Must Have Books On African American Natural Remedies During Slavery

Black people in America were in a struggle to live for four hundred years while enslaved, having to fight for their lives by what they knew and learned all on their own or by the knowledge they carried from their motherland, to which they could pass down to descendants.

Much of this knowledge has been retained in books, from authors willing to share how black people survived by the complex knowledge of plants and various things that created healing. There were even some black enslaved that were considered doctors who would even practice on white people because they were the only people who could heal them, when some white doctors had no idea how to treat.

Here are some of the must have books focusing on the mysteries of natural herbal treatments used in the past during the enslavement of black people of America.

The book titled SECRET CURES OF SLAVES by Londa Schiebinger, award winning author and John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science at Stanford University, takes readers into a time during the 1700s and 1800s of the Transatlantic Slave Trade when there was a search for various cures to heal and treat, and how some remedies from African/African descendants were not made known and explored further.

WORKING ON THE ROOTS: 400 Years of African American Traditional Healing is a title written by Michele E. Lee, and the book is based on her research from interviews and even apprenticeships that were formed out of her studies in the south and western regions of the United States.

Inside the book, Lee brings together “a comprehensive collection of traditional African American medicines, remedies, and the many common ailments they were called upon to cure, Working The Roots is a valuable addition to African American history and American and African folk healing practices.”

Known as the Gullah people of South Carolina, their forefathers were brought from Africa, and along with them came centuries old African herbal cures that once in America, they began to mix with Native and European anecdotes.

Hoodoo Medicine by Faith Mitchell allows us to learn not only some of the remedies and cultures from the people of the Sea Islands of South Carolina who have maintained the strongest ties to African tradition, but gives us a clue into how Africans and their descendants were able to survive with nothing on first arrival and centuries after.

Ex-slave interviews played a major part in the production of AFRICAN AMERICAN SLAVE MEDICINE by Herbert C. Covey as the book gives “a critical examination of how African-American slaves medical needs were addressed during the years before and surrounding the Civil War… inventories many of the herbal, plant, and non-plant remedies used by African-American folk practitioners during slavery”.

“He demonstrates how active the slaves were in their own medical care and the important role faith played in the healing process. This book links each referenced plant or herb to modern scientific evidence to determine its actual worth and effects on the patients.” – quote from Amazon

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