Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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EYOB Derillo, British Library

Traditional herbal remedies have always been commonly used in Ethiopia. There are traditional pharmacies and medical practitioners in Addis Ababa that ubiquitously sell medicine authoritatively and in clandestine. Those looking for “authentic” traditional medicine pharmacy/dispensary will only go the places that are family or friend recommended, owing to fear of getting sold medicine which contains dangerous ingredients that could have harmful effects. Ethiopian traditional medicine is vastly complex and diverse and the medical practitioners have a long history. These medical practices draw on both the “mystical” and “natural” causes of an illness and employ a holistic approach to treatment (Bishaw, 1991). The Ethiopians have cultivated and used many kinds of plants, and animal products as medicinal. There are over 600 species of medicinal plants thought Ethiopia. Many of this plants and their uses have been written down in Ge’ez and Amharic, preserved in manuscripts dating to the 16th century. This paper will analyse a selected plants in Ma?hafa Mad?anit (British Library Or. 828) a medical working dating to the early part of the late 18-th to early 19th century. Although usually assumed to be a translation of the Arabic version of ‘ Treatise of Therapeutics’, MM strongly demonstrations indigenous knowledge and skills of traditional medicine. It contains a wide array of plats (herbal), animal parts and techniques of treatments used to for therapeutic.