By Herbert C. Covey
African-American Slave drugs deals a serious exam of ways African-American slaves clinical wishes have been addressed through the years sooner than and surrounding the Civil struggle. Drawing upon ex-slave interviews carried out throughout the Nineteen Thirties and Forties by means of the Works undertaking management (WPA), Dr. Herbert C. Covey inventories some of the natural, plant, and non-plant treatments utilized by African-American people practitioners in the course of slavery. He demonstrates how lively the slaves have been of their personal therapy and the real function religion performed within the therapeutic technique. This booklet hyperlinks every one referenced plant or herb to fashionable clinical facts to figure out its genuine worthy and results at the sufferers. via his research, Dr. Covey unravels a number of the complicated social relationships chanced on among the African-American slaves, Whites, folks practitioners, and sufferers. African-American Slave drugs is a compelling and alluring learn that would attract students of African-American heritage and people attracted to people drugs.
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Extra resources for African-American Slave Medicine: Herbal and non-Herbal Treatments
Bleed you for most any sickness. A person had to be mighty sick ’fore a doctor was called. John Proctor Mills (Alabama) stated: Marse Jole was one uv der finess white mens der Good Lawd evvah done brunged awn dissearf. Evvy day he camed tew der slave quattahs wid der fambly doctah an quired aftah evvy niggah awn der place kase he done say’d,—er well fed, helthy niggah nex tew er mule is der bess propersition er man can vess his money in. An’us slaves fared juss ez good es twus poss’ble fur ennybuddy ter fare.
The economic investment represented by the slave population was the primary reason why they were provided medical care (Fisher 1968). ” NARRATIVE REFERENCES TO SLAVE MEDICAL TREATMENT BASED ON VALUE The WPA narratives often noted the role of value in the delivery of medical care. The slaves were keenly aware that the quality of medical care that they received from plantation owners and overseers was dependent on their value. For example, WPA respondent Janey Landrum (Texas) was well aware of the role value played: W’en us got sick old Mis’ doctored us and if us git too bad they would send for their own doctor.
Tuberculosis among African Americans manifested itself as a lymphatic disorder and was not always properly diagnosed but was misdiagnosed as Struma Africana, Scrofula, or White Medical Care of Slaves 29 Cachexia Africana (Warren 1997). Byrd and Clayton (2000: 300) identified “Negro diseases” of the period as including: • • • • Drapetomania, a disease that caused slaves to run away; Typhoid Pneumonia, a serious form of pneumonia; Cachexia Africana, dirt eating; Struma Africana, or Negro consumption, a pulmonary disease attacking Africans; • Dyasthesia Aethiopis, rascality; • Chronic Leprosy, accounting for dark skin color, big lips, and wooly hair; and • Furor Sexualis, a sexual disorder.
African-American Slave Medicine: Herbal and non-Herbal Treatments by Herbert C. Covey