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Science Interrogating Belief

Bridging the Old and New Traditions of Medicine in Africa

David Okpako

Traditional African medicine (TAM) is an ancient healing art. In this wide-ranging study the author presents an interpretation of the beliefs that constitute the theoretical framework for TAM practices, and concludes that the beliefs share many characteristics with modern medical theory, but there are significant differences from the latter which reflect the African experience. Fever, malaria and plant remedies, have one common denominator i.e., the biological phenomenon known as inflammation.

This is the backbone of the hypothesis put forward in the second half of the book: In traditional African societies malaria was successfully cured with plant remedies which suppressed malaria-induced inflammation; because the people had significant immunity against the disease, the causative plasmodium parasite was eliminated by the host's body. How indigenous plant remedies can now be used to minimize malaria drug resistance is outlined, and an Africa-centered approach to malaria control-which takes into account the African's intrinsic protective immunity and his extensive knowledge of anti-fever plant remedies, is advocated. Science Interrogating Belief is essentially an outline of the basic principles of TAM. It points to ways in which the modern and ancient traditions of medicine can come together for the benefit of mankind.

ISBN 9789789210886 | 390 pages | 210 x 148 mm | 2015 | BookBuilders Editions Africa, Nigeria | Paperback

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