Doyen of herbs, Margaret Roberts dies

Margaret Roberts, who has written and published close to 40 books on herbs and healthy living, has been a pioneer in die herbal field in South Africa and has been educating plant lovers at her herbal centre in De Wildt, and all over South Africa, for the past 31 years.

Her daughter Sandy, who has been working alongside Margaret at the herbal centre for many years, confirmed her mother’s death on her Facebook page on Saturday in a heartfelt message:

“Our amazing mom, my best friend Margaret Roberts passed away this morning after a short time in hospital. It has been an honour and a privilege to be your daughter mom and work along side you creating our dream at the Herbal Centre. I miss you more than words can say and will do my best to continue our work so that your legacy can live on.” The message was shared more than 5 000 times on Facebook and thousands of people expressed their sadness on Margaret’s own Facebook page.

During an interview with Margaret last year, she told the Kormorant that her biggest fear was that she would not have enough time to share her knowledge. But, she said, “Sandy has such a fertile mind. I am honoured that she will carry on the Margaret Roberts name and legacy into the future.”

Roberts was a trained physiotherapist before she started her ground-breaking work in the field of herbs. She had a lavender and a rose named after her, and had lent her name to product ranges including toiletries, gifts, kitchenware, stationery and textiles.

She had one of the longest running contracts with a large national food and clothing retailer and a slot on morning television made her a household name and face in the country. She travelled all over the country for talks and was a popular with young and old.

Roberts also held the Guinness world record as the woman with the most water-harvesting tanks – in 2015 she had 92 5 000-litre tanks and three 10 000-litre tanks at the herbal centre.

She received a Laureate award from the University of Pretoria in 2006 for her ground-breaking work in health and wellness.

The public memorial for Margaret Roberts will be held at 10 am this Saturday 11th March at the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre Chapel, De Wildt. If you would like attend, for catering purposes please sms your name and number of guests to 0711616441.

Daleen van Manen

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