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Ubuntu Traditional Balms handmade with a mortar & pestle
Ubuntu Traditional Remedies handmade with a mortar & pestle.

Our Heritage

Ubuntu Traditional Balms was born out of the traditional-remedy legacy passed down from a small and humble family-owned pharmacy that’s been trading since 1948. 

The famous community pharmacy has served her community well over the decades. The original chemist formulated balms to cater for the patients’ needs. Over the years, he created numerous sought-after balms using both his modern pharmaceutical as well as traditional apothecary knowledge for their formulation. 


The proven benefits of these balms spread by word of mouth and gained popularity in the greater Cape Town community. People would come from far and wide to purchase their favourites, which helped to treat nappy rash, boils and chesty, wheezy coughs, among other ailments and skin conditions.

The secret formula for the balms has passed down through generations of pharmacists/chemists, and helps the community to this day. 

The Ubuntu brand ethos is embodied in the phrase/slogan ‘Old Remedies Reborn’ - We’ve breathed new life into trusted remedies.

Our aim is to keep effective traditional  family remedies alive!​ 

We are committed to making new generations aware of tried and trusted solutions our grandparents would use when their children were ill.

Our guiding principles

For each product we produce, we adopt the following principles:

  • To produce high-quality products under strict formulation and hygiene control

  • All our balms are handmade in small batches in a mortar & pestle by a pharmacist, using 75 year-tested formulas!

  • We employ women from the community and support other small African businesses with this initiative.

Ilse Morkel, Meet the pharmacist & owner.
Vintage pharmacy

Meet the maker

Ilse Morkel qualified in 2010 at UWC with a pharmacy degree & furthered her studies as a Prescribing Pharmacist in 2018. Furthermore she specialises in skin conditions especially eczema, psoriasis, fungus infections & has 15 years of experience. She is the Director & Responsible Pharmacist of Braude's Pharmacy in Cape Town.


Braude's Pharmacy started in 1948 & is famous for their specialised creams & treating skin conditions & treat many patients from the greater Cape Town. See


Furthermore Ilse is a Pharmacist  Tutor to 3 students that is furthering their studies in pharmacy, and has in the past tutored many pharmacist interns & assistants. She also runs the prescribing clinic with the help of her 3 clinic sisters.

Ilse was also nominated in the Adcock Sponsors of Brave Campaign of 2020 & was voted in the top 5 pharmacists in the campaign in South Africa. See link &  and

She also appeared in the Duidelik Dapper Show on Kyknet in 2021 with Jackie Maiman the CEO of Independent Community Pharmacy Association as part of the Adcock Brave Campaign in March 2021. See link 

Duidelik Dapper Season 1 Episode 4

She was trained by her father in law who was the founder of Braude's pharmacy & who was also the chemist that formulated all the balms & creams from where Ubuntu's legacy was born. Ubuntu is the sister brand of Braude's Pharmacy. Ubuntu Traditional Balms is Ilse's creative baby! 

Lastly but not the least, Ilse has 2 babies, Victoria & Luke who she adores & you will find her at the sports field or on the side of the horse arena encouraging the kids sport matches! Furthermore she likes to hike, collect art, languages & reading. She also has a love for anything vintage.

Ubuntu's legacy: 70 years of serving the community's health needs

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