It is time to reclaim our birthright.
Start a garden in your backyard or on your patio.
Plant herbs in small pots in your window
for cooking and tea.
Eat locally grown organic food from your region’s farmers. Educate
yourself about local herbs and their beneficial uses for your health.
Connect with elders in your community and learn what they may know
about local plants and their remedies.
Cine’ is the owner of Pure Cine’ Natural Hair & Skin Care Products.
email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inner Beauty Herbal Tea NEW LIFE JOURNAL
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IS OUR BIRTHRIGHT
helps us embrace
the deep medicine
of African ancestors.
I grew up in the 1950 and 60s in a small town in Lexington,
Mississippi. The majority of people in my community, including me,
were African Americans. My ancestry is enriched by a long line of
midwives and healers including my grandmother who taught us the
best way to take care of one’s body was to eat garden fresh foods
and to use herbal medicine. When we became sick, my grandmother
would go out into the woods, gather some herbs and prepare a tea or
salve or whatever was the best medicine for the illness.
I have come to realize it is
important to start talking to the
elders in communities about their
knowledge of herbal medicine.
My experience during the past several
years of my research in the Sweet
Auburn community in Atlanta, Georgia
and my community in Franklin,
Mississippi indicates that in the African
American communities, there is usually
someone in every family that passes this
herbal information on to the next
African Views of Illness
Traditional Africans believe that everything is imbued
with a life force. This spirit of power is the essence of every
living creature, deceased ancestor, inanimate object, and
natural event (such as a thunderstorm). The preservation and
restoration of health cannot be pursued without involving these life
forces, all of which have their own personality and cosmic place. A
healer’s power is not determined by the number of medicinal tree
barks he or she knows, but by his or her ability to apply their
understanding of the intricate relationship between all things for the
good of the patient and the whole community. The traditional African
healer looks for the cause of the patient’s misfortune in the
relationship between the patient and his social/physical environment.
African healing is an
intricate part of the
When this framework is
understood, it no longer
is an incoherent
collection of rational
and irrational acts,
but rather a condensed
expressions of base
beliefs concerning life,
good and evil, and
etiology of illness.
Sub-Saharan Africa carries 21% of the global burden of disease
and only spends 0.7 % of the total health care budget of the
world.More than half of this burden is due to communicable
diseases such as malaria. Almost one third is directly related to
malnutrition. Eighty percent of all births in Africa are attended by
midwives or traditional birth attended. The majority of midwives
are elderly women who are respected for their skills.
Their procedures are not very different from practices elsewhere
in the world, and many do more the just deliver babies. These
midwives share a cultural heritage with the women and their
families, and they know which food and local herbs are needed
before, during, and after delivery. Traditional healers constitute the
professional form of health care service for the large majority of
Africans, particularly those living in rural areas.
Today, it is often believed that
all major Western medicine
comes from a chemical
laboratory, and that it is,
therefore, old-fashioned to study
natural products. This is quite a
misconception. Half of today’s
best-selling drugs are directly or
indirectly based on naturally
Traditional African plants make
an important contribution.
For example, healers in Ghana
use an aqueous root extract to
treat symptoms that occur in
diabetics. A study of human
patients with type 2 diabetes
(non- insulin dependent) has
confirmed that the aqueous root
extract lowers blood glucose
levels. Laboratory testing has
identified the alkaloid
cryptolepine as the major
When our ancestors were brought to the Americas from Africa as slaves, they
brought their medicines with them. Women working in the fields would
plant their special herbs between the rows of corn so that they would be
close to their heritage and the medicines from their homeland. They did
not forget the powerful healing knowledge of their ancestors, and the
seeds of this wisdom are still alive in the elders of our community.
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Claim the wisdom of your elders
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Our deepest fear is not
that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that
we are powerful beyond
It is our light, not our
darkness that most
We ask ourselves, who
am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented and
Actually, who are you
NOT to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
doesn't serve the world.
shrinking so that other
people won't feel
insecure around you.
We are born to make
manifest the glory of God
that is-within us.
It is not in some of us,
it is in everyone.
And as we let our own
light shine, we
others permission to do
As we are liberated from
our own fear, our
Traditional Healing is the oldest
form of structured medicine, that
is, a medicine that has an
underlying philosophy and set of
principles by which it is practised.
It is the medicine from which all
later forms of medicine
developed, including Chinese
medicine, and of course also
modern Western medicine.
Traditional Healing was originally
an integral part of semi-nomadic
and agricultural tribal societies,
and although archeological
evidence for its existence dates
back to only around 6000 B.C.,
its origins probably date back
from well before the end of the
Traditional Healing is an
It considers that an
all-pervading energy is
present in all matter, that
embodies the natural laws
and universal creative force.
This energy has different
names in different cultures; for
example the ancient Greeks
called it Pneuma and also
Aether, in China it is called
Qi, in Japan Ki, in India
Prana, while in the Pacific
cultures it is know as Mana.
Although this energy may
have many different names,
the underlying attributes of
this energy are perceived
very much in an identical way
in all cultures.
Thus living beings are
considered to manifest a
higher level of this energy,
while inanimate objects
manifest it in a much more
limited and basic way.
Traditional Healers believe
that this energy can become
disturbed in living beings due
adverse thoughts and
emotions, an inappropriate
lifestyle, an unwholesome
diet, unhealthy air, tainted
water, an unnatural
environment and a
disharmony with natural
As these are the ultimate
causes of disease, the
Traditional Healer may initially
set out to improve overall
health, but will always
recognise the need to correct
the cause in order to provide
a full and final recovery.