African plants used in medicine

South African Traditional Medicine Traditional medicine features in the lives of thousands of people in South Africa every day.

African plants used in medicine

African plants used in medicine

Abstract Prior to the introduction of cosmopolitan medicine, traditional medicine used to be the dominant medical system available to millions of people in Africa in both rural and urban communities.

However, the arrival of the Europeans marked a significant turning point in the history of this age-long tradition and culture. This paper examines the trends and challenges of traditional medicine in Africa. The impact of colonialism on African traditional medicine is also examined.

Although the paper is on Africa, references are drawn around the world to buttress the growing demand for traditional medicine. The paper concludes that to minimise the current distrust between modern and traditional doctors and to achieve the objective of regulation, standardisation and cooperation, both traditional and modern doctors must acknowledge their areas of strengths and weaknesses from which they operate and be genuinely concerned about the difficult but necessary task of being human.

Traditional medicine, challenges, Africa Introduction Traditional medicine TMvariously known as ethno-medicine, folk medicine, native healing, or complementary and alternative medicine CAMis the oldest form of health care system that has stood the test of time.

It is an ancient and culture-bound method of healing that humans have used to cope and deal with various diseases that have threatened their existence and survival.

African plants used in medicine

Hence, TM is broad and diverse. Consequently, different societies have evolved different forms of indigenous healing methods that are captured under the broad concept of TM, e.

Chinese, Indian and African traditional medicines. This explains the reason why there is no single universally accepted definition of the term.

Prior to the introduction of the cosmopolitan medicine, TM used to be the dominant medical system available to millions of people in Africa in both rural and urban communities. Indeed, it was the only source of medical care for a greater proportion of the population Romero-Daza, There are strong indications that traditional health care systems are still in use by the majority of the people not only in Africa but across the world.

In indigenous African communities, the traditional doctors are well known for treating patient holistically. They the traditional doctors usually attempt to reconnect the social and emotional equilibrium of patients based on community rules and relationships Hillenbrand, unlike medical doctors who only treat diseases in patients.

In many of these communities, traditional healers often act, in part, as an intermediary between the visible and invisible worlds; between the living and the dead or ancestors, sometimes to determine which spirits are at work and how to bring the sick person back into harmony with the ancestors.

In this paper, the trends and challenges of African traditional medicine are examined with emphasis on the efforts towards the integration of TM into the mainstream of health care systems.

Some scholars such as Curtin,; Olsson, are of the opinion that the process of modernisation in Africa is intrinsically connected with foreign intervention particularly in areas of health and democracy.

For example, Curtin argues that the period between and marked a significant and rapid innovation in tropical medicine, particularly, the invention of quinine to stem the scourge of malaria in the most endemic region of the world.

Indeed, the current political and socio-economic crises in Africa are attributed to colonialism and its attributes. Similarly, while some critics of colonialism have focused on the economic and political impacts, others have shifted attention to the impact of colonialism on indigenous knowledge system IKS Mapara, especially knowledge of medicine Feierman, ; Konadu, ; Millar, ; Paul, Such arguments underscore the negative impact of colonialism on indigenous medicine.This chapter reports scientific progress in detecting mutagenic and carcinogenic plants used in African traditional medicine.

Over African medicinal plants were screened mainly in South Africa, Nigeria, and Tunisia, for their mutagenicity and carcinogenicity for the period of . Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM) is an international peer-reviewed, Open Access journal that seeks to understand the sources and to encourage rigorous research in this new, yet ancient world of complementary and alternative medicine.

We have a treasure trove of edible and medicinal plants within our rich plant kingdom in South Africa. It is important to know what part of the plant to use and how it can be used for culinary concoctions; some are edible only in certain seasons or after certain preparations.

Below are a selection. Jul 03,  · Prior to the introduction of cosmopolitan medicine, traditional medicine used to be the dominant medical system available to millions of people in Africa in both rural and urban communities. However, the arrival of the Europeans marked a significant turning point in the history of this age-long.

The plant is used by both primates and indigenous peoples in Africa to treat intestinal ailments such as dysentery. Veronica officinalis: Veronica The plant is used for sinus and ear infections. Viburnum tinus: Laurustinus V.

tinus has medicinal properties. To begin to properly understand the healing dynamics of South African traditional healing and medicine lets begin looking at the medicines: the muti.

Muti is a word derived from medicinal plant and refers to traditionally sourced plant, mineral and animal based medicines.

Traditional African medicine - Wikipedia