you prefer to pay by EFT, please do so the day before your booking and send us proof of payment to If you require an invoice or receipt, please request that the day before.
– How do we get back to our car?
Unless otherwise arranged we will always return clients to the appropriate meeting point.
– When do we fly?
We fly every day from sunrise to sunset if the weather permits.
– What is your cancellation policy?

Full refund if cancellation notice exceeds 24 hours. Full payment will be taken for cancellation notice less than 24 hours. A full refund will be made if flights are canceled due to weather conditions.

For any other questions or queries contact us!


Top 10 Health Benefits of Paragliding!

As both a recreational and competitive sport, paragliding suspends you from a parachute gliding hundreds of feet above the earth and offering a unique perspective of the surrounding environment. Not only is it a popular activity while on vacation, but it’s also a great sport that offers plenty of health benefits, both physically and mentally.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of paragliding:

Outdoors: Being outdoors is healthy on its own; fresh air, sunlight and exposure to nature all contribute to a boost in the immune system. The  vitamin D from the sun contributes to strong bones and teeth and a healthy immune system. Lack of vitamin D can put you at risk for osteomalacia (soft bones) or osteoporosis (fragile bones).
Adrenaline rush: Being of top of the world, flying through the sky, chances are you will have adrenaline rushing through you. Your body responds to the rush of adrenaline, bringing with it a sense of excitement and a surge of energy. Adrenaline is a survival mechanism, necessary for overall health. You feel excited and energetic, with an increased awareness of the things around you when you are floating in the sky.
Body balance: Paragliding requires the exercise of your core and the deep postural muscles of the trunk and pelvis, and the abductor muscles of the thighs are continuously being conditioned. Paragliding will strengthen all of the muscles in the center of your body, providing more power to your other muscles and reducing the risk of injuries during everyday activities and strenuous exercises.
Upper body strength: It builds upper arm strength in controlling the parachute. Having a strong upper body improves your flexibility, mobility and range of motion. If your upper body strength deteriorates as you age, you are more prone to injuries, disease and a diminished quality of life.
Stress relief: When you are paragliding, you focus on what you are doing and on nothing else. You forget all your worries and the usual distractions of life. This intense focus with the adrenaline rush makes you feel cleansed both mentally and physically.
Burns calories: Paragliding is an energy burning sport, due to the immense adrenaline rush experienced while flying. You can burn 230 calories per hour for an average 150-pound person.
Creates confidence: You know the feeling that you get after you’ve achieved something “big”? Well, imagine that feeling times 10. It’s almost as if you’re a new person afterward. You can gain a life changing confidence boost for trying a new extreme and mind blowing experience.
Facing your fears: If you have a fear of heights, this is a great way to help you realize that you’re stronger than what you think you are. By trying this kind of extreme sport you’re proving to yourself that you are capable of anything that you set your mind to.

Breathtaking sights: When you’re thousands of feet up in the air, taking in nothing but the beauty of the world, the feel of freedom, and the intensity of life, everything about the way you view the world transforms into something much more positive and upbeat.

Freedom: While paragliding, you are literally free from gravity, the ground, your life and emotionally free from stresses, fears, or anything else that may put weight on your shoulders. Not only are you physically floating through the air like a bird but you are mentally floating, getting a healthy high of an adrenaline rush and an overwhelming view of the world below.

Take advantage of these health benefits – book a flight with us!