Before I dive into the world of medicinal herbs, let me tell you a story about the mighty man that all Ebira Herbal practitioners look up to in terms of herbal medicinal. The Man Called “OBEGE”.
Obege was an unbeatable herbalist during his own time and history has it that he was from Eika Ohizenyin in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria. (I wouldn’t talk about clan).
Obege and the Revolution of Herbal Medicine in Ebiraland.
OBEGE the Ocean of herbal Medicines & Leaves: The supernatural one, one-who-turns-all-leaves-into-medicine. One who is versed in the use of roots, one who has a sharp, pointed tail like that of a chick. One who has a liver as crystal clear as a fly’s. One who is as powerful as an iron rod. Obege, the custodian of secrets who fastens medicine on his chest.
One who forcibly takes the clothes from a sick man and staggers. He who fights without being guilty. A big masquerade for whom the mortar is rolled. Leaves in the hand – Leaves in the mouth – One whose body is full of medicine. He who can revive a sick through herbs – He who uses medicine to fight death. A leopard that prepares medicine to remove assaults.
He drinks some water and uses some to anoint his head. He turns 200 leaves into one – One whose body is full of medicine. The mighty man who preserves the forest for medicinal purposes – The man who uses leaves to do all he wants. – Obege The Herbal Man.
Obege never had a child but call his followers and the rest of his clan his children, also told them not to do charm (Ahono), for he has conquered the battle of leaves and charm, if they are just in their doings no charm will ever affect them till the end of days, so far they are true followers of Obege.
All herbalist in Ebiraland whether from Obege’s clan or not must acknowledge his wisdom when it comes to practicing herbal medicine for he has done so much that 21st century science is still yet to beat, and they still seek more knowledge of herb from him anytime they pray.
Herbalists and Priests enlist the aid of Obege, the spirit of herbal medicines, in their work against mental and physical illness caused by malevolent forces and individuals.
Obege is believed to be the Deity of healing credited with all knowledge of Herbs, Leaves and Roots for Medicinal purposes in Ebiraland. To Obege, health is a state in which there is a blending of physical, mental, emotional social moral and spiritual well-being. To achieve this harmony he resort to divination to find out the cause of and remedy for the illness he is treating.
Herbs have enormous Magical Power, as they hold the Earth’s energy within them. Each herb has unique properties that can enhance one’s magical goals. Herbs also may have medicinal properties.
The magical practitioner can draw upon either aspect when performing a spell. Harvest herbs in the morning after the sun has dried the dew but before the heat of the day sets in. Use a sharp magical knife to cut herbs; the knife should be consecrated specifically for this purpose. Thank the plant for its gift, and offer it something in return, perhaps some water.
Harvest only the amount of herbs needed, except when pruning the plants, to ensure healthy growth for the following season.
Roots on the other hand – often the most magically potent part of the plant – once chopped or powdered are fairly indistinguishable one from the other. Familiarize yourself with herbs and other botanical. Know what they should look like, and what they should smell like…
OBEGE MADE IT KNOWN THAT THEIR ARE SACRED PLANTS
In the world of plants, some are used for sacred and ceremonial purposes, to explore the spirit world. The use of these plants derives from native cultures, whose members have traditionally sought access to the supernormal through the ingestion of the plants and their preparations. The use of these plants differs from contemporary religious practices in a key way.
For while religious prayer, ritual and communion are engaged to propitiate god or gods, the use of sacred plants is intended to give the participant direct access to the divine experience. The difference is not slight but radical.
Additionally, the sacred plants are used for healing purposes. True healing puts into order the body, mind and spirit with the past, present and future. Such integration is possible by various means, including by the ceremonial use of the sacred plants.
Throughout history these plants have been employed to heal disorders of body, mind and spirit, and today a whole new emerging body of study is currently examining the healing properties of some of these plants.
The only way to document all Obege’s practices then was by cramming and apprenticeship, which means all the students has to learn and cram everything they learn with the help of Herb prepared from Honey and Birds Nest, this aid them in cramming a lot of plants name and their uses but lots has been forgotten today.
It is said that Obege has treated all the illness that is, ranging from heartbreak to ulcer and lots more but how he does most of them can’t be recalled.
In Conclusion; I have carried out my research and have written this article to let it be known to Ebira people home and abroad that even though Ebira History has not been properly documented, we still have ones that can still be used for educational purposes, Obege was a man known for his herbal practices throughout Ebiraland and one that cannot be erased from history of Ebira People.
I know I once said in an article that I stopped writing about Ebira history as it spreads hates in the Land but I can’t help but write this one that has to do with herbal medicine.
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Yakubu Binuyaminu Adeiza
CEO – Ebiraland Media (www.ebiraonline.com.ng)
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