• Indigenous Medicine and Traditional Healing in Africa: a Systematic Synthesis of the Literature

    Samuel Adu-Gyamfi (see profile) , Eugenia Anderson
    Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Public Humanities, Science and Technology Studies (STS)
    History, Medicine, Social history, Social evolution, Science
    Item Type:
    History of medicine, Cultural evolution, History of science
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    Literature on traditional medicine in Africa is diverse and broad but most are country based, regional based or time based. There is the need for a systematic review that focuses on the nature of traditional medicine and its healers, the impact of the changing society on traditional medicine, and an analysis of same based on scholarly literature. African Traditional medicine, a mixture of herbal (physical), mystical (spiritual) and social elements of society, is quite varied but share similarity in its dependence on the socio-cultural and religious indigenous knowledge systems of the people. Indigenous traditional healing in Africa has always been a highly contentious subject matter due to its nature and a source of disagreement between the different colonists and Africans. What has enabled this practice to survive is the secrecy technique employed by the healers as well as the inability or unwillingness of colonial and postcolonial governments to provide a better or sometimes a more advanced alternative. In order to do this synthesis of literature and analyses of same, diverse books and scholarly articles were consulted. Using a purely qualitative method of research, this study does a retrospect cross examination and an analytical review of pertinent literature on traditional medicine and healing in Africa.
    One of the key components of life, which threatens the existence of a group, is health; therefore, each group pays close attention to the preservation and development of its medical systems. In Africa, traditional medicine and its practitioners occupied an important and enviable position in every society due to the importance placed on health.
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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