Oct 23rd 2023

A note on the SSHIFTB flower


In July 2023, SSHIFTB revived its website, centring a new logo of a flower, amongst instituting other changes. We asked our graphic/web designer, Ngqabutho Zondo, to explain his creative process:

“The symbol is an amalgamation of various plants whose flowers or roots are used in the treatment of Tuberculosis. Some plants are consumed by being eaten, or through tea, and others are processed for pharmaceutical and topical needs.


The shape of the final render is also meant to have a circular motion, representing our constant need to breathe—which these flowers help with, in supporting respiratory health.


I also chose a flower shape because of the many other meanings it holds culturally or spiritually—for example: devotion, humility, endurance, indifference, love, strength, hope, understanding , mourning, etc. This is some of what I have learned through my journey in understanding the perspective SSHIFTB brings to Tuberculosis: a social- and human- focused approach.


It is an honor for me to be part of this growing project.”



Amrita Daftary, one of the founding directors of SSHIFTB, also sees the shadowy, circular and non-uniform image of the flower as a symbol of fluidity, movement, change and even subtle elusivity. Indeed, the broadening of perspectives about tuberculosis— to surface blind spots, and to stimulate critical inquiry—aligns with the core mission of SSHIFTB.


Flower species historically used in TB treatment

Althaea Officinalis L. Melia azedarach
Lobelia chinensis Althea Officinalis
Artemisia afra Azadirachta indica
Calpurnia Aurea Ocimum basilicum
Artemisia abyssinica Croton macrostachyus
Eucalyptus camaldulensis Glycyrrhiza glabra roots
Malva neglecta flower Pellaea Calomelanos
Saussurea lappa Saussurea esthonica
Terminalia arjuna Verbascum species
Withaferin Species Saussurea Alpina



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