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Meet Jean

Teacher - Healer - Ethnobotanist

A Healing Calling

Hi, my name is Jean-Francois Sobiecki

I am an applied ethnobotanist-medicinal plant researcher, nutritionist and natural product developer with more than 20 years experience in the field of natural medicine, currently living in South Africa.

I had a calling to work with medicinal plants and wellness from an early age which is a gift from my grandparents, who were also healers and teachers. This took me on a long and sometimes arduous journey to know myself and learn about medicinal plants, that has been so rewarding.

As a healer I see myself as a bridge-person; someone who has a passion to connect and integrate diverse fields of information and study: e.g., the biological and cultural studies on medicinal plants,

It gives me great pleasure to empower people with healing knowledge so that they can grow towards being whole, healthy and happy. 

My main strengths and skills are: health science and medicinal plant research, teaching, health promotion training, natural medicine & integrative healing, innovative natural product development and writing. 

Resume CV:


Meet Jean
Meet Jean

A Love For Plants



Medicinal plants have been important on my path as a healer and that is why I call myself a phyto-alchemist; phyto meaning plants, and alchemy meaning the transformation of one state to another ─ in this case from illness to wellness!

My interest in the role of medicinal psychoactive plants (those that treat the nervous system) in healing consciousness, took me to studying various traditions of plant use from Amazonian and Southern African shamanism, through to Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

I hope you enjoy this Journey of Phytoalchemy where you can learn through my courses, workshops and forthcoming books how to heal yourself with natural medicine (whole plant foods, medicinal plants, spices and nutrients) as well as how you can use the power of the mind to transform your life!

I’d really love to connect with you!

I would love to share with you with regular plant of the month and food as medicine factoids as well as interesting articles on consciousness and healing that I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy! Sign up here to get these for free!

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Jeans Professional Background

Jean Francois Sobiecki, B.Sc. Hons. EthnoBot. (UJ), Dipl Clin Nutr. (Aus), is a qualified South African ethnobotanist (medicinal plant researcher), nutritionist-medicinal plant healer and research associate with the University of Johannesburg.

Jean-Francois has dedicated his life to researching and teaching on the use of medicinal plants, healing and self development. Jean has over 15 years of experience in the field of ethnobotanical research, clinical nutrition and health promotion education.

His research and academic publications on South African medicinal plants used to heal the nervous system have made valuable contributions to the field of African ethnobotany, some of which have been highlighted as a Frontiers research topic.

Jean-Francois has a passion to empower people with healing knowledge, and his vision is to bridge and bring together many different cultures and healers from around the world for healing.

Jean-Francois has initiated the Khanyisa Healing Garden Project in order to help accomplish this vision, that will serve as a platform to learn about African and global medicinal plants and traditional healing methods.


Meet Jean
Meet Jean
Meet Jean
Meet Jean

Some of Jeans achievements include:

International conference speaker presentations:

Invitation to present and contribute a chapter on African psychoactive plants to the 50th Anniversary of the Ethnopharmacological Search for Psychoactive Drugs II, London, 2017 with Dr Dennis Mckenna. ESPD50.

CISEI: International Conference on Traditional Medicine Application for Treating Addiction, Peru.


9 original academic research papers, 1 book chapter, 2 forthcoming books and writing various articles on healing for the popular press.

Designing and implementing innovative employee wellness training programs

The Fundamental Principles of Holistic Medicine for National PnP.

Health science research

Project managing and evaluating a fortified nutritional intervention project with the University of the Witwatersrand.

Workplace wellness presentations:

Alexander Forbes and various employee wellness conventions: The Role of Traditional Medicine in Health Care and Nutrition for Wellness.

Community food gardens and health promotion training:

Jean-Francois helped create and establish a food gardens NGO and trained 13 Clinics from Soweto on medicinal and edible gardening, as part of a 12-day Permaculture course (FTFA).

Other trainings on medicinal plant use include: Various schools with sustainable permaculture gardens around South Africa; Toronto School (in Mankweng, near Polokwane, Limpopo), Cintsa east primary school (Eastern Cape), Westridge Special School (Durban) and Songimvelo primary (Mpumalanga). Similar workshops and training sessions were also held at Diepsloot Combined School together with New Creation Church in Diepsloot, KATHA preschool’s community gardeners in Katlehong.

Jean-Francois currently runs his private holistic healing practice from Johannesburg, is involved in natural product development, and delivers workshops and courses on natural medicine to the public.

Jean-Francois’ motto is: “Health like Life itself is a Journey, Embrace it.”