TRADITIONAL MEDICINE (also known as INDIGENOUS or FOLK MEDICINE)
comprises medical aspects of traditional knowledge that developed over
generations within various societies before the era of modern medicine
World Health Organization
In some Asian and African countries, up to 80% of the population
relies on traditional medicine for their primary health care needs.
When adopted outside of its traditional culture, traditional medicine
is often called alternative medicine . Practices known as traditional
The WHO notes, however, that "inappropriate use of traditional medicines or practices can have negative or dangerous effects" and that "further research is needed to ascertain the efficacy and safety" of several of the practices and medicinal plants used by traditional medicine systems. The line between alternative medicine and quackery is a contentious subject.
Similarly, a HOME REMEDY is a treatment to cure a disease or ailment
that employs certain spices, vegetables, or other common items. Home
remedies may or may not have medicinal properties that treat or cure
the disease or ailment in question, as they are typically passed along
by lay people (a practice that has been facilitated in recent years by
* 1 Usage and history
* 1.1 Classical history * 1.2 Medieval and later * 1.3 Colonial America * 1.4 Modern usage
* 2 Knowledge transmission and creation
* 3 Folk medicine
* 3.1 Home remedies
* 4 Criticism
* 4.1 Safety concerns * 4.2 Use of endangered species
* 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
USAGE AND HISTORY
In the written record, the study of herbs dates back 5,000 years to
the ancient Sumerians , who described well-established medicinal uses
for plants. In
Ancient Egyptian medicine , the
Many herbs and minerals used in
Ayurveda were described by ancient
Indian herbalists such as
Sushruta during the 1st
millennium BC. The first Chinese herbal book was the
Jing , compiled during the
Roman sources included
Pliny the Elder
MEDIEVAL AND LATER
Arabic indigenous medicine developed from the conflict between the
magic-based medicine of the Bedouins and the Arabic translations of
the Hellenic and Ayurvedic medical traditions. Spanish indigenous
medicine was influenced by the Arabs from 711 to 1492. Islamic
physicians and Muslim botanists such as al-Dinawari and Ibn
al-Baitar significantly expanded on the earlier knowledge of materia
medica. The most famous Persian medical treatise was Avicenna's The
Translations of the early Roman-Greek compilations were made into German by Hieronymus Bock whose herbal, published in 1546, was called Kreuter Buch. The book was translated into Dutch as Pemptades by Rembert Dodoens (1517–1585), and from Dutch into English by Carolus Clusius , (1526–1609), published by Henry Lyte in 1578 as A Nievve Herball. This became John Gerard 's (1545–1612) Herball or General Hiftorie of Plantes. Each new work was a compilation of existing texts with new additions.
Women's folk knowledge existed in undocumented parallel with these
texts. Forty-four drugs, diluents, flavouring agents and emollients
Francisco Hernández , physician to
Philip II of Spain
Martín de la Cruz wrote an herbal in
In 17th and 18th-century America, traditional folk healers,
frequently women, used herbal remedies, cupping and leeching .
Enslaved "root women" brought herbal knowledge and techniques of
At the turn of the
KNOWLEDGE TRANSMISSION AND CREATION
Indigenous medicine is generally transmitted orally through a community, family and individuals until "collected". Within a given culture, elements of indigenous medicine knowledge may be diffusely known by many, or may be gathered and applied by those in a specific role of healer such as a shaman or midwife . Three factors legitimize the role of the healer – their own beliefs, the success of their actions and the beliefs of the community. When the claims of indigenous medicine become rejected by a culture, generally three types of adherents still use it – those born and socialized in it who become permanent believers, temporary believers who turn to it in crisis times, and those who only believe in specific aspects, not in all of it.
Elements in a specific culture are not necessarily integrated into a
coherent system, and may be contradictory. In the
Rights of ownership may be claimed in indigenous medical knowledge.
Use of such knowledge without Prior Informed Consent of or
compensation to those claiming such ownership may be termed
Commercialization of indigenous knowledge
Curandera performing a limpieza in Cuenca, Ecuador
All cultures and societies have knowledge best described as folk
medicine. Although there is large overlap, the denotative and
connotative definitions differ. Folk medicine often coexists with
formalized, education-based, and institutionalized systems of healing
such as Western
Some examples of strong informal and to some degree institutionalized
folk medicine traditions are:
Traditional Chinese medicine ,
traditional Korean medicine , Arabic indigenous medicine (source of
Unani medicine , along with ancient Greek medicine ), Haitian folk
medicine , Uyghur traditional medicine, Various African herbal folk
remedies, Celtic traditional medicine (in part practiced by the Irish
medical families ), Japanese
Kampō medicine, traditional Aboriginal
bush medicine ,
Georgian folk medicine
A HOME REMEDY (sometimes also referred to as a GRANNY CURE) is a
treatment to cure a disease or ailment that employs certain spices,
vegetables, or other common items. Home remedies may or may not have
medicinal properties that treat or cure the disease or ailment in
question, as they are typically passed along by laypersons (which has
been facilitated in recent years by the
One of the more popular examples of a home remedy is the use of
chicken soup to treat respiratory infections such as a cold or mild
flu , and according to one in vitro study, there may be benefit from
this use. Other examples of medically successful home remedies
include willow bark tea to cure headaches and fevers (willow bark
contains salicylic acid , which is chemically similar to
acetylsalicylic acid , also known as aspirin); duct tape to help with
setting broken bones; and duct tape or superglue to treat plantar
warts ; and
In earlier times, mothers were entrusted with all but serious remedies. Historic cookbooks are frequently full of remedies for dyspepsia , fevers, and female complaints.
Many European liqueurs or digestifs were originally sold as medicinal remedies. In Chinese folk medicine, medicinal congees (long-cooked rice soups with herbs), foods, and soups are part of the healing repertoire.
Many people also use aloe leaves to cure ailments of the skin.
Although 130 countries have regulations on folk medicines, there are risks associated with the use of them. It is often assumed that because supposed medicines are herbal or natural that they are safe, but numerous precautions are associated with using herbal remedies.
USE OF ENDANGERED SPECIES
Sometimes traditional medicines include parts of endangered species, such as the slow loris in Southeast Asia.
Endangered animals, such as the
Shark fins have also been used in traditional medicine, and although its use has not been proven, it is hurting shark populations and their ecosystem.
* ^ A B C "Traditional Medicine: Definitions". World Health
Organization . 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
* ^ Acharya, Deepak and Shrivastava Anshu (2008): Indigenous Herbal
Medicines: Tribal Formulations and Traditional Herbal Practices,
Aavishkar Publishers Distributor, Jaipur- India. ISBN
978-81-7910-252-7 . pp 440.
* ^ National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: What
* ^ "Ebers\' Papyrus". Retrieved 28 December 2014.
* ^ Girish Dwivedi, Shridhar Dwivedi (2007). History of Medicine:
Sushruta – the Clinician – Teacher par Excellence (PDF). National
Informatics Centre . Retrieved 2008-10-08.
* ^ A B C D E Kay, MA (1996).
Healing with plants in the American
and Mexican West. Tucson:
University of Arizona Press . pp. 19–20.
ISBN 0-8165-1646-4 .
* ^ A B C Raphael, Sandra; Blunt, Wilfrid (1994). The Illustrated
herbal. London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 0-7112-0914-6 .
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of Africa: the legacy of "Sheikh" Hippocrates. London: Kegan Paul
International. ISBN 0-7103-0203-7 .
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Roshdi; Morelon, Régis. Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science
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* ^ Diane Boulanger (2002), "The Islamic Contribution to Science,
Mathematics and Technology", OISE Papers, in STSE Education, Vol. 3.
* ^ Tschanz David W (2003). "Arab Roots of European Medicine".
Heart Views. 4: 2.
* ^ Eldredge Jonathan D (2003). "The Randomised Controlled Trial
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