Black Spirituality Religion : African Art of Divine herbology.

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Sekhemu, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    By Tariq Sawandi

    Out of Africa came the world's first organized system of herbal and medical science. This knowledge was so profound, much of it passed from the Kemau to the Phoenicians, the Yoruba, India, Syria, Babylon, the Middle East, the Greeks, to the Romans and from the Romans to western Europe. The three major herbal systems, Ayurveda, Chinese traditional medicine, and western herbology were extracted from the knowledge created by the priest and wise men of the Nile Valley.

    Early in the history of its development, Nile Valley civilization created a basic way of life that attracted teachers, and priests from other parts of Africa, always enriching the original composite composition of the Nile Valley. By the time the Yoruba made their journey to th Nile Valley, led by th mystic prophet Orunmila, Kemau priests had accumulate centuries of herbal and medical knowledge. The Yoruba's drew from this treasure chest of wisdom, and incorporated it into their own religious and cultural customs. The key point, in respect to the revolution of Yoruba medicine, is that Kemetic Knowledge, coupled with the earlier Nok people, produced the outcome of Yoruba herbal practices.

    From a conceptual standpoint, Yoruba herbalism is a religion, a philosophy, and a science, born form this concept is the idea that oneness with the creative essence brings about a wholeness in the human essence. Seekers, or aspirants of the Yoruba system seek to bring themselves into allignment (balanced healh) with his spiritual being (immortal reality), and his relationship with the Divine Cause. This is achieved through herbs, spiritual baths, right living, diet, rituals, and self-development which are meant to maintain a healthy and happy life. Thus, Yoruba medicine is a divine journey to the inner self which encompasses all aspects of life.

    As envisioned by the ancient prophet, Orunmila, of the Ifa Corpus is the text of Yoruba Herbalism. Orunmila saw the duel levels of potentiality existed in the human body. Through him, we understand that the study of animate and inanimate, manifest and unmanifest, visible and invisible worlds leads to fundamental understandings of the processes of growth and life cycles of trees and plants, thelives of insects, animals and human nature. Through the guidance of Orunmila, the principles of Yoruba cosmology evolved: "The self-existing being (Olodumare), or the One Source, who is believed to be responsible for creation and maintenance of heaven and earth, of man and women, and who alos brought into being divinities and spirits (Orisha) who are believed to be his functionaries as intermediaries between mankind and the Self-Existent Being (Oludumare).

    It was through Ashe (Nature) that matter and forces of creation evolved from. This was created by Oludumare for a divine purpose. The union of the Orisha (angelic forces) and Aba, (human development) gave birth to the dual potentiality of the human spirit. It is the goal of man to align his/her earthly conciousness with Ori ( the physical and spiritual head) in order to connect with his/her divinity.

    The Orisha Esu, Obatala, Oshun, Ogun, Yemoja, Shango, Oya and others too numerous to mention. In the herbal context, each require special herbs and foods to bring out the life force energy that bring about their qualities. This "bringing about" is a dual endeavor as the herbalist need follow certain guidelines and practices to efficaciously heal or correct imbalance of physical health.

    Orisha as a term, is actually the combination of two Yoruba words, "Ori" with is the reflective spark of human conciousness embedded in the human essence, and "sha" which is the ultimate potentiality of that conciousness to enter or assimilate itself into the divine consciousness. From this idea, we can see that given the right encouragement of the human consciousness, man can heal himself along with the use of herbs and foods as special inducements. From this standpoint, the Orisha assist in the development of (iwa pele) or balanced character. This the premise of true Yoruba medicine. The connection between one's consciousness (Ori) and one's behavior (Iwa-pele) is clearly seen as a way of maintaining a correct attitude towards nutrition and lifestyles in order to ward off sickness (negating spirits) and disease.

    Disease according to the theory of the Ifa Corpus, is caused by oppressive forces known as "ajogun". The Orisha are spirits of heaven sent, to continually wrestle with the human nature in order to uplift it, to purify it. The "ajogun" are the "demonic" beings. They are all earthly and heavenly forces whose destructive intent is to off-set the human body. It is the job of the Oloogun (medince healer) to help the patient overcome the opposing forces that disrupt their health.

    When understanding the African's use of demonic and spiritual agencies in medicine, it is important to understand that this is concept is used merely as a cosmic-tool to explain physical phenomena in nature which is unique to African thought. When the european came to Africa and saw the African dancing in a frenzy with their bodies covered in ashe, they did not understand or comprehend, so they labled it primitive, savage and backward. They hadn't made the connection between the creator, spirits and their manifestation in nature as the African had done. The western mentality couldn't understand because of their materialistic way of seeing.

    Because the Yoruba system have many Orisha which serve different purposes, we will only focus on Erinle-Orisha, the Orisha of Medicine.

    Orisha Attributes
    Obatala: Creator of Human form, White purity, Cures Illness and deformities
    Esu: Messenger of the Orisha, Holder of Ashe among the Orisha, he is prime negotiator between negating and positive forces in body, enforces the "law of being". Helps to enhance the power of herbs
    Ogun: Orisha of iron, he expands, he is divinity of clearing paths, specifically in respect to blockages or interruption of the flow of vital energy at various points in the body, he is the liberator.
    Yemoja: Mother of waters, sexuality, primal waters, nurturer. She is the amniotic fluid in the womb of the pregnant woman, as well as, the breast which nurture. She is the protective energies of the feminine force.
    Oshun: Sensuality, beauty, gracefullness, she symbolizes clarity and flowing motion, she has power to heal with cool water, she is also the divinity of fertility and feminine essence. Women appeal to her for child-bearing and for the alleviation of female disorders, she is fond of babies and sought if a baby becomes ill, she is known for her love of honey.
    Shango: Kingly, virility, masculinity, fire, lightning, stones, protector/warrior, magnetisim. He possesses the ability to transform base substances into that which is pure and valuable.
    Oya: Tempest, guardian of the cemetary, winds of chang, storms, progression, she is usually in the company of her counterpart Shango. She is the divinity of rebirth as things die so that new begginnings arise.​

    In the body, Erinle-Orisha can be understood in terms of metabolic energy which activates, or stimulates the other Orisha. Each Orisha is characterized by certain attributes and is in charge of specific organ functions. Each has its dual force or ajogun and Orisha force. The Orishas also have special places or main locations in the body where they can accumulate, or cause havoc or disease. Therefore, it is important to use corresponding herbal treatmen to correct the derangment.

    Obatala: brain, bones, white fluids of the body
    Esu: sympathetic nervous system, para sympathetic nervous system
    Yemoja: Womb, liver, breasts, buttocks
    Oshun: Circulatory system, digestive organs, elimination system, pubic areas (female)
    Ogun: heart, kidney, tendons and sinews
    Shango: reproductive system (Male), bone marrow, life force or chi
    Oya: lungs, bronchial passages, mucous membranes​

    Ewe (herbs)

    The use of herbs plants, called ewe in Yoruba, is of great importance. Herbs are picked for medicinal, and the spiritual powers they possess. In Yorubaland, herbs are gathered by the Oloogun, or by various types of herbalists who inhabit the regions where Ifa is practiced. The populations can usually obtain herbs either by private practice or from the market place in town. In the Americas and the Caribbean, Yoruba based practioners are also directed to use herbs as medicine. Here the Oloogun or priests, as well as devotees alike gather herbs for medicine, baths, and religious artifacts. Because of the wide-spread practice of Ifa in the new world, Nigerians and people from other African countries have begun to set up herbal businesses in increasing numbers. More and more indigenous herbs are now being made accessible to devotees here in the Americas. It is said that ewe are for the healing of nations and many health food stores provide them in powder, leaf, and capsule form. Adherants to the traditional practices of Yoruba medicine are usually advised to use herbs as medicine before going to western allopathic drugs for healings. There are many books written on the subject of herbology. Therefore, researching the possibilities of herbal use is recommended.

    Orisha Ewe (Herbs) for medicinal use.

    Obatala: Skullcap, sage, kola nut, basil, hyssop, blue vervain, white willow, valerian
    Esu: All Herbs
    Oshun: Yellow dock, burdock, cinnamon, damiana, anis, raspberry, yarrow. chamomile, lotus, uva-ursi, buchu, myrrh echinacea
    Yemoja: Kelp, squawvine, cohosh, dandelion, yarrow, aloe, spirulina, mints, passion plower, wild yam, root.
    Ogun: Eucalyptus, alfalfa, hawthorn, bloodrood, parsley, motherwort, garlic
    Oya: Mullein, comfrey, cherrybark, pleurisy root, elecampane, horehound, chickweed
    Shango: plantain, saw palmetto, hibiscus, fo-ti, sarsaparilla, nettles, cayenne​


    The following is a recommended way to prepare herbs: The herbs can be used along or in combination with other herbs. Add the herbs to a pot of mildly boiling water. Let the herbs steep for about thirty minutes before straining. The remaining herbal solution is then prepared as a tea. In some instances the herbal solutions are used in diluted form of enemas. Enemas are among one of the most effective treatments in cleaning out the colon which is the seat of many diseases. In Yoruba medicine, sugar should never be added to herbal solutions. Honey may be used, however, along with some lemon.

    http://www.planetherbs.com/articles/yoruba.html
     
  2. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Anyone in the family looking into this "discipline"

    All about healing! :sick:
     
  3. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes, brother Sekhemu.

    I was on this track years ago and am paying for my "backsliding".

    I recently have been increaing intake of ginseng an a mix of echinacea and goldenseal, but it is in the tablet form. I dont know where locally to purchase in root form, and if I did, have no idea how to prepare properly. There were several stores in los angeles, but not where Im at here in Texas, except maybe at a whole foods in Plano.

    I have to rely on GNC but its not quite working the same.
     
  4. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    In keeping with the current interest in herbs, I hereby bump this thread.

    Alexandra
     
  5. ru2religious

    ru2religious Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Very good bump -

    I do a lot with Herbs myself - and the study thereof.

    Here's a good site for those who are into herbology which gives you the plants and there purposes. There is a scientific name section which is what the alopathic doctors use and then there is the Naturalistic herbal names such as people like me use. Click Here!!!

    If some of the people on here and this is not directed toward you my sista because I'm most certain you already are well versed in this knowledge, need information on what herbs to get or take for certain illnesses pm me or at least someone whom you trust amongst our people who can help you get away from alopathic medicine.


    Peace


    Ru2religious
     
  6. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What do you study? books or from a practitioner? I have been using rare books dating back to the 70's but I think my studies will go much further if I apprentice under an experienced practitioner.

    What are your three favourite herbs and why? please share if you don't mind so we can learn from each other and build on our existing knowledge.

    My top three herbs would have to be;

    1. Sage - Reasons too numerous to list which range from purification, protection to healing.

    2. Yellow Duck Root - The most potent blood purifier that I know. It is also a good all rounder when it comes to hoodoo.

    3. Burdock leaf - Excellent cleansing herb that expels toxins and poisons. Nourishes joints so is good for arthritis. Hoodoo uses include protection, and cleansing the aura.

    A
     
  7. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you for that site King.

    I am very much the acolyte when it comes to herbs, so always looking for a willing teacher. Do you mind providing an email for the non-premium members amongst us who cannot PM you?

    Cheers,

    Alexandra
     
  8. Blackbird

    Blackbird Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    A,

    Aheem, Do you mean Yellow Dock root? It is used in rootwork in my neck of the woods for money and business purposes. The Comanche would use it as a laxative.

    Sage is in my parts for wisdom and protection, as well as, a female herb. In First Nation cultures, sage is used for health reasons such as asthma, other respiratory problems, bowel problems, nervousness and "female weakeness".

    Burdock is used in rootwork as a cleansing, unjinxing and protective herb. Also use to by men to get their nature back. First Nation groups used burdock as a wash to soothe sores and rashes. It is good to pamper yourself with when mixed with comfrey leaf.

    Blackbird
     
  9. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    that's a great mix of herbs brother....

    one love
    khasm
     
  10. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Lol. Indeed I do. I plead fatigue for the prolific typos in this and other posts. I have been up since 6am Tuesday morning, and it is now 3.00am Wednesday morning. I intend to stay up till 10.00pm, so apologies to all in advance.

    Thanks for adding those other uses, though I must ask, exactly what is 'female weakness?'.

    What are your top three herbs Sir?

    Alexandra
     
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