Traditional Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria

Filed in Medicine by on October 1, 2019 0 Comments

Traditional Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria is discussed in this article and we hope you find it informative and helpful for your research.

Traditional medicine in contemporary Nigeria is often referred to as the alternative to western medicine such as tablets, capsules, syrups, injections, and others.

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Traditional Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria

Traditional Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria – Photo Source: https://leadership.ng

In the olden days, much of what our forefathers had to treat ailments and various diseases were herbs. They used plant stems, leaves, leaf extracts, tree barks, seeds, roots, fruits and other parts of several plants and trees depending on the ailment.

It is all these items that when taken or used to prevent or cure different diseases that are referred to as traditional medicine.

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WORLD Health Organization (WHO) refers to traditional medicine as practices based on the beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, used in the maintenance of health and in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illnesses.”

Studies show that up till now many Africans, about 70 to 80% of us use traditional medicine as our primary health care.

In light of the above, traditional medicine has not become past tense as many people in the urban areas and township think.

Just because you can simply walk into a chemist and pick up some over-the-counter medication does not mean that some have an earthen pot of lemongrass, mango leaves and guava leaves on fire, boiling for their morning dosage against some ailment.

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Those in the rural areas where their health facilities are poorly equipped and a few urban dwellers who believe so much in the curative powers of our herbs are not just proud owners of the earthen medicine pot, they also consult local medicine men when they fall sick. For the rural dwellers, it is what is readily available and sometimes free or cheaper compared to the cost of visiting the hospital to see a medical doctor.

According to the Research Journal of Pharmacology “African traditional medicine is the oldest and perhaps the most diverse of all medical systems.”

What has kept it all these years is the culture of handing down the knowledge from one generation to the other.

As a medicine manages and sees how closer he gets to death, he takes it upon himself to teach one of his offspring how to administer herbal treatments.

In contemporary times, the health remedies are mostly pharmaceuticals which many people augment with herbs in some situations.

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One of the commonest of the herbal medicines Neem leaves extract or what is popularly called dogoyaro, which is used to treat malaria fever.

Although some health experts criticize traditional medicines for the associated risks of taking overdoses since there are not like capsules and other tablets, others are giving it prominence and pressing to include traditional medicine in the courses our higher institutions offer.

This means that, in the nearest future, we will have trained herbalists and traditional medicine men who have received formal training to administer treatment on people and this would save us the numerous side effects of western medicines.

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