Nature at the fingertips of health (and dare I say happiness)

Mboumba Marie Agnès (aka Maman Agnes) was born in 1937 in Gabon.

Marie Agnes Mboumba - full pictureThe young Marie Agnès showed a very early and developed a strong interest in the therapeutic effects of plants. She quickly became an excellent herbalist recognised by the Ministry of Scientific research and Health of Gabon.

Marie-Agnès Mboumba was passionate about the power of plants and nature to help her peers. Her life became dedicated to the medicinal uses of plants. She specialised in pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics. She collaborated in many projects and worked alongside hospitals to find herbal cures where modern medicine failed.

In particular, she helped numerous women to conceive their first child where modern medicine (including with techniques such as In Vitro fertilization, IVF) was repeatedly unsuccessful or simply too expensive. In the 1960-70s, she participated in a medical conference in Libreville with a group of Spanish researchers. At the conference, she talked about the benefit of a plant she used to partially or totally reduce labour pains.

Marie-Agnès became widely recognised for her qualities and talent as a herbal therapist. She was particularly loved because she put her knowledge and gift at the service of healing and helping others, mainly to the detriment of any financial compensation. She believed that she received a free gift and that she could only honour it by charitatively making everyone else benefit. Her dedication, wisdom, honesty, friendliness made her a devoted friend and family member. She quickly became the person everyone will come to in every event in their life to seek advice. Many will still remember her presence to support them in their misfortunes, or to share their joys.

Marie-Agnes has participated in numerous national conferences on Traditional Medicine. She was a key member of the Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners for Gabonese Health (U.T.S.G.). She received a Diploma of Honor and work of the Pharmacopoeia and traditional medicine of Gabon by the Ministry of scientific research and health in 1998.

Marie-Agnès Mboumba was a very reserved woman and a lot of her work although recognised by many across the world has never been publicised or popularised. This went with her personality as the people she helped and the mastering of her gift were always more important than any sensationalism around it.

Maman Agnes passed away on the 17th of February 2011. A biography about her life and work is being written alongside a website describing her legacy under the title “Mboumba Marie Agnes: The heritage of an exceptional woman”. The dissemination of her work is necessary for Africa and the world to know one of her unsung heroes and for her heritage to potentially benefit all human beings.