THE founder of Oxford's African School has developed his own range of herbal medicines to support the work of the organisation.

Natty Mark Samuels is selling the oils, some of which were made using ingredients grown in his Blackbird Leys office, at the Uhuru Wholefoods shop in Cowley Road.

The youth worker, who trained for a level 3 diploma in herbal medicine late last year, is also running workshops to teach others how to make similar concoctions.

All proceeds will go to the work of the school which has introduced hundreds of people to black and Afro-Caribbean history and celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Mr Samuels said: "We often rush to the pharmacy or the medicine cabinet when there's something wrong but I'm hoping to show there are certain things we can do to cure ourselves.

"For minor ailments, or even some symptoms of chronic conditions, for hundreds of years people used herbs to treat themselves.

"I see this as like a renaissance in this way of thinking - getting people to look back to healing traditions that have been discarded by modern medicine."

The range of products include oils infused with ingredients including grapefruit, lemon, orange, lime and rosemary.

After completing his training, Mr Samuels started experimenting using sage and rosemary grown in his office in the Blackbird Leys Community Centre and on his allotment off Sorrel Road.

He decided to specialise in citrus products, which he sources from local supermarkets and the Oxford Food Bank, because it enhances the immune system.

As well as selling the homemade products in Uhuru, they will be available at farmers markets and African School events in the future.

Mr Samuels set up the school in 2009 because of the lack of knowledge about Africa among people in Oxford and elsewhere.

He has gone on to teach workshops in museums and schools across the city.

He said: "I am in my element when I am teaching. For me, there is nothing sweeter then sharing knowledge.

"For a lot of people African studies is still an alien concept and I'm still aiming to get more people interested in it.

"Hopefully one day it will be on the curriculum."