Umhloyane, also known as Artemisia afra, is one of the oldest and best-documented indigenous medicines in South Africa. This bush, which grows wild throughout the sub-Saharan region, smells and tastes like "medicine," thus easily making its way into people's lives and becoming the choice of everyday healing for Xhosa healer-diviners and Rastafarian herbalists.
This "natural" remedy has recently sparked curiosity as scientists search for new molecules against a tuberculosis pandemic while hoping to recognize indigenous medicine. In Healing Roots Laplante follows umhloyane on its trails and trials of becoming a biopharmaceutical – from the "open air" to controlled environments – learning from the plant and from the people who use it with hopes in healing.
Introduction: Tracing the Preclinical Trial of an Indigenous Plant
Chapter 1. Knowing Umhloyane/Artemisia afra
Chapter 2 Engaging in Medicine
Chapter 3 Tracing Medicine - Wayfaring
Chapter 4 Imagining Indigeneity
Chapter 5 Healing the Nation
Chapter 6 Dreams, Ancestors and Sound Healing
Chapter 7 Weaving Molecules in Life
Conclusion: Imagining the Clinical Trial
Julie Laplante is Associate Professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Ottawa, where she has coordinated the MA program in anthropology from its inception in 2010. Research for Healing Roots was done as a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute fur etnologische forschung, Halle/Saale. She has published in numerous journals and is the author of Pouvoir Guerir. Medecines autochtones et humanitaires (Power/Ability to Heal. Indigenous and humanitarian medicine).