Thanks to Millennials a Bright Future Lies Ahead for Natural Medicine Says Holistic Practitioner Adio Akil

What I admire about Adio Akil, the woman who convinced natural healer Dr. Sebi to open a practice in the United States, is the way she shares her knowledge about food, herbs, natural healing and young entrepreneurs who picked up the baton Dr. Sebi left behind.  She’s mature and articulate and speaks in a no-nonsense manner when she gives generous doses of health and nutrition tips.  On the other hand, when she speaks about sea moss there’s a childlike joy and awe in her demeanor and tone. More about sea moss later.

Without fail, in all our conversations since the first time I met her in 2017, Adio asks if I’m familiar with other herbalists and holistic entrepreneurs making strides in natural health care and food products, namely Tassili Ma’at in Atlanta or Bongo Hu I of St. James, Jamaica. When I pause to recall who they are, Adio jumps in and offers to send me information about them.  No doubt there’s a library at her own business Quintessence Health & Wellness Center in Washington, D.C.

Adio opened the doors to Quintessence events much like those she organized at The Community Warehouse decades ago.  In February 2020, with a celebration and demonstration of “Food as Medicine” at Quintessence, Adio gave away food samples, coached her audience on how to prepare natural foods, and recounted the work of Dr. Sebi.

I interviewed Adio about Food as Medicine but the Barnard College graduate offered so much more that matters just as much today as back then, like how young people and seniors feel about making changes in health and diet.  She mentioned the “now moment,” where “some older people feel that they have lived, have made it up to now, why bother to change.” People of color, Adio observes on her holistic journey, are more likely to feel that way and less likely to make changes in their health than Caucasians.  She said that if you tell Caucasians they need to make changes in their health and diet, and tell them what changes are necessary, they will change in that moment, in the now.

The following is the edited interview with Adio. Pay close attention to what she says about that little known but powerful gem in the sea—sea moss.

Health care insurance issues 

We talked about health care providers and the fact that health insurance does not cover natural healing therapies and products, one of the reasons people of color are less likely to change diet and lifestyle. 

Adio:  Right now, there are so many different types of healing programs that are going on around D.C.  But at the same time, if you don’t have the money to pay for it, aside from your insurance, then you can’t take advantage of it even though there’s a lot out there.  There’s a lot, from different types of massages. There’s reiki.  We’ve reached a milestone in health care and nutrition, and that’s due to COVID.  COVID made people of color realize that they have to eat better.  They have to exercise. They have to take walks. They have to drink more water.  And that’s because it became popular all over mainstream America and in the media, in the major TV shows telling people what they should eat, and talking about good nutrition and things that they could do to help them have a better diet, a better outcome from the choices they made over the years.

Dr. Sebi back in the early 70s and 80s and how natural healing was viewed as weird back then.

Adio: It’s great to be alive and healthy and to have experienced Dr. Sebi and his works and his formulations.  So that’s a great thing.  So, to be alive and tribute Dr. Sebi and Maa and natural healing and to see it come full circle, to see it come from people who thought you were weird or people just thought you were so different because I prioritized food and health and herbs.  And back in the 80s, late 70s, it was not prioritized.  It was prioritized in the early 80s by The Community Warehouse, where I was able to get Dr. Sebi to come to.  But overall, it was still thought of as something weird, wanting to care about what you put in your mouth rather than eating meat or other substances that wouldn’t be good for you.  So, coming full circle and seeing where now, here we are, I’m so thankful to  be alive.  People are embracing natural health and healing.  There are more juice bars all over.  And young people have embraced it and are taking it to another level, where I know more of our people, people of color, and people in general on the planet will be healthier because the young people have embraced the fact that food is a medicine, and that herbs are a medicine.

Adio’s daughter and business partner Makini

Adio: Makini actually helped me.  We started Quintessence Health & Wellness together.  And that has meant so much to both of us.  I have lived it up to now and she grew up seeing me live it—meeting Dr. Sebi and being around him plenty of times over the years.  She didn’t all the way understand or get the message but was just following.  But now, for her to come out as a leader, as a young person who realizes that yes, if I take different herbs and supplements, I can get rid of ailments that I might have, from simple ailments like a cold to something more extreme like the flu.

What is the mission of Quintessence?

Adio: The mission is to empower people of color so that they will know that in our ancestry we have the tools to heal ourselves.

What are those tools?

Adio:  When you talk about Quintessence Health & Wellness, one of the tools is access to our library, which has over 300 books from Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S. of Black healers and doctors, health practitioners, raw foodists.  So, the library is there and it’s an in-house library.  You actually have to use the books there.  But you can go through all these books and find any information you need.  We have books by the leading practitioners of color from the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Consultations

Adio:  I’m beginning to get into it.  Because I had six children, that’s why I didn’t try to practice.  I’m in my 60s now, but I didn’t try to practice sooner because I wanted to make sure my children were in the place they needed to be. Now that they’re grown I can, which is why there’s Quintessence Health & Wellness.  I’m doing it anyway because when you’re helping people as far as people who come in and want to use the library, people have all kinds of questions.  That is what the work is.  It’s about helping people.  I’m letting people decide if they want to take the steps to do it. 

Sea moss gel is popular with young people

Adio: The only thing we [Quintessence] supply is gel and dry sea moss to different businesses.  Sea moss gel is big and it’s really big with young people because they’re using it in their smoothies.  They’re using it in their soups.  They’re making dishes from it, food dishes.  As a matter of fact, we do make a sea moss pie, a key lime pie, which is made with sea moss.

Restaurants are onboard with sea moss

Adio: I actually have been going to Tassili’s Raw Reality Café.  That’s one of the biggest, largest raw food places in Atlanta, Georgia.  And I’ve given talks there about sea moss.  The owner is someone who used to work with me and spun off from there.  And she’s doing like a million dollars in business at the restaurant now.  Sea moss has 92 of the trace minerals found in the body.  I know for a fact that sea moss can cure someone of rickets, as long as you drink the sea moss, at least 32 ounces, every day for a year.  Sea moss will clear up your skin.  If you could see my skin right now, my skin is pretty. And one of the reasons is that I’ve been drinking that sea moss every day, and I’m also taking it in a powder form daily.  It promotes the growth of your hair, even if you have a bald spot somewhere.  If you start using it regularly, you’ve got to drink it every day.  You gotta drink at least 32 ounces.  Your hair will come in.  It helps your nails grow.  Sea  moss is also a cell proliferant, which means that it helps cells grow.  Sea moss is just wonderful. You can use it externally if you have a wound or if you cut yourself. And you can also use it internally.  You can use it on your hair, your skin, you can bathe in it.  It’s also good for radiation.  If you’re doing radiation, drink sea moss.  Sea moss is definitely good for that.

Why is sea moss good for that? How does it help?

Adio: It helps based on the nutrients that it’s putting in your body.  It’s putting magnesium, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C.  It has iron.  It has protein.  It has amino acids.  We’re actually promoting the purple sea moss, which comes from Tanzania, actually the city Zanzibar in Tanzania.  And the thing about the purple that comes from there is that it’s coming from the Red Sea.  And the Red Sea, if you check into it, is mineral rich.  There are so many different types of sea life there, in the Red Sea.  And it’s filled with all types of minerals and nutrients. Even the color, the color lets you know that it’s good for the heart.  It’s good for women as far as female organs and their menses.  And it’s all based on the nutrition that’s in the ocean in that particular area.  Sea life is overflowing.  It’s corpus chrondus, which grows in the Caribbean as well.

 “If you want your bones strong, you have to go to the sea moss, and it will strengthen your calcium cells.” — Dr. Sebi in Seven Days in Usha Village: A Conversation with Dr. Sebi

Food as medicine

Adio:  There is a way out.  There’s a way out from bad food and wrong choices.  You only need to realize that food is your medicine.  Food is a medicine because it’s all about what’s on your plate, and it’s your own hand that picks up the banana or the apple or the soursop or the kale or the avocado and puts it on your plate.  So, that’s all you have to remember.

2022 Year End Review: A Good Time to Talk About the Food-Mucus-Cancer Connection

Talking about the effects of mucus instead of skimming and delaying action on the topic that’s published in articles and newsletters is half the battle won in breast cancer prevention and the cure. A good springboard for discussion is “Mucus Plays Key Role in Cancer,” published in The Harvard Gazette, April 29, 2004. About mucus it says, “Investigators at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston became intrigued with the thick, slimy stuff when they learned that breast, lung, colon, and other tumor cells make more than 50 times more of a certain type of it than normal cells.”

The content of the article, simply put, says mucus is wreaking havoc in the body, something the late herbal medicine specialist Dr. Sebi stated for decades.

For instance, he has said, “Asthma says that the body has reached a level of mucus accumulation that is insupportable. When you describe an asthmatic person’s condition, you describe all others because all diseases stem from the accumulation of mucus. What causes prostate cancer? Inflammation. What is inflammation? The accumulation of mucus.”

What or who, pray tell, is the source, a much loved and long-standing source that builds a haven for excessive mucus to exist and destroy? In an interview in 2004, Dr. Sebi said, “There has never been an educator in America that has done research in neuropathology associating the disease with the food that goes in the person’s mouth. That research has never been done.”

Until now.

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of Washington, D.C.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine practices holistic medicine that addresses symptoms, causes and solutions to diseases like breast cancer. “As a doctor,” he says, “I want people to know that they already wield some of the most powerful tools to help take control over the risk of cancer: the fork and knife.”

Acid-Based, Mucus-Causing Foods

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine occupies a rare space in western medicine, where it educates the public that some foods, including dairy, cause breast cancer. It found that, “research has linked the high fat content and hormones in milk, cheese, and other dairy products to breast cancer.” Other breast cancer-food connection studies referenced by the Committee include the following:

A 2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute that compared the diets of women diagnosed with breast cancer to those without breast cancer found that those who consumed the most American, cheddar, and cream cheeses had a 53% higher risk for breast cancer.

The Life After Cancer Epidemiology study found that, among women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, those consuming one or more servings of high-fat dairy products (e.g., cheese, ice cream, whole milk) daily had a 49% higher breast cancer mortality, compared with those consuming less than one-half serving daily.

Research funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Cancer Research Fund found that women who consumed 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cow’s milk per day had a 30% increased chance for breast cancer. One cup per day increased the risk by 50%, and 2-3 cups were associated with an 80% increased chance of breast cancer.

Health & fitness company and blogger Verv Experts (verv.com) teaches that the reason dairy is at the top of the list of mucus-producing foods is “milk and its derivatives like cheese, cream, butter and yogurt contain casein molecules which stimulate phlegm production. In addition, dairy contains a sugar called lactose which further increases mucus secretion.”

No doubt that osteoporosis comes to mind when talks of reducing or eliminating dairy surface. Your vitamin D and bone builder, where will it come from? What are the best life-saving, cancer prevention alternatives?

Plant-Based Calcium

Oranges and mushrooms are good. And add sea moss (also known as sea weed or algae) to talks of ridding the body of inflammation and strengthening bones. Sea moss gets little mention as an effective health benefit, yet it contains body-supporting calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and vitamins, A, C, E, and B.

Sea moss grows under water. Brought to the surface, it becomes food and health products that when consumed regularly, help prevent diseases like breast cancer. Other foods that contain an ample supply of calcium are leafy green vegetables like Brussels sprout, kale, collards, turnip greens, green beans (also known as string beans, snap beans); asparagus and chickpeas are also rich in calcium as well as nut milks like cashew milk, walnut milk and almond milk.

No doubt that osteoporosis comes to mind when talks of reducing or eliminating dairy surface. Your vitamin D and bone builder, where will it come from? What are the best life-saving, cancer prevention alternatives? Dr. Barnard and Dr. Sebi recommend include a willingness to accept diet adjustments, non-surgical removal of the solid mass of mucus (tumor) with plenty of water, herbal detoxification, and cell repair.

Related links

https://www.sojourntohonduras.com

https://www.sevendaysinushavillage.org

Your Living Shall Not Be in Vain

If I can help somebody, as I travel along

If I can help somebody, with a word or song

If I can help somebody from doing wrong

No, my living shall not be in vain

—lyrics by Alma B. Androzzo

If you place Ms. Androzzo’s lyrics in a natural healing context, then you could surely apply them to Dr. Sebi, a man driven to educate people, particularly Black people, about the nature of food and health.  He committed over 30 years of his life traveling down that road, a road his protégé Adio Akil believed he would journey on for many years to come. But his death in August 2016 upended that notion, leaving Adio compelled to continue in the same vein as her mentor.

Adio Akil

Adio is the owner and operator of the holistic health company Quintessence Health & Wellness in northwest Washington, D.C. She met and trained under Dr. Sebi at the Garden Holistic Institute in St. Croix, Virgin Islands.

Dr. Sebi is the creator of the African Bio Mineral Balance, a therapeutic system with a twofold approach: 1) remove toxins (mucus, plaque, cysts) from the body and 2) rebuild and restore iron and energy to the body’s immune system and cells.

Alfredo Bowman (Dr. Sebi) November 26, 1933 – August 6, 2016

We appreciate your work Dr. Sebi. Your living has not been in vain.

A Key Ingredient for Healing

From Bob Marley to Thich Nhat Hanh and Letta Mbulu to Sonia Choquette, the consensus is clear—love heals. So it’s not so surprising that our bodies are endowed with the ability to produce a “love” hormone called oxytocin, one of four feel-good hormones according to Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard says, “Oxytocin can help us bond with loved ones and can be released through touch, music, and exercise.” No doubt that hugging is therapeutic.

About love, Dr. Sebi once said, “My ancestors afforded me the one thing that the world needs most today, love and compassion.”

This month, Dr. Sebi’s birth month, in the second of four remembrance videos, Adio Akil remembers Dr. Sebi as a healer who loved, and loved deeply.

Adio Akil

Dr. Sebi speaks of love, including romantic love, in the following publications:

Sojourn to Honduras Sojourn to Healing

https://www.sojourntohonduras.com/about

Seven Days in Usha Village: A Conversation with Dr. Sebi

https://www.sevendaysinushavillage.org

Dr. Sebi Speaks of Dembali

https://www.sojourntohonduras.com/dembali

Alfredo Bowman (Dr. Sebi)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Is a Good Time to Talk About the Food-Mucus-Cancer Connection

Talking about the effects of mucus instead of skimming and delaying action on the topic that’s published in articles and newsletters is half the battle won in breast cancer prevention and the cure.  A good springboard for discussion is “Mucus Plays Key Role in Cancer,” published in The Harvard Gazette, April 29, 2004. About mucus it says, “Investigators at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston became intrigued with the thick, slimy stuff when they learned that breast, lung, colon, and other tumor cells make more than 50 times more of a certain type of it than normal cells.”

The content of the article, simply put, says mucus is wreaking havoc in the body, something the late herbal medicine specialist Dr. Sebi stated for decades.

For instance, he has said, “Asthma says that the body has reached a level of mucus accumulation that is insupportable.  When you describe an asthmatic person’s condition, you describe all others because all diseases stem from the accumulation of mucus. What causes prostate cancer?  Inflammation.  What is inflammation?  The accumulation of mucus.”

What or who, pray tell, is the source, a much loved and long-standing source that builds a haven for excessive mucus to exist and destroy?  In an interview in 2004, Dr. Sebi said, “There has never been an educator in America that has done research in neuropathology associating the disease with the food that goes in the person’s mouth.  That research has never been done.” 

Until now.

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of Washington, D.C.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine practices holistic medicine that addresses symptoms, causes and solutions to diseases like breast cancer. “As a doctor,” he says, “I want people to know that they already wield some of the most powerful tools to help take control over the risk of cancer: the fork and knife.”

Acid-Based, Mucus-Causing Foods

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine occupies a rare space in western medicine, where it educates the public that some foods, including dairy, cause breast cancer. It found that, “research has linked the high fat content and hormones in milk, cheese, and other dairy products to breast cancer.”  Other breast cancer-food connection studies referenced by the Committee include the following:

A 2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute that compared the diets of women diagnosed with breast cancer to those without breast cancer found that those who consumed the most American, cheddar, and cream cheeses had a 53% higher risk for breast cancer.

The Life After Cancer Epidemiology study found that, among women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, those consuming one or more servings of high-fat dairy products (e.g., cheese, ice cream, whole milk) daily had a 49% higher breast cancer mortality, compared with those consuming less than one-half serving daily.

Research funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Cancer Research Fund, found that women who consumed 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cow’s milk per day had a 30% increased chance for breast cancer. One cup per day increased the risk by 50%, and 2-3 cups were associated with an 80% increased chance of breast cancer.

Health & fitness company and blogger Verv Experts (verv.com) teaches that the reason dairy is at the top of the list of mucus-producing foods is “milk and its derivatives like cheese, cream, butter and yogurt contain casein molecules which stimulate phlegm production. In addition, dairy contains a sugar called lactose which further increases mucus secretion.”

No doubt that osteoporosis comes to mind when talks of reducing or eliminating dairy surface. Your vitamin D and bone builder, where will it come from? What are the best life-saving, cancer prevention alternatives?

Plant-Based Calcium

Oranges and mushrooms are good. And add sea moss (also known as sea weed or algae) to talks of ridding the body of inflammation and strengthening bones. Sea moss gets little mention as an effective health benefit, yet it contains body-supporting calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and vitamins, A, C, E, and B.

Sea moss grows under water. Brought to the surface, it becomes food and health products that when consumed regularly, help prevent diseases like breast cancer. Other foods that contain an ample supply of calcium are leafy green vegetables like Brussels sprout, kale, collards, turnip greens, green beans (also known as string beans, snap beans); asparagus and chickpeas are also rich in calcium as well as nut milks like cashew milk, walnut milk and almond milk.

Kellie Bowman is a nurse who encourages eating more plant-based meals. She knows firsthand the benefits of doing so. Kellie is the daughter of nutritionist and herbal medicine specialist Dr. Sebi, and like her father, a vocal and focused advocate of alkaline (natural) food.

Detected in early stages, breast cancer is not a death sentence or a cue to cut the body, especially if next-step conversations and actions happen soon after the diagnosis. Immediate strategies practitioners like Dr. Barnard and Dr. Sebi recommend include a willingness to accept diet change, non-surgical removal of the solid mass of mucus (tumor) with plenty of water, herbal detoxification, and cell repair.

His Tried and True Healing Remembered

When Dr. Sebi transitioned on August 6, 2016, he left a legacy of herbal healing known to thousands yet unknown globally compared to pharmaceutical giants GlaxoKline, Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson. If you are one of the fortunate healed by the African Bio Mineral Balance therapy, you would probably say that if Dr. Sebi cured only one person, it would be enough to show his expertise.

Today, the focus on plant-based medicine and research, such as the late Olivia Newton-John’s Research Foundation Fund, is a step in the direction Dr. Sebi advocated for more than 40 years. And after several experiments with natural plants, including taking on the role of his own guinea pig, he used his African Bio Mineral Balance herbs to cure himself and countless others. Research, research, experiment, cure. His legacy is one of tried, true, and effective results.

Maybe you’re thinking,

“You’re biased. He gave you permission to write his book. Sure, you praise him.”

I praise the tried and true; the useful, the impactful; results that speak for themselves. I am a recipient of the results, results worthy to be praised, evidenced by the photos of containers I’ve held onto for many years now.

Perhaps, if breast cancer patients had known about the tried and true African Bio Mineral Balance plant-based therapy, they’d be alive today—provided they committed to the nutritional guidance required. And nutrition is key. It works hand in hand with Dr. Sebi’s plant/herb-based therapy to heal the body and keep cells working the way they should.

On the sixth anniversary of his transition, I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to spread the word about Dr. Sebi’s humble beginnings and his quest to be useful, to create something that benefits humanity. Here is my part in that effort.

Dr. Sebi was a genius when it came to herbal research and practice. The following statements he shared with me are evidence of that.

“This perspective of the passionate, untrained seeker allowed my experience at MLK Hospital to be a neutral one, more like a research opportunity than a job. As a steam engineer, it was required of me to measure and record the pH or hydro-ion level of the water in the boiler. The pH in the water should have been 6.9. If the pH in the boiler water was to climb to 7.1, that water would be of an alkaline base and immediately life or algae would begin to invade the tube of the boilers and set up shop, creating a wall between the radiant heat and the water that is supposed to be boiled.

The result is that you get less heat transferred to the water because of the shield set up by life forms in the tubes of the boiler. This observation made it clear to me that life expresses itself in an environment of pH 7+, which is alkaline. Life is not found in an acid environment that is -7.

So one night, when I went to work, I decided to take herbs with me. I wanted to test them because it was clear to me that if life manifests at pH 7.1, then it means that the herbs that are for healing should be of a pH of 7+ as well. So, the first herb that I gave the litmus test was comfrey, and I found that comfrey has a pH of 6. Then garlic. I found that garlic has a pH of 4 or 3.3. These are only two of many, many substances that are frequently used that are -7 pH. Their base is of an acid content. When I read many of your better-known herbal and nutritional books and manuals, I found that garlic, comfrey, aloe vera, golden seal and many other hybrid herbs are recommended. It was then that I began to see that the manuals that are being used today are manuals that oppose life instead of complementing life. So, I began to put together compounds that were made of herbs whose pH is found in the area of 8+, ensuring that the hydrogen ion concentration would be of 7 or 8+. When the hydrogen ion or pH measurement is at this level, the electrical impulses are most active and offer energy necessary to restore balance to the human body.”

Deconstructing Dr. Sebi for the Next Generation

If a picture is worth a thousand words, there’s a  takeaway with this book cover. A pensive Dr. Sebi. A teaching Dr. Sebi. A Dr. Sebi who said to me a few years back, and the right bottom photo seems to suggest, “My relationship with people, whether male or female, I’m not going to have a relationship with you unless that relationship is based on love and affection.” And that includes children, his most cherished comrades—I was surprised to learn—who watched his carefree persona and antics that the pursuit of understanding and health ignited. It has me laughing now and being happy, doing all kinds of acrobatic stupidness. That’s why the children come around here and they don’t want to leave, because they found a grownup that is as stupid as they are.  And they enjoy that, and I enjoy it too because they accept me as their peer.” Needless to say, the beam in his eyes confirmed that shared love and affection, something he’s more likely to exhibit in private moments. 

Dr. Sebi posed for the cover’s photos in 2014 in his Los Angeles office. They capture a patient man, an accommodating man, a man perhaps less known for his childlike awe and love of life.

His hard-lined exterior expressed in public talks—and even in one of the photos on the book cover—masks that deep-rooted love, and not exclusively love for black people or black culture. You might know from reading other books about his merchant seaman days, Dr. Sebi traveled the world on cargo and passenger boats—the sea and a multicultural mix of people his neighbors. That environment helped shape his love and respect for all cultures and ways of life, and it certainly molded his articulate, open-minded and intelligent worldview. But long before those trips, the love trait had already set in. His grandmother, Mama Hay, saw to that. “I was blessed to have Mama Hay, who demanded nothing but integrity of me at all times,” Dr. Sebi shared at his home in Honduras. “She was uncompromising.  She didn’t care how big or how small you were.  In her eyes you were the same.” The top right photo on the cover hints at a sublime reflection of Mama Hay.

But what of the other photos? Do they help deconstruct Dr. Sebi and, like other book covers, tell a story before any page is turned? Today’s covers are vivid, art-filled, sensory, far more than covers created a couple of centuries ago, when the only thing that enticed a read of a story was the book title or author’s name. Less color and flash than 21st century covers, Dr. Sebi Speaks of Dembali’s billboards a double agent: a poised confident thinker, comfortable in the presence of others, and then, in a plot twist, a superhero driven to save the world from itself.

In her article for Publishers Weekly, “Judging a Book by Its Cover,” author Terry Newman wrote, “I can’t say that all books would benefit from pictures, but a book’s cover is the first engagement many have with the author, and what’s on that cover is crucial. It needs to communicate what’s inside.” 

The story that lies in the cover of Dr. Sebi Speaks of Dembali is a journey to the gateway of its multilayered main character. “Why all the emoting when he speaks?” one could ask when taking a quizzical look at the sedate, unassuming photos at the top of the cover. On the other hand, when he drives his point home, as he does in the bottom photos, one wonders, “What does he offer that resonates with me? Should I open the book?”

Read on for the answers. Each photo on the cover is matched with quotes from Dr. Sebi Speaks of Dembali. At the end, decide if the pairings offer value and wisdom and a new interpretation of this gentle giant.

“As I look at this arrangement of life, I find myself being very extremely careful, careful because I have  not ever or do I remember wanting to be anything in my life. I want to be me. In the me, in the wanting to be me, I find that a whole lot of things came out of that, such as the healer.”

“Unlike other therapies, the African Bio Mineral Balance specifically benefits the nutritional needs of the African gene structure. But the beauty of the African Bio Mineral Balance is, because of its highly electrical nature, it has ample capacity to accommodate the nutritional needs of the entire human species. Over the years, we have treated people from all walks of life. In our early years, the bulk of our clientele were Mexican and Caucasian.”

The African Bio Mineral Balance addresses disease on two levels:  one, it cleanses the body, an intracellular cleansing.  Not only do we concentrate on cleansing the organs, we concentrate on cleansing the cells that make up the organs. . . Now, we go into the revitalizing of the cells.  As we cleanse the body, we now have to replenish the minerals that have been lost by the presence of the acid that caused the diseases in the first place.  That means the African Bio Mineral Balance comes into the picture.  The African Bio Mineral Balance is the family of 102 minerals.  Why?  Because we are talking about organic food.  We are talking about cell food.”

“You listen, Beverly. You listen. How did I do my first consultation? I wasn’t trained. I let the patient talk.”

“Right. So, you just recommended things for the patient to take?”

“No. I already knew what to recommend because I make  one treatment. I don’t make treatment special for AIDS or diabetes. It’s the same treatment.”

“Just one thing.”

“It’s one thing. It’s one disease. So, I didn’t have to go through psychoanalyzing anyone. No. People came here that were schizophrenic. People came here with delirium tremors. People came here that were paranoid. And people came here with Parkinson’s, and they all left cured. Well, how did that happen? How did it happen? The African Bio Mineral Electric Cell food.”

“I’ve had the negative thrown to me by some of them because they were negative. But I’ve had beautiful things thrown to me because they were beautiful. Just like the old man in the village. The old man is living on the edges of the village. And the traveler came to the village and asked the old man,

‘Old Man!  What kind of people live here?’ 

‘Why?’ 

‘The village I just left, they are cutthroats!’ 

The old man said, ‘The same kind of people live here.’ 

So he turned back. Another traveler next month came.

‘Old man, what kind of people live here?’ 

The old man said, ‘Why?’ 

‘Because the village I just left?  They beautiful. They nice.’ 

He said, ‘The same kind of people live here.’ 

“I used to get angry. I used to go on stage in D.C. You don’t want to see my lectures in D.C. They were volatile! They were explosive. ‘Dr. Sebi, you said we shouldn’t drink carrot juice!’ I would go off on you. I would go off on you. I would practically insult you. I may cuss you out. Why would I do that? I used to wonder why was I so volatile against the people that’s in front of me. Why? Because what one gorilla knows, all gorillas know. So I want to know how come I know this and you don’t. I didn’t like that. I felt insecure. I felt very insecure. I used to get angry at you when you didn’t know. They interpret it like I  was angry. No, I was very much disturbed because you didn’t know, and you are my sister and my brother. The more of us that knows, the safer it is for all of us.”

Pinched by curiosity to delve within Dembali’s pages? IngramSpark has her, as well as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

Remembering An African Herbalist

He was more like George Washington Carver than anything else. He absolutely, totally, undeniably loved plants — real, Mother-nature created plants.

“The blue vervain is a plant that digests potassium phosphate. And she grows right here in the village, and she’s a pretty plant. If you want your nerves to be treated properly, just think about the blue vervain, the root and the flower,” Dr. Sebi said.

And he felt no shame being a descendant of that region of the world called Africa. He appealed to it and the “cosmic arrangement of life” for tips on how to be an effective alkaline herbal specialist. These are the reasons why I miss Dr. Sebi. This month, August 2021, marks the fifth anniversary of his transition.

The following passage is taken from the Epilogue of Dr. Sebi Speaks of Dembali.

Occasionally, when Sebi was alive, well, and retired in Honduras, rumors about his death would spread like California wildfires among his supporters. I felt the heat from some of the embers one morning in 2015, when I received a call from Sebi’s former assistant, Annette Thomas. I assured her everything was fine — I suppressed all other thoughts — and to prove it, I volunteered to drive to his office on La Cienega Avenue in Los Angeles, to get confirmation from his staff. About five minutes into the trip, Annette called me back to say a friend had heard from Sebi. Another rumor quashed. And just as I dismissed news of his death then, I did it again on August 6, 2016, when friends and relatives offered me condolences in text messages for the passing of my friend Dr. Sebi.

“This is nothing new. It’s not true,” I replied. But this time, I was wrong. Look on Instagram, they said. Sebi’s 21-year-old daughter, Saama, had announced his death there. She was posting from Honduras, where Sebi died.

A few days after the devastation hit me, I drove to Sebi’s office, placed my flowers among others under his portrait and sat for a while. I watched what I presumed were customers and mourners flow in and out of the building, the same building I entered for the first time in 2005.

What I gleaned from my relationship with Dr. Sebi is his courageous support for and homage to African resonance: his muse, his guide, his blueprint for existence, his culling from the past to drive his healing journey. And it seems that on the path, dembali is the lens through which he viewed the human experience. He coined the term to help fill a void not only in black communities — his message speaks volumes for all — but for communities where races and cultures intersect, commingle, and interrelate in matters of health, race, family, and culture. Yet he felt dembali helps black folks most, keeping us grounded, balanced, healthy, and true to Self in the intersection and in our relationship with others. Dembali reminds us to draw from ancestral examples of resiliency and appeals to the cosmos for direction in crossing over back to a state of ease. More often than not, Dr. Sebi said with a roar, “What one gorilla knows, all gorillas know.” And when he roared that message, I’m sure Earth nodded, smiled, and rumbled right along with him.

Summertime Sale on eBooks, 25% off, 50% off, Free

Now that Covid-19 lockdowns in the US have eased—cruise ships and air travel up from a 97% drop last year—vacationers are on the road again, with books and tablets in tow. Summertime 2021 is a good time for post-pandemic discounts. Maybe not for airfares or hotels, but definitely for eBooks.

Thanks to eBook distributor Smashwords and its annual summertime sale, eBooks are discounted 25%, 50%, 75% and even free. Authors applaud the opportunity to pass these summertime savings to readers. From July 1-31, Smashwords’ annual summer sale includes hundreds of eBooks, such as nonfiction narratives about the late natural healer Dr. Sebi: Seven Days in Usha Village: A Conversation with Dr. Sebi, Sojourn to Honduras Sojourn to Healing and Dr. Sebi Speaks of Dembali. According to Smashwords, the catalog gives readers access to “top-recommended books across different themes,” like bestsellers. A summertime win-win opportunity for authors, readers and publishers.  Summer sale on eBooks. 25%, 50%, 75%, Free. https://www.smashwords.com

Dr. Sebi, More Than A Charismatic Healer

He was clearly a septuagenarian adventure seeker when we traveled to his birthplace, Honduras.It’s September 2008 when Sebi and I arrive there to work on Dembali. This is a short account of an adventure with a man who brushed off age and scaled an island’s rock mountain.

The two-week trip begins in Roatán, a Honduran island about a thirty-minute boat ride from the mainland. It’s home to the world’s second-largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican system—at that time a snorkeler’s playground bursting with vibrant pastel and fluorescent coral and tropical fish. Today, global warming, pollution and the red lionfish invasion have changed all of that. They affect the region so much that the reef is now an endangered ecosystem.

Barrier Reef in Roatan, Honduras

We stay at the east end of Roatán, at a remote resort called Paya Bay. Smaller than the luxury hotels on the island, Paya Bay sits on a coastal bluff that overlooks the sun-splashed Caribbean Sea. It boasts two beaches, including one for guests who practice naturism, commonly known as nudists.

. . . The SUV Sebi brings back to Paya Bay is the vehicle he uses. It takes us from Paya Bay to West End, Roatán, from a small waterfront community lined with shotgun houseboats and cabins to the home of Ploney Jones, the boat captain that gave a young Alfredo Bowman his first merchant seaman job back in the 1950s. 

We arrive at an east-end dock where a young Afro-Honduran man who appears to be in his late twenties and a small motor boat wait to take us to a thirty-acre community around the island’s bend. No paved roads exist on that part of the island, making it necessary to commute by boat. Sebi’s cousins, ages seven to sixty, own and live on the coastal property. It stands out as a perfect example of the independent “village” living Sebi encourages. Makeshift but functional accommodations serve the family villagers: a mail service shed, a boat dock supplied with gasoline, a three-table dining room and store counter and a large outdoor supply cabinet that stores nonperishable food and household goods. A half dozen cottages are scattered across the land, each one a stone’s throw from the Caribbean Sea.

Palm trees and other tropical plants hover high and low above them. A few plastic water bottles and soda cans peep from underneath sand and blades of grass, while a brown pet cow, with her legs buckled under her body, lounges in a cottage’s front yard.  A small island that Sebi inherited from his grandfather juts out across the sea from his relatives’ community.

It’s an all-day visit, with me snapping pictures most of the time:  Sebi and his cousins rock climbing, boats big and small and a young man built like a defensive linebacker who steers them.

Read the whole story in Chapter Seven of Dr. Sebi Speaks of Dembali. It’s Dr. Sebi’s take on topics such as culture, sickle cell anemia diagnosis, his life in Los Angeles in the 1970s and natural healing. For a preview of Chapter Seven, including photos of the adventure, visit https://www.sojourntohonduras.com/dembali