You might say that the ointments are the soul of the Storytellers Fynbos Apothecary. These simple infusions of healing plants into natural oils and wax are truly what we’re all about. We work primarily with raw beeswax and coconut oil, and then sometimes more specific oils such as cold-pressed organic castor oil, raw cacao butter, organic hempseed oil, marula oil and baobab oil. Into these combinations (which are innately healing on their own), we infuse plant material that is specifically and sustainably selected from the wilds of the Agter Pakhuis, or cultivated (organically, of course) in our own gardens. We also use essential oils, some of which are purchased, but many of which are distilled by us.
Ointments are available in the following sizes. Prices quoted are the retail price when purchased directly from us, and will differ when purchased in a store.
- 25ml tin – R30 direct from us
- 50ml BPA-free plastic jar - R55 direct from us
- 100ml tin – R90 direct from us
- 125ml BPA-free plastic jar – R125 direct from us
The list of ointments on this site is by no means exhaustive, because we experiment all the time. However, here are some of our classics. Remember, when you make your selection: the suggestions are a guideline only. We cannot pretend to diagnose or treat any condition and wouldn’t want to: we believe that working with healing plants is about far more than the rational application of proven allopathic capabilities. Rather, every plant is a teacher, and the particular lesson that you and your body need may differ from the next person’s. You may also want to look at our pages on the plants for more inspiration. In deference to local knowledge, we have included the most popular local vernacular name for each plant.
- Wound healing: Agtdaegeneesbos (eight-day-healer bush or pyjama bush) – Lobostemon species (dorotheae, fruticosus): Agtdaegeneesbos is the one you must have for your first aid box – we use it on its own in this, our very first and probably still most useful ointment. Great for burns, and safe to use even on severe burns. Helps close, disinfect and heal open wounds, reduce scarring and relieve irritations. Helps relieve the itch or sting from insect and spider bites. Can be helpful for autoimmune-type reactions like eczema.
- Sutherlandia: Belbos (cancer bush) – Lessertia Frutescens: Sutherlandia has potent anti-bacterial, anti-viral capability, and yet can help to calm down topical inflammations and ease allergic reactions. It also protects against UVB radiation. Sutherlandia’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity can also help with intra-muscular aches and pains.
- Anti-fungal: Kraalbos (yellow bush) – Galenia Africana, Agtdaegeneesbos (pyjama bush) – Lobostemon species and Boegoe (buchu) – Agathosma Betulina. All three of these plants have proven anti-fungal capabilities. Galenia is a potent anti-parasitic. Can be helpful against ringworm and other topical infestations. Do not use this one as a sports balm (see below) as it can make you feel tired.
- Sports balm: Agtdaegeneesbos (pyjama bush) and Boegoe (Agathosma Betulina). The anti-inflammatory capabilities of buchu are combined with the topical healing power of pyjama bush for this all-round helper for the sports field.
- Climbers balm: In 2016, hundreds of climbers attested to the efficacy of climbers balm in dealing with the inflammation and skin damage that occurs to their fingers and hands whilst climbing. The secret lies in a combination of topical healing power, anti-inflammatory capability and adaptogenic intelligence (somehow knowing, for example, when to harden or soften skin). The plants doing the thinking are Agtdaegeneesbos (pyjama bush) – Lobostemon Fruticosus, Belbos (cancer bush) - Lessertia Frutescens, Dagga (hemp) – Cannabis Sativa and Boegoe (buchu) – Agathosma Betulina.
- Massage butter: An anti-oxidant superboost that smells good enough to eat (and wouldn’t hurt if you happened to!). Restorative Rooibos – Aspalathus Linearis is combined with Boegoe (buchu) – Agathosma Betulina – an aromatic anti-inflammatory which also softens the skin. Infused into a pliable blend of cacao butter, coconut and hemp seed oils.
- Deep relief: Kruidtjie-roer-my-nie (little herb, move me not or Honey flower) – Melianthus Major is a highly poisonous plant that has been used since ancient times for deep aches and pains. Used as an ointment (not on broken skin) it may be helpful for gout, rheumatic conditions and other deep aches and pains.
- Chest remedy: This one borrows directly from bushman and Khoi knowledge, and is intended to use as a rub for tight chests and congested lungs. Rubbed on the temples, it can also help for headaches. Sandolien (sand olive) – Dodonaea Augustifolia, Wildedagga (wild dagga or lion’s ears) – Leonotis Leonorus and Belbos (cancer bush) – Lessertia frutescens combined with camphor essential oil make a comforting combination for chest problems and fever.
- Warburgia: (pepper bark) - Warburgia Salutaris, whilst certainly indigenous, does not grow in the Cederberg, although we have planted one in our garden. It is the tree that Nelson Mandela planted in Kistenbosch Botanical Gardens in 1994, and is protected by men with guns in the Kruger National plant due to sought after value in traditional medicine and magic. Warburgia leaves and bark have potent anti-microbial and anti-parasitic capabilities. This ointment is intended primarily as a topical salve for candida, but it may be helpful in treating other microbial infections.
- Forgive and Forget: Our first venture into the domain of “magic” plants. This ointment, compromising a mixture of Lobostemon Fruticosus (agtdaegeneesbos), Dodonaea Augustifolia (sand olive) and Asclepsia Crispa (witvergeet) is intended to help the body “forgive and forget” the topical injuries or deep inflammation that ails it. How else might you use it? That’s up to you and your imagination….
Rooibos range ointments:
Rooibos – Aspalathus Linearis - in topical form, is an anti-oxidant, with free radical scavengers that help reduce degenerative damage and inflammation. It has been demonstrated to help support connective tissue, while its anti-mutagenic properties may also help to combat growths. It can be helpful (and is safe) for treating rashes and burns, as natural sun protection or even to help protect against ageing. Rooibos also combines very effectively with other medicinal plants.
- Rooibos and pyjama bush: Agtdaegeneesbos – Lobostemon Fruticosus – combines with rooibos for a restorative balm good for healing wounds, treating burns, mending scars and treating rashes.
- Rooibos and buchu: Boegoe (buchu) – Agathosma Betulina – joins forces with rooibos to restore elasticity and moisture. Makes a wonderful lip balm and helps to heal damaged cuticles and cracked heels. Also helpful as a disinfectant.
- Rooibos and sutherlandia: Belbos (cancer bush) – Lessertia Frutescens – blended with rooibos helps to protect against invaders, but also for calming the body. As a chest rub, it can help to reduce tightness and coughing and ease breathing. It is a healing balm for burns, open wounds and scars, and can be applied to sunburn or even older skin damage. It may be helpful in treating inflammatory skin conditions, such as rashes and eczema. It also provides gentle relief for muscular aches and pains.
- Rooibos and lemongrass: Rooibos is blended with Lemongrass – Cymbogon Citratus, which we grow organically, to make an excellent antiseptic balm. It is an effective insect repellent, and brings relief from existing insect bites, removing the itch or sting. Used as a massage butter, it is excellent for stimulating lymphatic drainage and may be beneficial for cellulite.