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 Dr. James Campbell

Position: Lecturer and Coordinator: Phytotherapy
Department: School of Natural Medicine
Faculty: Faculty of Community and Health
Qualifications: Dipl (PHYT) (United Kingdom), MSc (Herbal Science) (Cum Laude) (Western Cape)
Tel: 021 959 3886
Fax: 021 959 1322


 James Campbell was born on the 15th January 1964 in Glasgow, Scotland. His parents immigrated to South Africa just before his was three years of age. After having completed schooling and working in an entirely different field, a strong desire for the plant world and what role it plays in the wellbeing of the human race, started to come to the fore. So a four year diploma in Phytotherapy obtained from the College of Phytotherapy (then affiliated to the University of Wales), United Kingdom formed the bases of a passion for medicinal plants (herbal medicine), its healing ability, nutritional value, safety and so forth. He completed his MSc (Cum Laude) through the South African Herbal Science and Medicine Institute (SAHSMI), Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and currently busy with a PhD through Medical Biosciences (MBS), UWC.

Research focus - The impact of storage time and seasonal harvesting on biomarker levels of Lessertia frutescens and at present Efficacy of aqueous and tincture preparations of Lessertia frutescens on prostate cancer and benign prostatic hypertrophy.

He has been the Director of the School of Natural Medicine for 10 years, as well as the Coordinator of the Phytotherapy programme for basically the same time. Having recently stepped down from the directorship to focus on professional and personal development, remains the Coordinator of the Phytotherapy programme, and taking on the community engagement portfolio for the School. Balancing leadership of the School, the Phytotherapy programme, full time lecturing and supervising at the clinics, serving on the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA), with private practice has been an enlightening, life changing and rewarding experience.

Hands down his favourite subject is Materia Medica, taught to the B Complementary Medicines (Phytotherapy) fourth and fifth year students. Other focus areas are herbal pharmacology, herbal nutrition, preventative medicine, diet and lifestyle, environmental influences on plants and their constituents, as well as energetics. The ‘bigger picture’, the philosophy of the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ and wisdom from a diversity of ancestors - how does it all tie in to our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Believing education plays a fundamental role in achieving a greater understanding and possible commitment and accountability as an individual for one’s own healthcare. Yet how is this achieved while communities throughout South Africa living in rural areas, low cost housing developments and informal settlements on the outskirts of towns and cities are being adversely affected by the increased number of illnesses presenting. While the world today strives towards globalization and becoming more similar through this process, simultaneously it continues to increase in diversity. So one would need to understand the complications of the illness, the environment, possible nutritional application and food/medicinal gardens concepts, while educating that without the natural world, environment and the plant world who knows until it is possibly too late.





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