African herbalist healer

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African herbalist healer

Her inspiration for this work began as a child in her native home of Guyana, where she was exposed to how African, Caribbean and Latin American traditions profoundly influenced plant medicine and community healing. Karen is dedicated to empowering individuals to make informed decisions not only about their health, but their total lifestyle.

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She has developed authentic and enlightening materials as well as an extensive line of herbal products, all of which are available through the apothecary, apprenticeship classes and mentoring programs, such as her Get Off Your Knees platform, in which she weaves myth, fairytale, folklore and her own experiences to uniquely coach clients on how to become their spiritual, physical, and emotional best selves based on their innate talents and gifts.

A strong advocate of community partnerships in healing, she believes that all spiritual traditions offer guidance on the path to finding truth, and she has authored articles on the power and simplicity of herbs used to heal and nourish mind, body and spirit.

Aside from her dedication to healing, Karen is also a devoted mother of three, who she proudly believes are her best apprentices. Sacred Vibes Apothecary. Cart 0. Learn Gather Partner About Shop. Back Apprenticeship Learning Portal.

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Back Garden Workshops Conference. Back Garden Apothecary. Back Sacred Vibes Karen Rose. Karen M.All people, regardless of nationality, can benefit from our videos, lectures, and books as a guide to healthy living.

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african herbalist healer

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It is therefore the aim of this paper to clarify this relationship by discussing a chain of communication between the worshipers and the Almighty God. Other aspects of traditional healing namely types of traditional healers, training of traditional healers as well as the role of traditional healers in their communities are discussed. In conclusion, the services of traditional healers go far beyond the uses of herbs for physical illnesses.

Traditional healers serve many roles which include but not limited to custodians of the traditional African religion and customs, educators about culture, counselors, social workers and psychologists.

Relative to other African countries, South Africa is a young democracy. Having been liberated from minority Nationalist Party rule inmany areas of activity are still divided between Western and African philosophies.

One would immediately realise that South Africa is a complex country with diverse cultural beliefs. Chavunduka n.

african herbalist healer

Firstly, the traditional African philosophy of illness in most cases encompasses relations between God, ancestors and the universe; and in many traditional healers double as religious leaders priests and prophets in African independent churches and vice versa. The traditional African religion, in particular, can be described as tribal Van der Walt, In other words, its practice varies from tribe to tribe but the substance remains the same all over Africa.

Traditional African religion had existed for many centuries before the arrival of Western Christian missionaries and Western political expeditions on the African continent. With the challenge for and the Westernisation of the African continent in the 19 th century, many Africans became Christians not by choice but via intimidation.

Nonetheless, it is also worth mentioning that others became Christians by choice Nigosian, Contrary to the intentions of colonial authorities and the apartheid government, this forced conversion and Westernisation did not lead Africans to completely abandon the traditional African health care system and African religion Nigosian, Instead, many Africans practiced Western and traditional African religions concurrently and as such utilised the services of both the traditional and Western health care systems Nigosian, Before the Westernisation process, Africans had always believed in God and the ancestors and had been profoundly spiritual.

Africans believed and continue to believe in the eternal and ubiquitous spirit of the ancestors and the Almighty God. The ancestors continue to show an interest in the daily lives of the relatives that are still alive Van Dyk, These spirits, because they have crossed over to the other side of life, act as mediators between the living and God. This way of life is regarded as ancestor reverence, veneration or remembering and not as ancestor worship Berg, This is one aspect that many people who do not subscribe to this belief system fail to understand: that the God that the traditional African religion subscribers worship is the same God that Christians and other religious groupings believe in.Throughout Africa, there are more traditional healers than trained medical practitioners, according to the book Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange, and Competition in South Africa, The traditional healers promote traditional African medicine, a form of holistic health that combines spiritual beliefs and herbalism to treat patients.

However, the traditional form of medicine remains in Africa today and most Africans use it as their health care.

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In traditional African medicine, healers strive to discover the primary cause of an illness rather than trying to treat all the symptoms. Healers pass on knowledge of traditional medicine from generation to generation.

Herbalism is one of the main methods used to treat various sicknesses in traditional African medicine. Since the continent of Africa has an abundance of herbs and plants from areas such as rain forests, healers use the indigenous flora as treatments.

According to livestrong. Spiritual beliefs such as witchcraft affect traditional African medicine. According to Mokaila, when traditional healers track the root of a disease, they seek to discover whom, rather than what, caused the disease.

african herbalist healer

Most of the native people believe that witchcraft is the cause of many diseases. Witchcraft or dead individuals who are angry at living ones are believed to be the sources of all diseases, hardships and deaths. In fact, sciencedaily. Native Africans trust traditional healers, and avert.

As traditional African medicine continues to be the main form of health care in Africa, western medicine strives to find a middle ground where the two practices can exist while successfully treating illnesses. Traditional vs. What are alternative and complementary medicines? Terrible that the epidemic has taken grip in that region of the world. Biggest question to me is how did HIV get there?!? It was not until when deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge stepped forward and said the government had been "in denial at the highest levels" about the success of ARVs that change finally began.African traditional medicine is a form of holistic health care system organized into three levels of specialty, namely divination, spiritualism, and herbalism.

The traditional healer provides health care services based on culture, religious background, knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that are prevalent in his community. Illness is regarded as having both natural and supernatural causes and thus must be treated by both physical and spiritual means, using divination, incantations, animal sacrifice, exorcism, and herbs. Herbal medicine is the cornerstone of traditional medicine but may include minerals and animal parts.

Major obstacles to the use of African medicinal plants are their poor quality control and safety. Traditional medical practices are still shrouded with much secrecy, with few reports or documentations of adverse reactions.

However, the future of African traditional medicine is bright if viewed in the context of service provision, increase of health care coverage, economic potential, and poverty reduction. Formal recognition and integration of traditional medicine into conventional medicine will hold much promise for the future.

Herbal Medicine.

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The development and use of traditional herbal medicine THM have a very long historical background that corresponds to the Stone Age. In the continent of Africa, the practice of traditional healing and magic is much older than some of the other traditional medical sciences [ 1 ] and seems to be much more prevalent compared to conventional medicine.

African traditional medicine is a form of holistic health care system that is organized into three levels of specialty, which include divination, spiritualism, and herbalism, though these may overlap in some situations [ 23 ].

A traditional healer is one who provides medical care in the community that he lives, using herbs, minerals, animal parts, incantations, and other methods, based on the cultures and beliefs of his people.

He must be seen to be competent, versatile, experienced, and trusted [ 4 ]. In other definitions, priestesses, high priests, witch doctors, diviners, midwives, seers or spiritualists, and herbalists are included. In specific cultures, these people go by their local names, depending on their tribe, such as Sangoma or inyanga in South Africa, akomfo, bokomowo in Ghana, niam-niamshaman, or mugwenu in Tanzania, nga:nga in Zambia, shaman or laibon in Kenya, and babalawodibia, or bokaetc.

It is commonplace to see traditional healers dressed in certain peculiar attires, with head bands, feathers, and eyes painted with native chalk. Traditional medicine is viewed as a combination of knowledge and practice used in diagnosing, preventing, and eliminating disease.

This may rely on past experience and observations handed down from generation to generation either verbally, frequently in the form of stories, or spiritually by ancestors or, in modern times, in writing [ 6 ].

It has also been said that before attaining knowledge in traditional African medicine, one is often required to be initiated into a secret society, as many characteristics of this form of medicine can only be passed down to initiates. The importance of traditional medicine, however, dwindled during the colonial period, whereby it was viewed as inferior to Western medicine.

Some forms of treatment may also involve ritual practices such as animal sacrifices to appease the gods, if the ailment was envisaged to be caused by afflictions from the gods, especially in the treatment of the mentally ill patients. In African traditional setting, there was always an explanation as to why someone was suffering from a certain disease at a particular time. Illness in the African society is different from the allopathic Western medicine point of view.

Illness is believed to be of natural, cultural, or social origin [ 8 ]. African traditional beliefs consider the human being as being made up of physical, spiritual, moral, and social aspects. The functioning of these three aspects in harmony signified good health, while if any aspect should be out of balance, it signified sickness.Traditional healers of Southern Africa are practitioners of traditional African medicine in Southern Africa. They fulfill different social and political roles in the community, including divinationhealing physical, emotional and spiritual illnessesdirecting birth or death ritualsfinding lost cattle, protecting warriors, counteracting witchcraftand narrating the history, cosmology, and myths of their tradition.

There are two main types of traditional healers within the NguniSotho-Tswanaand Tsonga societies of Southern Africa: the diviner sangomaand the herbalist inyanga.

These healers are effectively South African shamans who are highly revered and respected in a society where illness is thought to be caused by witchcraft, pollution contact with impure objects or occurrences or through neglect of the ancestors.

For harmony between the living and the dead, vital for a trouble-free life, traditional healers believe that the ancestors must be shown respect through ritual and animal sacrifice. Traditional healers will often give their patients muti —medications made from plant, animal and minerals—imbued with spiritual significance.

These muti often have powerful symbolism; for example, lion fat might be prepared for children to promote courage. There are medicines for everything from physical and mental illness, social disharmony and spiritual difficulties to potions for protection, love and luck. Although sangoma is a Zulu term that is colloquially used to commonly describe all types of Southern African traditional healers, there are differences between practices: an inyanga is concerned mainly with medicines made from plants and animals, while a sangoma relies primarily on divination for healing purposes and might also be considered a type of fortune teller.

In modern times, colonialismurbanisationapartheid and transculturation have blurred the distinction between the two and traditional healers tend to practice both arts. Each culture has their own terminology for their traditional healers.

Xhosa traditional healers are known as amaxwele herbalists or amagqirha diviners.

Traditional healers of Southern Africa

A sangoma is a practitioner of ngomaa philosophy based on a belief in ancestral spirits Zulu : amadlozi ; Sesotho : badimo ; Xhosa : izinyanya and the practice of traditional African medicinewhich is often a mix of medicinal plants and various animal body fats or skin. Sangomas believe they are able to access advice and guidance from the ancestors for their patients through spirit possession by an ancestor, or mediumshipthrowing bones, or by dream interpretation.

Some sangomas speak to their patients through normal conversation, whilst others speak in tongues, or languages foreign to their patients, but all languages used by sangomas are indigenous Southern African languages depending on the specific ancestors being called upon. Not all sangomas follow the same rituals or beliefs. Ancestral spirits can be the personal ancestors of the sangoma or the patient or they might be general ancestors associated with the geographic area or the community.

By using ngoma, the sangoma believes they can create harmony between the spirits which is thought to bring an alleviation of the patient's suffering. The sangoma may burn incense like imphepho or sacrifice animals to please the ancestral spirits. A sangoma's goal in healing is to establish a balanced and harmless relationship between the afflicted patient and the spirits that are causing their illness or problem.

Throwing the bones to access the advice of ancestors is an alternative practice to the exhausting ritual of possession by the ancestor. In a typical session, a patient will visit the sangoma and the sangoma must determine what the affliction is or the reason the patient has come to them for help.

The patient or diviner throws bones on the floor, which may include animal vertebrae, dominoes, dice, coins, shells and stones, each with a specific significance to human life.

Traditional African Medicine: Herbalism, Spirituality and Treating HIV/AIDS

For example, a hyena bone signifies a thief and will provide information about stolen objects. The sangoma or the patient throws the bones but the ancestors control how they lie. The sangoma then interprets this metaphor in relation to the patient's afflictions, what the ancestors of the patient require, and how to resolve the disharmony.

The spiritually curative medicines prescribed by a traditional healer are called muti. They may be employed in healing as warranted in the opinion of the herbal specialist or inyanga. Muti is a term derived from a Zulu word for tree. African traditional medicine makes extensive use of botanical products but the medicine prescribed by an inyanga may also include other formulations which are zoological or mineral in composition.

Traditional medicine uses approximately 3, out of 30, species of higher plants of Southern Africa.

Understanding traditional African healing

Mutis are prepared, and depending on the affliction, a number of purification practices can be administered Ukuzila Fasting one of the most important thing to do in preparing muti and healing. These practices include bathing, vomiting, steaming, nasal ingestion, enemas, and cuttings: [25].

The healer, through dreams or during prayers, believes they are advised of auspicious times for collecting the plants. In some cases, symbols and dreams are also interpreted to determine which particular plants to collect for a specific patient and where these plants are located, not in all cases as most traditional healers have their herbs stored in their huts eNdumbeni.


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