What is folk medicine?

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What is folk medicine?

Folk medicine is a type of medicinal practice that is mostly based on experience and other beliefs which are passed on from generations of the past to the present.  Some folk medicine practices may be a result of practicality while others are applied through knowledge gained by actual experience.  Folk medicine may be in different forms or techniques, and it may also be referred to as ‘traditional’ or ‘alternative’ medicine.

Different countries have different practices when it comes to folk medicine.  Some practices are only done by a small group or within a certain cultural community while other so-called healing techniques are being used and applied by a significant number of people in a given society.  Common types of many folk medicine practices in many parts of the world are the use of plants in treating certain ailments.  For skin diseases, for example, the leaves of a particular plant may be rubbed directly onto the skin.  Other practices also involve the use of the flowers of the particular plant.  There are also instances when the leaves, flowers, or roots are boiled in water with the sick person having to drink the solution.

It is common for traditional medical practice to use various plants, fruits, and even animal parts in making medicines that could heal various illnesses.  Some are passed on to the next generation with specific instructions on how to prepare certain medicinal plants and animals. There are also traditional medicines that are supposed to work better with other techniques such as baths and massages.

Various criticisms have been directed to various forms of folk medicine.  Some are also concerned if the healing potions and techniques are safe for the body.  Many also question if traditional forms of healing and medicinal techniques are indeed effective and result in the actual relief of certain illnesses and diseases.  There are also people who claim that the effects of folk medicine are not properly researched and documented and so should not be applied by any person. It’s best if you do your own research and then decide which is better.

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