Global Journal of Medicinal Plants Research

Holistic Healing Through Herbs as a Meeting Point Between Science and Religion in Africa: An Example of Senna Didymobotrya among the Nandi Community, Kenya

Abstract: African communities held certain shrubs in reverence due to their medicinal and religious role. Religion and belief in a supreme being are central to human existence, and in additional African communities, they inform their way of life. The belief that all life originates from the supernatural puts plants at the centre of the natural cosmos. Senna didymobotrya is a shrub that the Nandi community of Kenya uses to treat various ailments and incorporates into several religious and cultural rituals. The Nandi community of Kenya passed on the knowledge of herbal medicine from one generation to another, and gained expertise through the practical application of this knowledge. Both men and women in the medical field possessed psychological, social, and spiritual wisdom, which guaranteed a comprehensive treatment of a patient, as evidenced by the patient's recovery following the application of this medicine. Therefore, we can conclude that a patient's ability to heal or recover relies more on their psychological and cultural beliefs than on the perceived quantity or quality of the medicine they receive. This paper argues that the scientifically proven efficacy of Senna didymobotrya in treating various ailments underscores the importance of harnessing these herbs for holistic healing of both body and soul. This serves as a meeting point between science and religion in African communities' socio-cultural and religious activities.



 Medicine, Culture, Religion, Senna didymobotrya