Sandra Clair at the annual Artemis Thyme Harvest, New Zealand Sandra Clair at the annual Artemis Thyme Harvest, New Zealand

Our founder, Dr Sandra Clair.

PhD, Health Sciences. 

Dr Sandra Clair is one of New Zealand’s most highly qualified plant medicine experts, a medical anthropologist (M.A.), and the founder of New Zealand’s leading traditional plant medicine company, Artemis.

A clinician for more than 25 years, she received a sought-after scholarship from the University of Canterbury to investigate ways to formally integrate traditional plant medicines into a modern, evidence-based healthcare system. For this work she was awarded a PhD in Health Sciences in 2019.

Driven by the genuine desire to make it easy and pleasurable to look after our health, Sandra’s vision is to share her proven medical knowledge of plants to benefit the health of our communities.

Sandra grew up in Switzerland, at the foothills of the Swiss Alps – a living, breathing, natural pharmacy. In parallel to her academic studies she undertook a traditional apprenticeship with Franciscan nun, midwife and medical herbalist, Sister Pauline, who bestowed on her the most significant medical textbook on Traditional European Medicine, a 500-year-old  Renaissance pharmacopeia, the Materia Medica. In this environment, Sandra experienced first-hand the healing power of plants.

After moving to New Zealand, Sandra established a health clinic in Dunedin, and also developed an appreciation for the alpine hills of Central Otago where she found not only natural beauty, but exceptionally potent plants, strengthened by the harsh climate and environment they thrive in. Sandra began harvesting Central Otago Thyme and other wild-growing plants from the region and, once she had established Artemis in 1998, used them in formulations which she continues to refine today.

A member of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists committee, Sandra is passionate about helping to grow the professional body and promote the profession of medical herbalists. For her work at Canterbury University, she was recognised as a UC Alumni Ambassador.

Today, Sandra continues to lead the research and development programme at Artemis, also overseeing quality and education, while actively working with media and the government to regulate plant medicine as an important healthcare option in New Zealand.  In 2016 she was appointed to the Ministry of Health Permitted Substances Subcommittee. 


Dr Sandra Clair in the news

A Kiwi Original - Dr Sandra Clair talks about plant medicines, the need for regulation in NZ and Central Otago Thyme - July 2020

Otago Daily Times - Rethink urged on natural remedies - October 2019

Well & Good, with Art & Matilda  - podcast, September 2019

Be Good Organics, Meet Sandra from Artemis - October 2016

KiaOra, Flower Power - July 2016 

Viva, Catching up with Artemis Founder Sandra Clair - April 2016

University of Canterbury, Invaluable recipes for today's health needs - April 2015

Otago Daily Times, Swiss herbalist approach to healthcare successful - February 2013