Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim: Humble Plants That Hide Surprising Secrets


AfricanHerbalPharmaopeiaProfessor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim explores the medical and nutrition secrets of the plants of her island, Mauritius. She calls herself a chemist and a gardener (and she has a collection of 200 bonsai), but Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is the leading scientist studying the flora of one of the world’s key biodiversity hotspots, the island of Mauritius. As the managing director of the Centre for Phytotherapy Research (Cephyr) and a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Mauritius, she explores and analyzes plants from the island and their health, nutritional and cosmetic applications.

She co-authored, African Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the first resource of its kind, led the first regional research project on the inventory and study of medicinal and aromatic plants of the Indian Ocean, and was the lead coordinating author on the international assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development, spearheaded by the World Bank. The book is available at online retailers and bookstores.

For a long time, people were suspicious of the “bad plants” that I was studying for their medical properties. Some called me “witch”, and one night 20 years ago my lab was burned down.

Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

This TEDTalk was filmed in October, 2014. Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was sworn in as President of Mauritius on Friday, June 5, 2015.

Read The Official Confirmation Statement

Thanks to TED and to President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, of Mauritius.

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