African-American Folk Remedies

Picture of a raspberry on the bush.
The leaves of the raspberry bush, common in the south, may have been used by slaves for medicinal purpose.

Many African-American folk remedies originated during slavery. Slaves were required to self-treat or were attended to by friends, relatives, or healers who used charms or African based medicinal therapies. Therapies included the use of plants, herbs, seeds, roots, leaves, minerals, thorns, incantations, needles, and powders of bones, to name a few. Today, other alternative medicine practices are still common in African-American culture today. Most ingredients still used today are no longer exclusively used in African-American culture. They include, but are not limited to cranberry, raspberry leaf, ginger, and camphor.

Gullah Geechee Practices

A collection of bottle trees.
Bottle trees are part of Gullah Geechee culture. Curious spirits become trapped inside them, preventing them from doing harm.

Gullah-Geechee are the descendents of enslaved Africans in the southeastern United States. Gullah geechee are a facinating culture with many folk practices, which are perfect examples of African-American folk remedies. More extensive information on the Gullah Geechee can be found here