Kemet First Empire
Africa and Medicine
The practice of traditional medicine in Africa
- PMID: 525052
PIP: Traditional medicine is a method of healing founded on its own concept of health and disease. Knowledge is passed on orally from father to son. Healing knowledge is jealously guarded in certain families. In Africa the popularity of traditional healers is attributed to the fact that they take full account of the socio-cultural background of the people. The components of traditional medicine include herbal medicine, therapeutic fasting and dieting, hydrotherapy, radiant healing therapy, venesection, surgery and bone-setting, spinal manipulation and massage, psychotherapy, therapeutic occultism, psychiatry and preventive medicine. In the African environment the therapeutic potential of traditional medicine is great and requires further indepth study to improve methods and training and to form a more effective organization within the ranks of traditional healers. In the physical medicine, vegetable, animal, and mineral substances may be used. In the metaphysical division of traditional medicine, prayers, invocations, or incantations are offered to some mysterious and powerful forces.