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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Osanyin (Yoruba god of herbal medicines): from religion to medicine
Author:Osunwole, S.A.
Periodical:African Notes: Bulletin of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:In African therapeutic systems, ritual therapists believe that the gods possess the ability to heal and promote social harmony if they are ritually acknowledged. This prompts such practitioners to do all in their power to ensure the holistic health of the community. Among the Yoruba of Nigeria, herbal or phytomedicines are the provenance of Osanyin. He supervises plant collection, preparation and utilization. He is also believed to have inculcated the culture of forest resources conservation in those who happen to associate with him through veneration and worship. With the advent of conversion to Christianity and Islam, worship of Osanyin has declined tremendously, but traditionally inspired healers still continue to venerate him. The data for this paper were collected among the Aagberi and Iwo in Osun state where some of these priests are still to be found. Bibliogr.