Dr. Sebi: The Infamous Household Name in Hip Hop and Health for Decades (That You are Probably Just Now Hearing)

Written by Desmond Alphonso

Photo Credit: Wake Up World.

Who is Dr. Sebi?

The common idiom is “you are what you eat” may tend to take on a different meaning within pop culture today. Previously, the immediate perception simply was the consumer will react according to the quality of the food, but because of the lifestyle influence of Dr. Sebi, even our youth are aware each piece of nutrient has a benefit and it is the nutrients that we bestow to our bodies that hinder illnesses. Once summoned to the court of law due to his seemingly outrageous medical claims, Dr. Sebi went on trial for practicing medicine without a license yet having patients and their actual medical doctor confirm being free of the illness they once had he helped cure with herbs and holistic medicine.

What we should know

However, his career dates back as far as Honduras in 1971, he has become a household name in recent years because of his link to two of the music industry’s late-great hip-hop icons Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez and Los Angeles community activist, Nipsey Hussle. Though the two reasons behind their fascination for Dr. Sebi differed, it always occurred to the public that Dr. Sebi’s discovery and knowledge of cures for major diseases and illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes, parasites, kidney disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and many others was the most revolutionary. According to the belief system of the Sebi family, it is the mind’s negative thoughts that released mucus-prone acid that promotes a harmful environment for the food and a just environment for ailments, not the opposite way around ironically.

Dr. Sebi book

Early Life

Alfredo Darrington Bowman, of African descent, was born in Ilanga, Honduras on November 26, 1933. Unlike the typical American child, young Alfredo did not attend school nor did he have any education at all aside from what he was taught about heritage. By his late 20s, Bowman had been obese; asthmatic; manifesting signs of erectile dysfunction; diabetic; schizophrenic, and was becoming visually impaired. His dissatisfaction with traditional medicine prompted his migration to many different countries looking for treatment, but it wasn’t until he arrived in Cuernavaca, Mexico where he met a 94-year-old herbalist (with the same first name), Alfredo Cortez, before he started to see changes in his health. He was asked by Cortez to fast for 90 days by only drinking water and eating herbs. Once he completed the fast, he was then permitted to eat only African-bound foods simply because they are of his origin. It was not only the diet but also the meditation Bowman took belief in that had the power to heal.

Bowman then became known as Dr. Sebi when he introduced the people of his village to holistic treatment. By the time of his 1993 lawsuit against the State of New York, Dr. Sebi cured a plethora of people around the globe and had 77 patients there to attest to it. He had no defence attorney but was against the idea he needed one. He eventually helped the courtroom realize he is not treating several different diseases but in fact only one: mucus.

What sits on the lungs of a patient with pneumonia? [Mucus does.] What do AIDS patients cough up? [They cough mucus.] What is trapped in the intestines of the blind? [Mucus is.], a Dr. Sebi banters with Judge Anne Schneiderman.

She could not refute the medical status of his patients nor she could his logic; Dr. Sebi was free of charges then and was one of the very few that won a case in the New York State Supreme Court during that time.


What makes him an icon today is the work he has done for the entertainment industry in helping celebrities such as John Travolta, Lisa Lopez, Eddie Murphy, and Michael Jackson to name a few, live healthier lives in the past; as well as the impact he has made on the African American youth in recent years. From YouTubers to the late great Nipsey Hussle, each was compelled to live better through Dr. Sebiâ’s methodology in which they have seen results. Following the rap star’s death in March, Nick Cannon came forth proclaiming he will, in fact, finish the Dr. Sebi trial documentary Nipsey Hussle spoke into existence. It soon circulated on social media that Cannon cancelled the documentary once receiving death threats and fearing he would be murdered like Hussle. He went to Instagram to deny this claim, however, and even laughed at it! According to HipHopWired, the release of the documentary can be expected around 2021 with the help of the Bowman family.

Work Cited
/@arahthequill. “‘Dr. Sebi’ Was Either A Complete Fool Or A Complete Fraud, But He Was No Healer.” Medium, Medium, 6 May 2019, medium.com/@arahthequill/dr-sebi-was-either-a-complete-fool-or-a-complete-fraud-but-he-was-no-healer-a378dff54713.
97, HOT. “Family Of Dr. Sebi On Nick Cannon Reaching Out On Doc, Magic Johnson’s HIV Status Left Eye.” YouTube, YouTube, 24 Apr. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq2OUdle6Bg.
“Alfredo Bowman, Celebrity Herbalist – Obituary.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 23 Aug. 2016, www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2016/08/23/alfredo-bowman-celebrity-herbalist–obituary/.
BerriosPosted, Martin. “Nick Cannon Is Moving Forward With The Dr. Sebi Documentary.” Hip, 31 May 2019, hiphopwired.com/808581/nick-cannon-is-moving-forward-with-the-dr-sebi-documentary/.
“Dr. Sebi Started His Health Journey After Being Cured By A Mexican Herbalist.” Alkaline Plant Based Diet, 28 Feb. 2019, www.naturallifeenergy.com/dr-sebi-started-his-health-journey-after-being-cured-by-a-mexican-herbalist/.
RockNewmanShow. “DR SEBI on The Rock Newman Show.” YouTube, YouTube, 23 Oct. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx6_073GDkQ.

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