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African American efforts to improve health and well-being in their own communities acknowledge the importance of healers and healing toward achieving their goals. The approach to healing taken by African Americans has incorporated the restoration of the mind, body, and spirit. This approach has been shaped by African healing and medicinal knowledge and their practice. African Americans’ health and healing were also influenced directly by enslavement for the first 246 years of their experience in the New World, and indirectly by the long-term consequences of that experience.

Medicinal interventions in Africa have included the use of herbs, medicines, and spiritual practices. In many instances, these were the only health improvement interventions available. This entry begins by describing African healers and healing, including their roots ...

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