This book combines historical biography with a focus on the role of the practitioner in the folk health-care system, and ethnobotany, including a description of the active ingredients of the herbs used in African American herbal medicine. The contributions of European Colonial, American Indian, and African practices to the development of contemporary African American folk medicine are discussed. In addition to showing John Lee's approach to folk medicine, the volume provides descriptions and illustrations of the main herbs used. Folk Wisdom and Mother Wit provides a basic historical framework and background to the continuing viability of a folk medical system based on a pluralism combining biomedicine and traditional health care. As such, it will be of value to scholars and students of medical anthropology as well as Black Studies.