Infections, whether in humans, animals or plants, cause massive problems worldwide, especially in developing countries. For thousands of years man has been using plants for protection against various diseases. Plants are efficient in developing chemical control agents for various pathogens and a significant part of pharmaceutical medicine is based on compounds isolated from plants. In developing countries c. 80% of the people depend on medicinal plants for primary health care. The use of medicinal plants is also growing strongly in the developed world.
Southern Africa has c. 10% of the world’s higher plant species diversity on 2% of the surface area of the world, but this resource has been under-examined compared to plants in many other areas. Our expertise is in extraction, bioassay and isolation of bioactive compounds from plants. We further have the capacity and facilities to undertake a variety of pharmacological, toxicological and quality control tests as well as in vivo animal experiments. We co-operate with many specialists in other areas in the application of extracts and isolated compounds to improve the health and productivity of plants, animals and humans.