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Advances in Complementary & Alternative medicine

Current Uses of Cowries in Traditional Medicine After their Disuse as Currency-A Cross-Sectional Study in Ghana

Submission: May 12, 2023; Published: May 19, 2023

DOI: 10.31031/ACAM.2023.07.000670

ISSN: 2637-7802
Volume7 Issue4


Cowries were imported into West Africa to serve as money, but this role had been replaced by modern currencies. This study, therefore, investigated what roles cowries that are still being sold in markets continue to play. A cross-sectional study using a semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from fourteen Traditional Medicine Vendors (TMV) in the two major markets in the Tamale metropolis. Data were analyzed with Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 25. Although the knowledge of the TMV on cowries can be considered as good (67.1%), only 42.9% knew cowries are animals. Cowries according to TMVs are used by their clients for spiritual/magical purposes (29.4%), decorations (23.5%), treatment of physical diseases (23.5%), and payment of dowries (11.8%). Protection against evil forces was their main spiritual use while medically, they are commonly used to treat skin disorders. Further studies to confirm their medicinal uses are required.

Keywords:Cowries; Disuse; Currency; Ghana

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