Kanyisa Psychoactive Plant Conference


While visiting South Africa in 2012, Julian Palmer, psychoactive plant expert and spiritual trip guide, quickly realised there was a substantially large enough ‘plant medicine’ community here to warrant a Psychoactive Plant Conference.

Khanyisa’s vision is to bring forth knowledge of psychoactive plant use across the continent of Africa by encouraging research and sharing cutting edge and innovative methods to use the plants, as practiced globally. This will assist us to understand the great healing potential locked within the plant kingdom, for all to experience and use these plants in a safe and beneficial way.

Enjoy this in-depth look into the world of psychoactive healing and the people who practice it.

Healing naturally through Phytoalchemy.

In recent years, since about the early 90’s, alternative medicines have really begun to popularise, slowly releasing western society from the clutches of the Biomedical Model of medicine as the one and only solution for physiological healing. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for biomedical medicine, you wouldn’t call a herbalist to perform an emergency surgery if you’d been hit by a car for instance. But we know now that natural medicine is more effective as a preventative treatment and the treatment of chronic ailments than their pharmaceutical alternatives, because they are safer, especially for long-term use.

Jean-Francois Sobiecki is a teacher, healer and ethnobotanist. Medicinal plants have been important on Jean’s path as a healer and that is why he calls himself a phyto-alchemist;  phyto meaning plants and alchemy meaning the transformation of one state to another – in this case from illness to wellness!

Jean-Francois’ main interest lies in the role of medicinal psychoactive plants (those that treat the nervous system) in healing consciousness. It has taken him on an incredible journey of studying various traditions of plant use from Amazonian and Southern African shamanism, through to Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

For more information on Jean-Francois’ work, visit his site: www.phytoalchemy.co.za

The Bushman – A Photographic and Prosaic Celebration of the Last of the True Ancestors of Southern Africa

The Bushman – A photographic and prosaic celebration of the last of the true ancestors of Southern Africa

It is rare to come face to face with a true Khoi-San and to celebrate their wisdom and beauty in the natural habitat that has preserved and nourished them for centuries. Phillipa Logan had such a privilege. She has graciously shared this work with Life in Balance and we recommend you have a look at her magnificent images and revel in the insights of this experience.

By Phillipa Logan



Eco-Logic Awards – 2018 Entries

It’s that time of year when entries are called for, for the Eco-Logic Awards 2018. You are invited to nominate an eco-champion that you believe is making a positive contribution towards creating an eco-logical society and environment – or nominate your own organisation, product or project under one (or more) of the 13 categories, to name a few,  The Biodiversity Award, The Climate Change Award, The Water Conservation Award and The Municipalities Award.

The Eco-Logic Awards identify individuals, organisations and communities that positively contribute towards a sustainable world – and we encourage consumers to support them by purchasing  their products and services.

The Enviropaedia established the Annual Eco-Logic Awards in 2011 and it has since grown into South Africa’s most glamorously green eco-calendar event, receiving extensive TV, radio, print media and online coverage.

See what past winners have said about how winning this award has furthered their cause to establishing a more sustainable world.


For information about the award categories, judging criteria and how to enter go to:

1 Day Left! Chip In on a Zero Waste Shop.

Thundafund, is South Africa’s leading rewards-based crowdfunding platform and they are currently working with a project called Shop Zero, which is a waste free, organic grocery store opening up in Cape Town.

Shop Zero will be the the place to shop at if you are looking for a completely zero waste retailer serving bulk food, toiletries, soaps, household products and cleaners without disposable packaging. Shop Zero’s intention is to make zero waste living easier, cheaper and more accessible to everyone. Also on offer will be options for earth-conscious customers who want to leave no trace of their consumption.

Products will be decanted into your own containers and you’ll pay for it by weight, effectively minimizing waste that is generated through packaging. Reusable containers and compostable bags will also be available for purchase in store.

Shop Zero won’t only be a zero waste, package free, one stop, ‘all you need to live a less wasteful life’, store, it’ll be a community. The team at Shop Zero, believe in bringing people together, sharing ideas, presenting tutorials, and celebrating the amazing achievements of people in the zero waste community. This is why they plan to host lots of events in store!

Saving two Birds with One Buy – What They Need & What You Get

Shop Zero needs backers to help them start a revolution, and everyone is invited to join the global movement to eliminate plastic from landfills, streams, oceans, and beaches and change the way Capetonian’s shop. By purchasing one of Shop Zero’s project related rewards, you will become a contributor, helping to make this project a reality and helping to lessen your impact on the environment.

Hurry though, there is only 1 Day left to help realise this fantastic and much needed outlet. Go to https://www.thundafund.com/project/shopzero and pledge.

No prescription needed


It has become fairly common practice that at the first signs of illness a prescription for antibiotics is handed out, like M&Ms with little thought to the consequences of what they may be doing to other, healthy parts of the body (consider destroying all bacteria in the digestive system as one side effect). Although we are lucky to have penicillin readily available, (compared to our ancestors who only lived until 40) nature has done a good job of providing some powerful medicines of its own. Let’s not forget that more often than not, the safest ingredients are usually those we stock in our kitchen cupboards.

garlicOne of the more popular and well known natural cures for all sorts of health issues is garlic. Garlic possesses potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties and is able to help protect and facilitate removal of unfriendly bacteria. It is also very high in natural antioxidants that support the immune system.


If eating garlic does not sound too appealing, try a few drops of oil of oregano. It may sound weird, but a few drops of this little remedy have been known to help relieve blocked sinuses, pains caused by colds and flu. Oil of oregano takes care of bad bacteria without disrupting the good bacteria in one’s digestive tract. It is also antiviral and antifungal which makes it a powerful three-in-one combination. The main ingredient in this magic oil is carvacrol, which also happens to be a natural insect repellent.

To learn more about this clever oil, have a look at this illuminating infographic:   https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/infographics/benefits-oregano-oil-infographic/

Echinacea, otherwise known as cone flowers which are part of the daisy family also has healing properties that relieve the symptoms of colds and flu. The root extract of this plant is where the goodness lies, and traditionally, it was ground up and used to treat open wounds, diphtheria, blood poisoning, and other bacterial related illnesses. This ground root/herb is not as tasty as garlic or oil of oregano and it is not advised to infuse it as a tea, but it has been bottled and can be taken in capsule form.

And finally, the most palatable natural antibiotic comes in the form of mānuka honey. Honey is generally well known for its health benefits, but manuka honey is especially powerful. Mānuka honey is a monofloral honey produced in New Zealand and Australia from the nectar of the mānuka tree. Applied topically it can kill a wide pillsrange of pathogens including flesh eating bacteria (in case one was to ever have that problem). It has also been used in the treatment of skin problems such as acne.

Fresh garlic can be bought at your local supermarket. Other products can be purchased from:


Original information sourced from:


SUPA Wraps – Reusable Food Wraps

A colourful and longer-lasting, zero-waste solution for covering leftovers and dishes, wrapping sandwiches in lunchboxes or covering cheese and butter – just like cling film. Except SUPA Wraps (Single Use Plastic Alternative) are vibrantly printed fabrics infused with locally harvested beeswax.

SUPA was launched after founder, Karoline Hanks, visited Maputaland at the beginning of 2017. She was horrified to find one of the more remote stretches of beach (far from any community or river) strewn with bottle tops and other plastic debris, all of it so evidently from the ocean.

She described a profound and moving close encounter with a Leatherback female turtle laying her eggs. ‘Watching her return to the ocean, I had my heart in mouth, knowing the perils she faced in what is rather quickly becoming a plastic soup – all thanks to us. So what can I do? What can we all do? I asked myself.’

Start at an individual level? Karoline started making her own fresh produce fabric bags at home. ‘I marketed them and the demand grew. I soon realised that I needed to increase production and find others to make them for me!’ Karoline explains. Masiphumelele’s “Work for Love” sewing trainees took up the challenge and have produced well over 2000 bags since they started a few months ago, taking 10% on every bag. The fresh produce bags provide an excellent alternative to the single-use plastic barrier bags provided at fresh produce counters and till points.

The SUPA range will be extending its fresh produce fabric bags and shweshwe fabric wraps, to the “forget-me-not” SUPA pouch, which clips onto a handbag. This is stuffed with three collapsible shoppers and three fresh produce bags. The pouch is permanently clipped to one’s bag, so there is no longer the risk of leaving your reusables at home and finding yourself stranded at the till and obliged to take plastic shopping bags!

SUPA Wraps can purchased at Organic Zone, Faithful to Nature and Sustainable.co.za.  Find out more about SUPA Wraps and Fresh Produce Bags at www.facebook.com/SUPAlternatives.com/