Registered Phytotherapist based in Greyton

Dr Catherine van Dorsten

Dr Catherine van Dorsten

About me

BSc CHS | BCM Phytotherapy | Summa Cum Laude

AHPCSA Registration Number A11708
Practice Number 0634093

I trained at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), completing a 5 year double bachelors programme. As students we were trained in the use and knowledge of safe and effective Western and indigenous herbal medicines.

Once qualified I registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) and became a member of the South African Association of Registered Phytotherapists (SAARP). I am currently acting as Secretary of SAARP.

My partner and I moved to Greyton, a beautiful village in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, where I have been in private practice since 2016.


What is Phytotherapy?

Phytotherapy is the practice of herbal medicine. Phytotherapists follow a holistic approach in the treatment of disease by using herbal prescriptions, diet and advice on lifestyle in the treatment of disease.

It is the oldest form of medicine known, and in all societies of the world there is a long history of the use of herbs as medicine. With advancements in science these ancient cures are being investigated and their healing powers are being confirmed. Science has also enabled us to identify the chemical constituents of the herbs and in this way allows us to understand their healing powers.

What is Herbal Medicine?

Many modern medicines have their origins in plant medicines but only the isolated active constituent is used. Phytotherapy maintains that it is the vast array of constituents in a plant that work synergistically to restore the balance of the body, and to mobilise the body’s innate healing powers.

For example, the anti-inflammatory chemical Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) was derived from salicylic acid, a constituent initially isolated from plants such as Filipendula ulmaria (meadowsweet) and Salix alba (willow bark). In its isolated form salicylic acid irritates the stomach lining, but when it is consumed as whole plant extract, the constituents act together to reduce inflammation without causing irritation to the digestive tract.

How do herbs work?

Each herb is unique; it is composed of a distinctive combination of different active constituents, and as such has its own identity.

The constituents work synergistically within the human body to achieve the herb’s specific action.

They may include nutrients as well as chemically active substances, which makes herbal medicine unique in its action of simultaneously nourishing and healing the body.

Herbs are chosen by the Phytotherapist to suit the individual.

Potent medicinal substances have the potential to harm as well as heal. It is important, therefore, to avoid self-medicating and always to seek professional individualised herbal treatment from a registered Phytotherapist.

During the course of treatment, the prescription may be altered according to the body’s changing requirements.

Whole Plant Extracts

Phytotherapists only prescribe whole plant extracts, based on the principle that the whole plant contains a perfect balance of therapeutic chemical constituents. The prescription is tailored to suit the individual.

Teas (whole dried herbs)

Tinctures (alcoholic extracts of whole plants)

Tablets (powdered dried herbs)




What to expect from a consultation

Consultation and Fees

A Phytotherapist's Approach

The cause of the disease is treated, not only the symptoms. Herbs are used to restore balance in the body and mobilise the body’s innate healing powers.

Your first consultation with me will generally take 1 to 1.5 hours and consists of taking notes on your medical history and performing physical examinations as deemed appropriate.

The treatment will be tailored to suit you as an individual. It will include a herbal prescription and may include advice on diet and lifestyle.

Your second appointment will follow in two to three weeks, subsequent consultations occurring monthly or as dictated by the health problem.

Phytotherapy can treat most conditions for which you might consult your doctor.

As a qualified Phytotherapist I know when you would be best treated by another healthcare professional and I will refer you for other treatment as required.

As Phytotherapists we are trained to understand herb-drug interactions and can safely treat patients who are using pharmaceutical medication.

Fees (2020)

Initial Consultation (1-1.5 hours) – R550.00

Follow-up consultations
45 mins – R370.00
30 mins – R310.00
15 mins – R250.00

100ml – R150
200ml – R300
500ml – R750

50g – R55
100g – R110

Creams or Ointments
50ml – R60
100ml – R120


Contact me

Contact me for further information or to arrange an appointment.

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082 775 5443


catherine at


57 Park Street
Western Cape
South Africa