Traditional healers of South Africa are practitioners of traditional African medicine in Southern Africa. They fulfill different social and political roles in the community, including divination, healing physical, emotional and spiritual illnesses, directing birth or death rituals, finding lost cattle, protecting warriors, counteracting witches, and narrating the history, cosmology, and myths of their tradition. There are two main types of traditional healers within the and societies of Southern Africa: the (sangoma), and the herbalist (inyanga). These healers are effectively South African who are highly revered and respected in a society where illness is thought to be caused by witchcraft, pollution (contact with impure objects or occurrences) or through neglect of the ancestors. It is estimated that there are as many as 200,000 indigenous traditional healers in South Africa compared to 25,000 Western-trained doctors.Traditional healers are consulted by approximately 60% of the South African population, usually in conjunction with modern biomedical services.
For harmony between the living and the dead, vital for a trouble-free life, traditional healers believe that the ancestors must be shown respect through ritual and animal sacrifice. They perform summoning rituals by burning plants like (Helichrysum petiolare), dancing, chanting, channelling or playing drums. Traditional healers will often give their patients muti—medications made from plant, animal and minerals—imbued with spiritual significance. These muti often have powerful symbolism; for example, fat might be prepared for children to promote courage. There are medicines for everything from physical and mental illness, social disharmony and spiritual difficulties to potions for protection, love and luck.
Although sangoma is a term that is colloquially used to commonly describe all types of Southern African traditional healers, there are differences between practices: an inyanga is concerned mainly with medicines made from plants and animals, while a sangoma relies primarily on divination for healing purposes and might also be considered a type of fortune teller. In modern times, , , and have blurred the distinction between the two and traditional healers tend to practice both arts. Traditional healers can alternate between these roles by diagnosing common illnesses, selling and dispensing remedies for medical complaints, and divining cause and providing solutions to spiritually
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Astrong native healer experienced in Ancestral healing and spell casting, Astrologers, African Medicines, Ritualism, Herbalist healers, Spiritual healers, Native healer, Philosophy, Traditional healers, Herbal remedies, holistic healing
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