The medical field has been developing over the years. Advancement in technology makes it easier to diagnose diseases and treat them fully. However, we cannot overlook traditional medicine in our study of medicine as it plays a huge role in the wellbeing of many people around the world. The modern medical equipment and drugs that we have today trace their origin from traditional medicine. In this article we will look at Ethno-medicine as a sub-field of medicine.
In Ethno-medicine, Anthropologists engage in a study of traditional medicine from all over the world. This includes those that have been documented and those that have been passed over from generation to generation through oral narratives. In the holistic study, they seek to learn and understand all the practices that have been used and transmitted over the centuries and get the knowledge behind every practice. Generally speaking, we can say that the study of Ethno-medicine focuses on the context and perception attached to traditional medicine as opposed to their bio-evaluation. This makes the study a special one and it generates a lot of interest in today’s world.
Different tribes and people around the world have different herbs that they use to treat different diseases. This knowledge has been entrusted to a specific group of people in the society and they are mostly known as herbalists or traditional medicine men. The specialists have years of knowledge and skills in traditional medicine and they pass it from generation to generation. Depending on the tribe, elderly men were entrusted with the herbal knowledge and they were the custodians of the community. Consultations would however be done when a strange disease appeared in one community as the knowledge was not a reserve for the few.
For some of the diseases that have been in existence for a long time like fever and diarrhea, it has been easy to treat them as the herbalist have had a lot of experience. They know the specific herb that treats nose bleeding. Complicated diseases like the liver disease or the heart disease had their set of herbs as well. A good example is the use of boiled Tulsi Juice to hear earache. In most cases, the patient will be treated with flora, herbs and minerals that are available in the neighborhood.
Ethno-medicine can be considered as a complex multi-faceted disciplinary system that involves the use of plants, natural environment and spirituality to heal diseases. You cannot separate the spiritual values of health and sickness and they have made up an integral part of Ethno-medicine practice over the years. The coming of modern medicine disciplines like precision medicine has made fields like Ethno-medicine better. There is more focus on diseases and the treating properties of herbs and other traditional healing aspects. It is easier to treat complicated health issues today than it was years back. Keep reading for more information on current health trends around the world.