Methods and Myths of Traditional African Medicines and its Place in Modern Society
Traditional African medicines, and the spiritual healers that administer these medicines are an important part of African society. For many centuries and even millenniums these healers with there spiritual and naturalistic remedies have been responsible for taking care of the African world as we know it. Traditional African medicines have been a greater help to all of society and modern science, but still lie at the root of much controversy over its ability to be a valid healing tool. Some doctor’s and scientist believe that a possible placebo effect may be the root of what makes these remedies and rituals work; but there is also evidence that suggest that many of the ingredients found in our medicines today are also found in the natural animal and plant products used by the healers. In fact many pharmaceutical companies have recently been looking at the content of these natural substances in hope of finding chemical compounds that can help modern science in producing modern medicines to cure disease. Despite modern day societies use of the healers remedies in modern medicine, there still seems to be some confusion as to who the healer really is and what their motives are. Many people using naïve thought process perceive the healer as one practicing witchcraft. This may be due to the disbelief that natural substances are capable of healing, or the belief that ritualistic and spiritualistic ceremonies and practices stem from evil or voodoo. Despite all of this opposition and change into a more scientific world, the healer remains as one of the most sought after people in the African world, and even in large African cities were western health care services are available, traditional healer compete for business in the world of health care.
The profession of being a traditional healer in Africa is one that is and has been usually passed down from family generation to family generation. Becoming a traditional healer requires an intense amount of SBA, an ancient Kemetic word meaning teaching, learning, wisdom, and study, or overall deep thought(1). In fact, the process of learning to become a healer consist of a very high level of learning; it is necessary that every healer be taught properly, in order for him or her to be able to share his knowledge properly with the forthcoming generation. For the aspiring healer, one must first become a good learner and listener before one can become a good teacher; the two concepts of teaching and learning are intertwined, one hand washes the other. Once this level of SBA is reached as a healer, the whole world is seen in a different light so says Asa G. Hilliard. III. Sounds are heard that no one can hear, visions that no one else can see are seen by the healer.
After his training the healer walks through the same world every person walks through. But he sees signs others just don’t see. He hears sounds others don’t...