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Folk Medicine, Does It Work? Essay

702 words - 3 pages

Have you ever heard your grandmother tell you to put butter on a burn? Most of us have heard of folk remedies one way or another. I know my grandparents have all kinds of weird things to do when you are sick. Every culture has their own way of dealing with sickness. Some carry over to other cultures; some get changed along the way. Some work and some of them really are just a waste of time. But, there are some cultures that whole-heartedly rely on these remedies. The remedies go back thousands and thousands of years and are spread all over the world. The Hawaiian culture is one that has their own little remedies. The Hawaiian word for health is "ola". It also means life. This reflects their belief that there is no life without health, which is true in most cases. Hawaiian's do not rely entirely on these forms of medicine. They have normal hospitals and doctors just like we do. They ...view middle of the document...

There are places and people all over the world that differ in medical treatments. Irish culture is one of them. These are probably the most common folk cures of them all. They are used all over the world. You have probably heard some of the more common ones, like cutting a potato in half and putting it on warts to make them go away. There are other Irish remedies that are not so everyday though. For example, the Irish say that if you lick certain animals they will give you healing power. They say that if you lick a certain water newt called alp luachra, you will supposedly have the power to heal burns. Also colors are very important in the practice of Irish folk medicine. Like red flannel is used to ease back pain. Also, yellow is used to treat jaundice. They also use blood for treatment of shingles. The ancient Romans inherited folk medicine from the Etruscans and other aborigines of prehistoric Italy. They were very smart on the issue of medicine. They even had a procedure to remove the fetus from the uterus. Hygiene was very important to the Romans before doctors were. Good habits kept Romans healthy. They used many herbs in treating disease. Cinnamon being one of the most common, they used it for inflammation, venomous bites, runny nose, and menstrual disorders. They also used some kind of herb for laxatives and antiseptics. They also believed in taking baths very often. Tibetan culture also has many different things in their culture that are folk remedies. Mostly though they use diet, behavior modification, and medicine. Diet is used to treat many different disorders. For example, if the patient has a bile disorder, they should not take alcohol and should drink cool, boiled water. Behavior modification is used to treat just as much as the diet is. For example, with the bile disorder the patient should not do heavy physical activity and they should rest in the shade. Medicines that they use are just all kinds of plant and herbs. Some of their medicines are from animals and fungus though.

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