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Afr J Med Med Sci. 1987 Jun; 16(2): 61-73.

Yoruba traditional healers in psychiatry. II. Management of psychiatric disorders.

Makanjuola RO, Jaiyeola AA.

Department of Mental Health, University of Ife, Nigeria.

The methods of management of mental disorders employed by twenty Yoruba traditional healers were studied. Paranormal and pharmacological therapeutic agents were given prominence; psychological treatments were not employed to any great extent. The different types of medication employed could be differentiated into two groups, one in which pharmacological influences may be most important, and one in which paranormal influences may be more relevant (from the healers' points of view). Other forms of treatment that could be classified as paranormal are also described. One hundred and sixty-three plants were named by the healers as being used; of these only forty-eight were named by a quarter or more of the healers and only nine by half or more of the healers. The root bark of Rauwolffia vomitoria was employed by all healers. Animals and other agents employed were also identified.

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