Africa : African Medicine

Discussion in 'All Things Africa' started by cherryblossom, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Feb 28, 2009
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    Date: Friday, March 23, 2012, 4:30 am
    By: Erica Taylor, The Tom Joyner Morning Show

    Black America Web

    Entertainment, News and Lifestyle for African Americans

    ...The use of plants, herbs, powder of bones, seeds, roots, juices, leaves, minerals, animal sacrifice, massage, thorns, bleeding, incantations, needles, ventriloquism were brought from regions of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

    From many tribal regions of Africa, healing methods included the use of Spanish moss (also known as "Old man's beard") for the treatment of rheumatism. Also used for easy childbirth, the moss was put in shoes to lower blood pressure, crushed to soothe hemorrhoids or tied around the neck to relieve neck pain. Remedies for sickness like chicken pox called for the healer to go into the chicken house, let the chicken fly above them, then pull the sick patient backward into the chicken house.

    Other cultural remedies practiced included ways to cure chills and fever, which meant cutting a notch of wood for every "chill" the patient had, then blowing on the wood and throwing it into a running stream that the patient never plans to pass again.

    In order to cure a drunken spouse, a wife was to skin a live eel, put the skin in liquor and give it to her husband to drink. As for the use of the eel skin, it could be tied into hair to increase hair growth or worn around the neck to cure a headache.

    To cure teething and fever in a baby, live woodlice were to be sewn into a pouch and worn around the child’s neck.

    Those administering remedies - whether in Africa or during slavery in America - used what was available, dispensing herbal remedies such as corn shuck tea for rashes, tobacco to draw out poison from stings or bites, turpentine for congestion or alum and honey for coughs. Some practices are still in use today, like the use of a silver dime, which is placed under the lip to stop a nosebleed, or a band of copper worn for arthritis.