When a new baby is born, the grandparents or parents traditionally give the child a herbal bath, or it is their responsibility to teach their daughter-in-law how to boil the herbs and make a special mixture to wash the baby for his or her first ritual on the earth. While the child's concoction is being prepared, the mother or grandmother prepares some local medicine for the mother to drink to kill her new wound.
To make the bath blend, a variety of herbs are gathered and boiled, including root, leaves, and the bark of a tree. The herbs are prepared by boiling them for up to an hour to kill any germs that may harm the child.
Despite its apparent benefits, the preparation of the mixture is time-consuming, and its ability to store for up to one week poses a serious infectious disease risk. From the first day or week after birth to a few days later, the baby is washed in herbs.
The herbal bath is used to cleanse and soothe the baby's skin. It is also thought to bring good luck to the baby, protect against curses, and assist him or her in maintaining the blessings, destiny, glory, favour, and whatever else he or she brought to earth to accomplish.
It's often found that individuals who are not washed in a bath blend become violent, fall ill frequently, cry at night, and are disobedient and that the bath can be divine security from ancestors against supernatural attacks by sorcerers who wish to harm the child. This method is carried out not only in Ghana but also in many other African countries, but it appears that we are no longer doing so.
There are numerous herbs that they commonly use, but these are a few
1. Tameawu also known as Tree of life
2. Onunum also known as clove basil
3. Awudefoc akete also known as Palma christi
4. Adedenkroma known as Castor leaves
5. Nyenye also know as Bitter gourd
They wash the child in the above powerful herbs to keep his or her glory and to protect the child from any evil spirits. It is also used to purge a malaria-infected child.
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