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Herbal medicine with traditional herbalist in Zanzibar

„Dawa“ means „medication“ in Kiswahili; „Madawa“ means medicine man. The profession of a  Madawa who produces medicine with traditional herbs, plants and spices, is locally regarded as equivalent to the practice of western doctors in e.g. public hospitals. In fact, doctors of normal hospitals send lots of patients, who do not get any better with western treatment methods, to the Madawas. For those patients, the Madawa often means the last chance.

Mohammed Said is a traditional Madawa of fifth generation at Zanzibar, who is even well-known  in the Arabian countries due to his extraordinary knowledge about medicinal plants and their medical utilisation. At Zanzibar, he is known as „Mr. Madawa“, respectively „the“ No. 1 of traditional healers on the whole island. Further, Mr. Madawa regularly receives foreign patients coming from countries such as the Oman. Said has lots of references of patients who have been successfully treated with his herbal medicines.

Said was taught by his father, but he continuously redefined and developed his skills and knowledge by himself. One of his sons, who studied medicine at the university, assists him and gives lots of new impulses for further development.

Mohammed Said cultivates his plants and herbs in his own garden at Bububu, which is located north of Zanzibar Town. His entire family (which consists of four wives and 38 children) assists in further processes such as drying the herbs and packaging the mixtures, which are going to be sold in a shop at Bububu and Zanzibar Town. There, Mr. Madawa runs his own clinic at which he offers consulting hours as well as stationary treatments. The clinic is fully authorized by the public health authority of Zanzibar and cooperates with the public hospital „Mnazi Mmoja“. For numerous health related problems, Madawa knows the right mixture of curing herbal substances.

Besides medication, Madawa's „family-based manufacture“ produces natural soaps, lotions, teas, oils and culinary mixtures, made of e.g. lemongrass, cloves, basil, cinnamon and fennel. Mohammed Said does not only propagate the therapeutic effects but also the preventive usage of plants and spices at the preparation of daily meals and body hygiene.
Mohammed Said wrote down his broad knowledge in a book which is only available in Kiswahili at the moment. As a member of the „African Chamber of Commerce“, he feels committed to fair trade with local farmers. 
Mr. Madawa offers courses for everybody interested in Zanzibarian herbal medicine. The courses consist of lessons about usage, cultivation and harvesting of herbs and spices, their effects, how to dry them in a hygienic way, further processes with dried herbs and spices, quality control, packaging and storing of herbs and spices and how to produce herbal mixtures for medical and nutrition purposes. 

At Madawa's, we can offer the following option:

Private lessons (also small groups), 2 hours per day, Monday to Friday. This includes theory, collection of herbs and spices, preparation, and use of herbs for healthy nutrition, healing and wellness. Mr. Madawa is highly flexible to adapt his lessons to your specific interests.

During the other hours of the day you can assist him with treatments of patients. This are usually carried out in Swahili language, but Madawa who has a good command of English language can give you explanations. 


1 Week

1 Person - 300 €
2 Persons - 240 € p.p.

2 Weeks

1 Person - 480 €
2 Persons -  350 € p.p.

This includes:

* Private lessons by Mr. Madawa as described above

* Single room at private accommodation in Stone Town without meals; in case of two persons sharing.

* Info PDF about stay in Zanzibar

* Return transfers from/to Zanzibar airport/sea port to your accommodation; accompanying you to Mr. Madawa on your first day

After the initial two weeks of lessons it is also possible to add an internship of longer duration with Mr. Madawa

The dates can be freely chosen, however we have to confirm availablity of Mr. Madawa. Please contact us for group bookings.

Book now!