The mysterious life and death of Dr Sebi, the celebrity healer who claims to cure AIDS

Mildred Europa Taylor April 02, 2019
Popular natural healer, Alfredo Bowman (Dr Sebi) has been trending since the death of rapper Nipsey Hussle. Pic credit:

Otherwise known as Dr Sebi, Bowman died in 2016 at the age of 82, after claiming to have cured multiple patients of diseases of AIDS, diabetes, herpes, among others, strictly from herbal remedies.

Many African Americans argue that anytime one of their own tries to find a solution to the problems of black people in the country, they immediately become the target of attacks that usually lead to their deaths.

This is believed to be the case of Grammy-nominated Eritrean-American rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was fatally shot multiple times on Sunday afternoon in front of his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles.

Several conspiracy theories have since emerged following the shooting of the 33-year-old rapper, even though other reports allege that the shooting may have been gang-related.

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Nipsey Hussle. Pic credit: Parents Magazine

Many people, including celebrities like Nick Cannon, believe that Hussle was killed due to his work to highlight the accomplishments and circumstances surrounding the death of popular natural healer, Alfredo Bowman.

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Dr Sebi said he could cure AIDS. Pic credit: Unheard Voices Magazine

Sebi, who provided education and healing for more than 40 years, was at the centre of several criminal proceedings before his “mysterious death”. During his early years, many claimed that the medical industry wanted to sideline him and his achievements.

In 2018, Hussle announced that he was working on a documentary that will highlight an infamous trial (1985 AIDS trial) of Sebi where he proved that he found the cure for AIDS. Unfortunately, he did not live to continue the documentary about Sebi, but the homeopathic leader has been trending on social media since the rapper’s shooting.

Rapper and actor Nick Cannon has pledged to finish working on Hussle’s unfinished Dr. Sebi documentary, in a commitment to honor the slain rapper’s work and legacy.

Hussle’s death has, in no doubt, brought new attention to Dr Sebi, who is believed to have been murdered in line with the idea that his alleged cure for AIDS would interrupt the profits of America’s big health care industries.

Sebi, who had a list of celebrity clients including Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, of the hip-hop girl group TLC, and singer Michael Jackson, was born on November 26, 1933 at Ilanga, Honduras.

A self-proclaimed healer and herbalist, Sebi claimed that he learned the arts of herbal healing from his grandmother and from a Mexican herbalist who had cured him of diabetes, asthma, obesity, and impotence. He also studied and personally observed herbs in North America, Central and South America, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Sebi, who had never had any formal education in medicine, even went ahead to establish a “research institute” and “healing village” in Honduras, developing a range of products sold under such brand names as “Cell Prolifirant Eva-Therapeutic Salve,” “Hair Food,” “Horadin,” “Limphaslin,” “Nervino,” “Sperma I,” “Testee II,” and “Uturin,” reports The Telegraph.

In the 1980s, he started marketing his products in the U.S., but soon came under several criminal proceedings for allegedly practicing medicine without a license.

In 1988, the state of New York sued Sebi for making “unsubstantiated therapeutic claims” after he paid for ads in the Amsterdam News, the Village Voice, and the New York Post saying that, “AIDS has been cured.”

“For an initial fee of $500 and $80 for each additional visit, patients were told they could be cured of AIDS and other diseases. The ‘cures’ consisted of various herbal products, for each of which USHA made therapeutic claims,” the state said in its lawsuit against the healer.

Sebi was subsequently charged with the unauthorised practice of medicine but he was acquitted because jurors claimed the state failed to show he made a medical diagnosis as a herbalist.

Sebi, who held prominence in natural remedies at a time when AIDS was killing scores of people, claimed that an organic, vegan, largely raw diet will cleanse one’s cells of toxins and cure diseases, according to

During his infamous case, he allegedly took his findings to trial in New York, where he provided examples of 77 patients he claimed to have cured. Even though Sebi won the case, the BET reports that details about his treatment were buried.

Yet, for securing victory in his legal battles, the healer attracted the likes of not only Michael Jackson and Lisa Lopes, but also actors such as Steven Seagal, Eddie Murphy, and John Travolta.

With his treatment called the “African Bio-Electric Cell Food Therapy”, Sebi said he could cure illnesses such as “arthritis, asthma, cancer, Aids, diabetes, sickle cell anaemia, epilepsy, herpes, heart and vital organ dysfunctions, leukaemia, mental disorders, obesity, tumours and a variety of female and male problems”.

He even claimed to have cured Michael Jackson of his addiction to painkillers. It was reported in June 2004 that Jackson was spending $3,960 a night at Loews Miami Beach Hotel meditating and praying with Sebi to prepare for a trial on nine charges of child abuse.

For someone who Jackson allegedly opened up to, Sebi claimed that the singer could hardly stand up before he came to his aid.

“I was told by the cooks that he was falling down and they had to pick him up.

“His condition was one of stress because of the drugs that they were feeding him all day long. He had to take them because, you know, of his sleeplessness,” Sebi told the US Celebrity Justice show.

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Dr Sebi. Pic credit: The Chicago Defender

But in that same year, Sebi sued Jackson for $380,000 in unpaid bills after Jackson’s brother had given him $10,000 as “payment in full” for his services. The suit was dismissed in 2015 for lack of prosecution.

In 2016, Sebi was arrested in Honduras at Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport for allegedly carrying some $37,000 in cash. He was released pending a court hearing, only to be rearrested June 3 and charged with money laundering.

Then battling with pneumonia, the natural herbalist remained in police custody before his death at the age of 82 while in police custody. Reports said that he died while in transit to Vicente D’antoni Hospital.

An investigation began in regards to his death and any evidence of foul play was not confirmed, yet his supporters believe there is more.

“Circumstances surrounding his arrest remains unclear. After the arrest, he was released and then rearrested for carrying so much cash. There are many unanswered questions. Is it illegal to carry cash over a certain amount? Further is not inconceivable that for a healer who had treated several high-profile clients—who reportedly included Michael Jackson, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, John Travolta and Eddie Murphy—to have a large amount of money on him.

“Honduras was where Dr Sebi grew up and had family there. Upon his arrest, his family was reportedly tried to get him released from custody. Yet he was held for over a month with no court date, although no serious crime had been committed. No court date was set after his second arrest so bail was never set,” writes Kai EL’ Zabar in the Chicago Defender.

Many are now making a correlation between Hussle’s death and that of Lisa Lopes, who also passed away in Honduras after publicly supporting the renowned healer.

Hussle, before his death, had explained why he wanted to highlight Sebi’s work:

“I am working on doing doc on the trial in 1985. When Dr. Sebi went to trial in New York because he put in the newspaper that he cured AIDS. He beat the case. Then he went to federal court the next day, and he beat that case. But nobody talks about it,” the rapper said in a recent radio interview with The Breakfast Club.

“I think the story is important. It’s a powerful narrative. Like if someone in this room said, ‘Hey, I cured AIDS.’ I’d be like, ‘Yeah, right.’ And then I can show you an example of him going to trial and proving in court he [cured] AIDS, I’d be interested in it. More so than championing his products or explaining his methodology. Put some light on that case.”

Below is the full interview:

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: May 7, 2020


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