METAPHYSICAL DIMENSION TO THE PRACTICE OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AMONG THE AFRICAN - ESAN PEOPLE
Before orthodox medical practice was made popular, every society, tribe and race had its approach to
health health care delivery, which in Esan land is still very much patronized till date. These various cultural health
care approaches are rooted in the traditions of the people. In Esan land there is a high level of recognition of the
use of traditional medicine. Traditional medicine is claimed to involve the direct use of herbs in curing ailments.
There is virtually no disease that a traditional Esan person does not believe to have a local solution. But in spite of the use of herbs which undoubtedly is the claim of the trado-medical practitioners in the land, the practice of traditional medicine among the Esan people has a deep metaphysical undertone, the volume of which is now made very low in the face of Christianity. The recourse to the preternatural, follows the belief among the people that some ailments are supernaturally caused and so, also need same force to reverse. Hence, influence of the nonperceptible forces over the empirical handy herbs (especially in notable cases), they do not undermine. It is this metaphysical dimension that the paper is set out to explore. Revealed in the paper is that there is 'more' to the use of herbs. The methodology of a philosophical work of this nature would necessarily be analytical. And the paper posits that a holistic practice of traditional medicine cannot but involves this metaphysical dimension. And that partnering with grass-root practitioners is a condition sine qua non for its total success. Again, that the revival to promoting the use of herbs in medicare is welcomed, however, among the Esan people the belief and employing of the 'anointing' of the supernatural forces for its efficacy in some special cases cannot be undermined and as such, should not be discouraged