Traditional Medicine

Ole Sululu teaching about medicinal plant use
Ole Sululu teaching about medicinal plant use

Indigenous and modern wisdom meet in most interesting ways in the arena of medicinal plants and traditional healing. Ancient societies have relied on medicine from the earth while an increasing number of people from post-industrial nations are seeking the fruits and wisdom of nature to heal themselves.

Sadly, both the biodiversity of medicinal plant species and the indigenous cultures supporting the work of traditional healers are rapidly disappearing around the world. In Africa, where 70-80% of the population relies on traditional systems of medicine for its basic healthcare needs, indigenous cultures and rich ecosystems are increasingly threatened by industrialization, urbanization, and other aspects of social and environmental change.

In Tanzania, there is keen interest in traditional medicine that can complement allopathic medicine. However, there is a long way to go towards establishing a solid infrastructure supporting safe use of traditional medicine while modernizing the system to include extensive documentation of uses, proper dosage levels, and effective plant conservation strategies.

As one of its first major initiatives, Terrawatu engaged in medicinal plant research, cultivation of medicinal species in the region, and the development of traditional and integrated medicine clinics. We have also taken the lead in training apprentices to work as respected traditional healers.