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Traditional Medicine: South Africa

The term traditional medicine in South Africa is commonly used to refer to a set of concepts, actions, and relationships that draw on precolonial medicinal ideas and practices to provide interpretations and responses in relation to experiences of illness in contemporary society. Traditional medicine takes a holistic approach to body and mind seen as indivisible from social and spiritual context; illness is subsumed under wider explanatory frameworks of other kinds of misfortune. Traditional medicine is based on the ontological premise that the ancestor spirits remain active in the lives of their descendants and are the ultimate sources of health and prosperity, as well as illness and misfortune. Ancestors are also held to be sources of inspiration for diagnosis and remedial treatment. Traditional medicine is ...

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