African American Slave Medicine: Herbal and non-Herbal Treatments

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African American Slave Medicine offers a critical examination of how African American slaves’ medical needs were addressed during the years before and surrounding the Civil War. Dr. Herbert C. Covey inventories many of the herbal, plant, and nonplant remedies used by African American folk practitioners during slavery.

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Covey’s approach is straightforward and impartial. He offers a comprehensive analysis of the literature, judiciously recognizing the work of other historians in this field. At the same time, his contribution stems from an insightful monographic focus….This volume is worthy of a wide readership across disciplines….A precise and substantial work that serves as a functional primer for slavery and medicine in the United States. (Journal of Southern History, August 2008)

This is an excellent treatment of a subject of increasing interest for the lay public and scholars alike. The appendix presents a wealth of information previously undocumented as to source, now confirmed and associated with real people as sources. This book has much to recommend it to a wide interdisciplinary audience. This volume cannot help but enrich the reader. (Herbalgram, August 2009)

Researchers, writers, fans of African American history or those who are fascinated with the history of medicine before, during and after the Civil War will love author Herbert C. Covey’s 2007 title, African American Slave Medicine: Herbal and Non-Herbal Treatments. . . .This straightforward, academic, sometimes ‘in-your-face’ manuscript holds a treasure chest of information about early medicine, race, and medical treatments used during slavery. . . .Use this book as a supplement text to early American history, American medical history and African American history. It can also be used to explore alternative medicine and healing because the herbs, plants and other items of that day are still in existence today. The book has a reference section at the end that is a researcher’s dream. (The Black History Channel)

African American Slave Medicine by Herbert C. Covey is a concise and cogent treatment of the enslavement of African people and herbal pharmacopoeia in the United States. The text makes an important contribution to the expanding field of slavery and medicine, covering the areas of American history, African American Studies, and the history of science and medicine. (Katherine Bankole, associate professor of history, West Virginia University)

About the Author

Herbert C. Covey is an instructor in the College of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

African American Slave Medicine offers a critical examination of how African American slaves’ medical needs were addressed during the years before and surrounding the Civil War. Dr. Herbert C. Covey inventories many of the herbal, plant, and nonplant remedies used by African American folk practitioners during slavery.

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