When African American herbalists spoke of encountering a deity in the swamps or woods, they often referred to the Christian god while reflecting an emphasis on the sacredness of the forest similar to that expressed by Cuban devotees of Osanyin. Particularly in searching for wild-growing medicines, southern black herbalists stressed their importance on sacred revelation. A Georgia woman called “Aunt Darkas” by the interviewer established a reputation as a healer and a skillful gatherer of forest medicines despite her blindness. A black woman previously cured by Aunt Darkas remembered, “She always said the Lord told her what roots to get, and always ‘fore sunup, you would see her in the woods with a short-handled pick.”

– Sharla M. Fett, Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations (2002)