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14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

Steinhoff Vishuis excited about final match
2010-03-25

 

Kovsies are eagerly awaiting the finals of the Steinhoff Koshuis League after Steinhoff Vishuis smashed the Steinhoff Villagers of the North-West University with 57-3 in the semi-finals on Monday, 22 March 2010.

When looking at their performance this week, it is clear that Steinhoff Vishuis will be extremely dangerous in next week’s final!

Steinhoff Vishuis will play the final match of the Steinhoff Koshuis League against Dagbreek from Maties on Monday, 29 March 2010 at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch at 16:30. The match will be broadcast on SuperSport.

On Monday, 22 March 2010 Shimlas played in the semi-finals against Ikeys of the University of Cape Town. They lost 27-21.

In general it was a good season for the Shimlas, who for the first time played in the semi-finals. Congratulations once again to our Shimlas with their good performance in the FNB Varsity Cup.
 

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