You must have heard about “traditional medicine“.
Today, traditional medicine has supporters and opponents in the world, and each of these two groups has their own reasons. Perhaps an important reason for this discrepancy is a misunderstanding about the concept of traditional medicine.
In general, traditional medicine is a non-invasive and non-chemical treatment that has a history of thousands of years and its effectiveness has been proven.
In this talk, we want to provide more information about the concept of “traditional medicine” for those who are interested in this subject.
What is traditional medicine?
There are different definitions of folk medicine in different countries, but the World Health Organization (WHO) defines traditional medicine as follows: “Knowledge, skills, and treatments based on theories, beliefs, and experiences of indigenous peoples in different cultures used to maintain health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, and treat physical and mental illnesses.”
For thousands of years, humans have used a variety of plant and animal derivatives to treat disease and maintain their health.
Today in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, more than 70% of people trust the advice of their native traditional medicine.
In many countries, scientific centers have been established to develop folk medicine using scientific research methods. Therefore, many folk medicine recommendations have a proven scientific basis.
It seems that in different parts of the world, due to the non-invasive, preventive and useful nature of traditional medicine, people’s tendency to it has increased.
The growing demand for medicinal plants worldwide is also affected by this trend.
But the methods of folk medicine vary in different countries and regions of the world which not all of them can be confirmed.
Among the famous and ancient schools of folk medicine in the world, we can mention Chinese, Indian, African and Iranian traditional medicine.
In fact, traditional medicine is not a substitute for modern medicine, but a complement to it.
Modern medicine, in spite of its brilliant and remarkable advances to improve human health, has neglected some important aspects.
Aspects that are more emphasized in folk medicine, such as differences in human temperament, prevention of diseases through nutritional habits, compatibility of human diet and its temperament, use of natural medicines, and finally a holistic approach towards the human body and physical and mental health.
Traditional medicine and the concept of health
Today, the production of chemical drugs is recognized as a profitable industry in the world.
However, many plants and organic substances in nature can be used as cheap and available medicines.
Through years of experience and experimentation, human beings have realized the properties of some of them, but the development of modern medicine and its amazing impact on saving human lives, has caused many of the useful achievements of folk medicine to be forgotten.
The question always arises as to why we should not use cheaper alternative therapies with no side effects in the treatment of diseases (if such a treatment is available to us)?
Why not pay attention to scientifically proven preventative methods and recommendations of traditional medicine? Today, the move towards the production of natural medicines is also seen among reputable pharmaceutical companies, because it is really justifiable and reasonable.
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, traditional medicine is an evolving science.
Researchers in indigenous medicine have achieved remarkable results in discovering new natural therapies.
The main idea of traditional medicine
Perhaps the main idea of indigenous medicine is to “use nature to get your body back to nature.”
In fact, disease means the body getting out of its state of balance and nature, and health means the balance between the soul, the body and the environment.
Anything that upsets this balance can be a pathogen.
Many illnesses are not sudden but are the result of a gradual lifestyle.
folk medicine tries to eliminate the factors that upset the balance of the body depending on the characteristics of each person (which is called temperament).
Traditional medicine, on the other hand, places more emphasis on prevention than treatment.
In addition to natural remedies, folk medicine tries to recommend a lifestyle that suits each person.
This is where the concept of “temperament” comes into play.
Traditional medicine prescribes treatments for patients that are compatible with their temperament.
These treatments include a range of medications, foods, and habits.
If you think that indigenous medicine can cure you with a pill, you are wrong.
Treatments and recommendations of folk medicine are usually expressed in the form of long-term behaviors.
Traditional medicine temperamentology
Avicenna medicine (the famous physician whose medical books were the reference of medical education in Europe for more than 600 years) divides human temperament into four categories: bile, soda, blood, and phlegm.
These temperaments are derived from Aristotle’s four natures, namely water, fire, earth and water.
Temperaments have in fact been a criterion for classifying different characteristics of human beings into four different groups.
Therefore, in Avicenna traditional medicine, depending on the characteristics of the body, you are classified in one of the four temperaments.
Proper nutrition, illness, and lifestyle to balance body function are also affected by these temperaments.
In the following articles, we will explain more about the types of temperaments.
Traditional medicine also considers foods to have a warm, cold and mild nature.
In other words, nutrition should be in accordance with human temperament, otherwise it will upset the balance of the body and cause the person to get sick.
Of course, today, with the advancement of medical science, it has violated many of the misconceptions that existed in the past about the four temperaments.
However, many of the treatments that traditional medicine recommends are based on physicians’ observations of the drugs effects on patients, not just baseless beliefs.
In other words, the folk medicine advices have shown its effectiveness in practice and still do today.
This has led the scientific community to pay more attention to such prescriptions and research today.
7 critical tips about traditional medicine
In general, some points related to folk medicine can be stated below.
- Although traditional medicine is a general concept and includes many valid and invalid treatment methods, but the main idea of traditional medicine (despite different assumptions from modern medicine) has proven itself throughout history and today in practice to treat many diseases.
- folk medicine can not cure all diseases and is definitely not a substitute for modern medicine. Therefore, in the treatment of acute diseases, modern medicine treatment methods must be used. Those who claim that all diseases can be cured by traditional medicine are probably unreliable people. Note that in many cases, patients who have not been treated with conventional medical methods have been treated with folk medicine treatments, but these cases can not be considered as evidence to replace traditional medicine with modern medicine.
- Traditional medicine can be called health medicine. The emphasis of folk medicine is on prevention, not treatment and the need for maintaining a balance between nature and food also stems from this emphasis. In other words, traditional medicine emphasizes the causes of the disease more than the complications of the disease. Note that the causes of the disease are not limited to viruses, bacteria, or immobility, and high fat, and in general it can be said that an unbalanced lifestyle is the most important cause of the disease.
- Traditional medicine recommends treatment for each person. Therefore, a similar treatment may not necessarily be prescribed for people with similar diseases. This requires sufficient knowledge and experience in this field. Having sufficient information in folk medicine, a traditional physician must be able to correctly diagnose the patient’s temperament and to find the appropriate treatment for each person. People are treated differently depending on their temperaments. Therefore, in some cases, using a similar treatment method will not only not make the patient better but also make him feel worse.
- indigenous medicine considers indigenous and appropriate therapies suitable for each region as a suitable alternative to universal therapies, because the goal of indigenous medicine is to establish a balance between soul, body and environment.
- Many traditional medicines are herbal medicines (instead of chemical ones). Contrary to popular belief, herbal remedies are not necessarily harmless and can be fatal. For example, saffron is a plant that is used both as a cooking spice and as a medicinal plant which its over-consumption is toxic to the body.
- Traditional medicine is a developing discipline. Therefore, those traditional medicine practitioners who have learned modern medicine in addition to the principles of classical medicine can be more effective and reliable. Not every claim should be accepted as traditional medicine.
We try to acquaint you with the basic principles of traditional medicine and in future articles we will refer to its treatments and prescriptions. If you follow the prescriptions, you will practically see the results. Many traditional medicine tips are just for changing behaviors and habits, as well as using natural ingredients and foods to improve health. Contact us for more information and share your questions about folk medicine with us. We will answer you as soon as possible. Traditional medicine consultation