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Gambian Traditional Medicine & Healing

In Gambia, traditional medicine is as much a part of life as is farming. Many people rely on it more than they rely on Western remedies. When possible, Western medicine is used in conjunction with traditional medicines to heal the sick.

The use of traditional remedies is not restricted to particular doctors or healers. Most older Gambians, particularly the leaders elders of a community, know how to use certain plants or herbs to facilitate good health. In fact, traditional remedies are usually the first recourse. The average citizen will visit one of the clinics that rely on Western medicine only after individual efforts using traditional remedies has not proven sufficient. Certain plant products can be purchased at the pharmacy; others are found in the bush.

Many people feel that there is something that can be gained medicinally from all plants. Therefore there is an infinite bank of treatments for disease. Compiled below is a partial list of some commonly used natural products.

Gambia has official legislative / regulatory texts governing the practice of traditional medicine. There is a licensing process for traditional health practitioners and some traditional medicine practitioners are involved in Gambia's primary health care programme.

Alternative Plant Remedies in Gambia:

Plant Used to treat
Kalkato roots with
Chest infection
Seno and Wonko
tree bark
Skin rashes
Seno tree bark
Pruritus vulvae
Seno tree leaves with
Seno root powder
Abdominal pain
Kunjunboro tree
Bitter Kola nut
Male sexual

NOTE: Always seek the services of a fully-qualified doctor before taking any alternative herbal or other remedies, medicines or potions as they may have adverse effects on your health and / or fail to give you the desired benefit.
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