By Herbert C. Covey
African-American Slave drugs bargains a severe exam of ways African-American slaves scientific wishes have been addressed in the course of the years prior to and surrounding the Civil conflict. Drawing upon ex-slave interviews carried out in the course of the Nineteen Thirties and Forties by way of the Works venture management (WPA), Dr. Herbert C. Covey inventories a few of the natural, plant, and non-plant treatments utilized by African-American people practitioners in the course of slavery. He demonstrates how energetic the slaves have been of their personal therapy and the $64000 position religion performed within the therapeutic procedure. This ebook hyperlinks every one referenced plant or herb to trendy clinical proof to figure out its genuine worthy and results at the sufferers. via his learn, Dr. Covey unravels a number of the advanced social relationships stumbled on among the African-American slaves, Whites, folks practitioners, and sufferers. African-American Slave medication is a compelling and attractive learn that may entice students of African-American historical past and people drawn to people medication.
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Additional resources for African-American Slave Medicine: Herbal and non-Herbal Treatments
Savitt (1978) cited examples of Southern planters recognizing that African American folk practitioners had better results than their White physician counterparts. For example, the practice of inoculation to prevent smallpox can be attributed to a slave who used serum from infected patients to inoculate people. The Reverend Cotton Mather learned of the procedure from a slave named Onesimus and advanced its use in formal medicine. According to Fontenot (1994), the early explorers Du Pratz and Le Page learned the cures for yaws and scurvy from an African American folk practitioner in Louisiana.
An additional concern of planters was that African American attitudes and involvement in healing was a matter of “native” or “negro superstition,” which was generally labeled by Whites as voodoo or hoodoo (Bankole 1998). Therefore, Whites were concerned that African spiritual and religious beliefs would spread and, perhaps, compete with Christianity. Racism framed all perceptions and actions of the times. Some slaves provided medical care in spite of the inherent dangers imposed by the dominant White society.
Over the centuries, Europeans adopted a number of herbal remedies. For example, Duin and Sutcliffe (1992) noted that opium, henbane, and mandrake root have been popular choices to induce general anesthesia. Physicians also relied on alcohol, a substance made from plants, to make 24 Chapter 2 patients drunk and less sensitive to pain. Many White physicians believed fevers were caused by “marsh miasma” and prescribed castor oil, opium, and other plant based remedies as treatments (Postell 1951). European immigrants also introduced a variety of new plants to North America many thought to be effective treatments for illness, such as catnip, feverfew, hound’s tongue, celandine, comfrey, mugwort, hollyhock, St.