Margaret Roberts: The Life and Legacy

Margaret Joan Roberts was a renowned South African herbalist who championed the use of herbs and their benefits in enhancing wellness and health. Born in 1937, Roberts became a prolific author, writing over 40 books on herbs, natural living, and related topics. Her extensive work significantly influenced the perception and utilisation of herbal remedies in South Africa, with her expertise spanning across various applications including medicinal purposes, cooking, and natural insect repellents.

margaret roberts

Roberts was not only an expert in her field but also an entrepreneur and educator. She founded the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, a place conceived to impart knowledge about organic farming principles and the use of medicinal plants and foods. This centre is considered one of South Africa’s premier gardens, wholly dedicated to organic practices, and it underscores Roberts’s deep commitment to teaching others and promoting health through natural means. Her motto to ‘Educate and Inspire’ encapsulates her lifelong pursuit to share her vast knowledge and passion for herbs with the wider community.

Through her public lectures, publications, and the establishment of the herbal centre, Margaret Roberts made an indelible mark on the field of herbalism. Her teachings continue to be a valuable resource for those interested in organic gardening, natural health remedies, and sustainable living practices, ensuring her legacy lives on in the wealth of information she has provided to enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Margaret Roberts: A Brief History

Margaret Joan Roberts was a renowned South African herbalist and a prolific author who made a significant impact in bringing the knowledge of herbs into the mainstream in South Africa. Born in 1937, she demonstrated a lifelong commitment to educating others on the benefits of herbs and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Throughout her career spanning over six decades, Roberts authored an impressive array of over 40 books on herbs and related subjects, underlining her expertise and passion for the subject.

Roberts is remembered for her philosophy to ‘Educate and Inspire’. Her dedication saw her imparting knowledge through lecturing, coupled with her adept writing that catered not only to readers in South Africa but across the globe. A myriad of her books includes recipes and uses for herbs—ranging from medicinal properties to their application in culinary arts, natural insect repellents, and deodorisers.

Beyond her writing and educational endeavours, Margaret Roberts’s contribution as a physiotherapist should be acknowledged, complementing her holistic approach to health and wellness. This multifaceted career showcased her deep understanding of the human body and natural remedies.

Margaret Roberts passed away on 4 March 2017, leaving behind a rich legacy as an advocate for natural health. Her work continues to inspire herbalists and health-conscious individuals, ensuring that her moto and life’s work live on.

Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre

The Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre stands as a bastion of herbal knowledge and horticultural excellence located in De Wildt within the North West Province of South Africa. The centre was conceptualised and developed by the renown herbalist, Margaret Roberts, a figure synonymous with the movement towards natural health and organic farming in the region.

Key Features

  • Nursery: A vibrant selection of medicinal and culinary plants are cultivated here, with a focus on organic practices.
  • Chapel: Set amidst the serene gardens, the chapel offers a peaceful retreat.
  • Labyrinth: Serving both an aesthetic and spiritual purpose, the labyrinth adds a unique dimension to the landscape.
  • Shop: Products ranging from cosmetics to room sprays, crafted on-site using principles of sustainability.
  • Restaurant: Fresh, herb-inspired dishes complement the holistic experience.
  • Fairy Gallery: This whimsical space captivates the imagination, celebrating the magic of the gardens.

The Herbal Centre hosts an array of organically grown herbs and serves as an educational outpost where visitors can learn about the cultivation and use of medicinal foods. With its inclusion among South Africa’s top ten gardens, it not only showcases the horticultural expertise but also emphasises on the healing nature of herbs.

Seasoned with whispers of folklore, the Fairy Gallery adds a touch of enchantment, evoking a sense of wonder. Meanwhile, the on-site restaurant provides nourishment, embracing the use of fresh, home-grown ingredients.

At the heart of the centre lies the commitment to wellness through nature, reflecting Margaret Roberts’ enduring legacy. The centre remains a tribute to her life’s work and passion, continuing to inspire a new generation towards natural wellbeing.

Books and Publications

Margaret Roberts is a celebrated author renowned for her expertise in the field of herbalism and natural health. Her literary contributions span over a hundred titles, with a varied readership appreciating her practical guidance on herbal remedies and natural living.

One of her well-known works is Tissue Salts for Healthy Living, which highlights the benefits of 12 key tissue salts. This book aims to guide readers on slowing the ageing process and boosting vitality through detailed chapters on each tissue salt.

Roberts’s passion for herbal gardens is evident in another of her publications, The Essential Margaret Roberts. In this book, she offers inspiration and tips for creating and maintaining a herb garden. Moreover, she provides innovative recipes for culinary uses, potpourris, cosmetics, and herbal remedies, ensuring practical application of her horticultural wisdom.

Her commitment to introducing new natural remedies is showcased in 100 New Herbs. This book not only discusses the characteristics of various herbs but also gives advice on cultivation, harvesting, and utilisation for medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary purposes.

Roberts’s books are not only informative but also reflect her practical approach, making her a trusted name in her field. Her books can be found online, with 100 New Herbs available in trade paperback, and are considered essential for those interested in embracing a more natural lifestyle.

  • Key Publications:
    • Tissue Salts for Healthy Living
    • The Essential Margaret Roberts
    • 100 New Herbs

Her offerings cater to both the beginner and the advanced reader, providing a comprehensive look into the world of herbal care and natural health.

Gardens and Apothecary

The Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre presents a celebration of horticultural abundance and traditional apothecary, drawing visitors into a world of medicinal herbs and aromatic gardens.

Herb Garden

The Herb Garden at the centre showcases an extensive array of herbs, including South African indigenous species and international medicinal plants. Visitors can explore thematic mini-gardens, such as the aromatherapy, edible flower, and fairy gardens, each meticulously designed for their specific uses.

Green House

The Green House functions as a crucial hub within the centre, nurturing a diverse collection of plants and herbs that thrive in controlled conditions. This facility underpins the centre’s commitment to organic principles and year-round cultivation of rare and delicate species.


A key resource at the centre is the Seedbank Legacy, where a repository of seeds conserves the genetic diversity of numerous plant species. The seedbank ensures the continuity of horticultural knowledge and natural heritage.

Labyrinth and the Chime Gardens

The Labyrinth complements the tranquil atmosphere of the Sand- and Chime Garden, offering a reflective journey through winding paths, while the gentle melodies from the chimes encourage a sensory experience promoting relaxation and mental well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Margaret Roberts has been a prominent figure in the realm of herbs and natural living. Her expertise has culminated in a range of products, literature, and a renowned herbal centre.

What are the most popular products by Margaret Roberts?

Margaret Roberts was known for a variety of herbal products, including natural health remedies and organic insecticides. Her contributions to the use of natural products were significant in promoting health and wellbeing.

Where is the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre located?

The Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre is situated in De Wildt, North-West, South Africa. This centre has earned recognition as one of South Africa’s top ten gardens dedicated to organic principles.

What insecticides did Margaret Roberts develop?

Margaret Roberts pioneered the development of natural insecticides. These organic solutions are created to help in garden pest control while adhering to organic farming standards.

Can you name some prominent works by Margaret Roberts the artist?

This section appears to be a misunderstanding; Margaret Roberts is not recognised as an artist, but rather for her contributions to herbalism and natural living. If you are referring to her written works, she authored several influential books on herbs and their uses.

Is Margaret Roberts lavender native to South Africa?

Margaret Roberts lavender is a popular lavender variety named after her, known for its strong fragrance and robust growth. However, lavender is not originally native to South Africa but has been cultivated there extensively.

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