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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne & Monroe Counties Michigan

The Roots of Medicine Are at The Heart of Nature

by Jesse R. Brown, N.D.

Valentine’s Day encourages us to think about the heart and the roots of modern medicine. We must preserve, protect, promote, perpetuate, pass along and thus prosper from the African-American history of health and wellness—from the Ebers Papyrus—the earliest writings on the study and practices of health, which were traditionally the primary methods for practicing and cultivating natural health and wellness. Just as we preserve our most important historic buildings and artifacts in society, we must preserve the historic body of knowledge on holistic health.

The knowledge of the body and how it benefits from plants, specifically herbs in nature, for health, protection and recovery, is of the upmost importance and we must share it with our children and grandchildren, how the natural methods have provided accessible, affordable, effective and transferable means of taking care of ourselves in ways that have been passed along from Africa, throughout the Caribbean, the diaspora, and to the Americas.

The legality of using the traditional healing practices is being challenged across the U.S. in deference to modern medical means and pharmaceutical medicines that have become more prevalent in hospitals and clinics. In order to protect the culture of holistic healers and healing methods, we must be vigilant in the fight to preserve these methods for the numerous advantages they provide while still complementing healing regimes with newer medical methods.

For millennia we have performed spring cleanses, used herbs, prayer and natural remedies to prevent and oftentimes cure illnesses. The first pharmacopeia, or book of medicines, was comprised primarily of herbs and plant medicine. The roots of medicine are at the heart of nature.

The formulas of the those times had to be readily accessible, affordable and available without an undue or restrictive expense that would further rob us of our health and wealth. We must share those simple and credible means and methods of treating and preventing disease, and show how overcoming common conditions, particularly when they are in the early stages, was very achievable and is still available to us today.

The science and practice of natural/holistic health is a vital part of our culture. Generations ago, families passed along the methods and means to heal for the benefit of their current and future generations. That is not being done presently, so we must make a conscious, deliberate decision to initiate education and systematic efforts to carry this work on. This is particularly true for the impoverished, underserved and at-risk populations of people in urban areas across the country. We need healers in every home, place of employment, and place of worship, in every community.

Jesse R. Brown, ND, is the owner of the Detroit Wholistic Center, located at 20944 Grand River Ave., in Detroit. He can be reached at 313-538-5433, [email protected] or