South African Traditional Medicinal Plants from KwaZulu-Natal is based on notebooks that the Norwegian medical doctor Henrik Greve Blessing wrote when he was visiting the KwaZulu-Natal district in the years 1901 – 1904. Blessing was the medical doctor on board the ship Fram that went towards the North Pole with Fridtjof Nansen during the years 1893-96. Blessing had relatives who worked as missionaries in KwaZulu-Natal and it was during this visit he prepared the beautiful notebooks that form the basis for the present book.
He described 98 plants, both botanically and with their local use for illnesses, pains and as agents against poisoning. For most plants the only names given were the Zulunames. The last part of South African Traditional Medicinal Plants from KwaZulu-Natal is a facsimile of Blessing's original notebooks. Scientists from Norway and South Africa have identified the plants, taken photographs of them, and described the use of the plants traditionally as well as modern knowledge about effects. The book is both of cultural, medicinal and pharmaceutical historic interest, and represents part of the historic relations between South Africa and Norway.