In 1992 Olof Smit was approached by a group of healers and invited to become an intermediary between traditional African medicine and western allopathic medicine. He estimated that this research might take a couple of months, but ended up spending the next 12 years in the rainforest on this African cultural experience.
He was astounded by the infinite possibilities of the “green things” in the forest. He soon learned that these “things” that the western world simply refers to as trees and plants were in reality a medicine chest of cures for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual illnesses.
AFRICAN MEDICINAL KNOWLEDGE
The Suriname forest that forms part of the vast Amazonian rainforest region is blessed with a boundless variety of medicinal plants and a thriving practice of natural healing. Indian and African tribes that originated from South-America and West Africa are the present-day inhabitants of Suriname’s primary rainforest. The African tribes were formed three centuries ago by the first plantation slave runaways. Perhaps it was the strong attachment of these “Maroons” to their deep African traditions that gave them the determination to escape their captors.
The positive outcome of this human drama is that their knowledge of traditional tribal medicine has survived in isolation and has been handed down through the centuries and generations. Today the tribes have access to a vast medicinal treasure chest right in their own backyard.
TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE
Materialism has already penetrated deep into the rainforest. Young people are flocking into towns to acquire wealth and ignoring their rich heritage of medicinal knowledge. In addition, the disastrous speed with which the forest is being destroyed is disturbing the harmony of the plant world. Virgin rainforest is the ideal environment for the medicinal plants.
The healers in the tribes urgently need to transfer their knowledge to the West in the form of a rainforest medicinal product line. This will help to convince the governments of South-America that the sustainable use of the rainforest will deliver more revenue and long-term benefits than the irreversible cutting down of trees.
Within the tribes, the role of the spiritual healer is as important as that of the other types of healers. A healer knows the medicinal plants and can use them to heal once a physical illness is diagnosed.
A spiritual healer works in a preventative way to help people avoid illness. In order to become ill, one has to catch a viral, bacterial, emotional or other infection, and after a time the sickness or the complaint establishes itself.
PREVENTION BETTER THAN HEALING
A spiritual healer can detect the moment a person becomes “infected”. Using inspiration or insight he knows when and how the person has been infected, and the diagnosis can then be interpreted. The soul gets this inspiration from the Spirit, or GOD. Through early diagnosis, a person is given the opportunity to take preventative measures to avoid the complaint or illness - even before it has become evident.
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