Back to the Roots: Evaluating the Renaissance of a Traditional Herbal Healthcare System in Ghana

First name: 
Yaa Oparebea
Last name: 
Class Year: 
Amity Doolittle
Essay Abstract: 
Herbal medicine is an integral part of the indigenous health care system in Ghana. Even many Western biomedical medicines are directly or indirectly derived from plants and herbs. While traditional indigenous herbal practices had been fading into obsolesce for centuries with the establishment of European influence, literature presents that in recent years, there has been a necessary resurgence traditional herbal medicine use, to support a weak health care system in the country. Relying on a fieldwork study conducted in Ga Mashie, a district in Accra, Ghana, the thesis examined the prevalence and relevance of herbal medicine in the contemporary Ghanaian society. The study reveals systematic and socio-cultural conflicts that exist between the traditional herbal practitioners and their Western-orthodox colleagues. The thesis noted that for a collaborative health care system in Ghana between traditional herbal healers and western-trained doctors to be effective, there needs to be an acknowledgement of the roles that religion, settlement type, and marketing play in influencing consumer and client treatment-seeking behavior.