Muti (Traditional Southern African Medicine)

Muti is a traditional medicine practice based out of southern Africa and whose use stretches to central Africa as far north as Lake Tanganyika. The medicine of Muti is part of Ngoma, which is a philosophy founded on ancestral spirits’ healing abilities. This traditional medicine uses trees, herbs, and plants as well as zoological and mineral combinations to prevent, manage, and treat illnesses and restore health. Beyond having medicinal abilities, many Muti are symbolic. Like other traditional African medicines, Muti is a holistic and practical approach that focuses on preventative medicine in order to promote a person’s health and overall well-being (physical, spiritual, and emotional). The term Muti is based on the Zulu word for “tree.”

The underlying philosophy of Muti medicine is that a person’s ...

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