any Africans believe (similarly to the
Eastern culture of Tao) that life forces are present in everything. This spirit or power is the essence of every living creature, natural event or inanimate object.
hese life forces all have their own personalities and cosmic place. Therefore, the preservation or restoration of health is impossible without them
raditionally, African people have used herbal and plant products as medicines and poisons in their struggle for survival. A healer’s power is not determined by the number of medicinal plants they know, but by the ability to apply an understanding of the intricate relationship between the patient and their surrounding world.
nlike a Western trained doctor, the traditional African healer looks for the Mcause of the patient’s misfortune in the relation to his social, natural and spiritual environment.
ore than half of the Western drugs currently available are either directly or indirectly based on natural substances. In African societies ancient remedies are even more important as they form an essential part of traditional healing.
any traditional stories are associated with the African healer. A healer in Dakar, Senegal was once able to save the lives of many yellow fever patients certain to die, while medical graduates from Paris stood by helplessly.
nce, along the banks of the River Congo, a French doctor observed African surgery being performed. His friends were treating a man with a very deep cut in the forearm. They secured a number of large black ants over the wound.
s each ant bit into the flesh, the cut was drawn together. The body of each ant was removed and the wound closed as neatly as though done by a surgeon’s needle.