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.
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Inner Beauty Herbal Tea NEW LIFE JOURNAL
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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 generation.
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
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 occurring substances.
Traditional African plants make an
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
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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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.
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