Herbal medicine

Natural Medical, Natural Medicine, Health Performance Herbal medicine is an aspect of indigenous medicine - the use of gathered plant parts to make teas, poultices, or powders that purportedly effect cures. There has been a Spanish Catholic contribution to indigenous medicine in Trinidad. Growers and sellers of culinary herbs in Paramin (north-west Trinidad) spoke of a belief that if someone dug up a clump of fowl foot grass (Eleusine indica) on Good Friday they would get a piece of coal below the roots. White/red physic nut (Jatropha curcas/gossypifolia), if cut on Good Friday would produce the blood of Jesus. Spanish-Romanic prayers called oracion are used during a healing ceremony called santowah (Bill Plander) that is the Spanish equivalent of jharay (a similar Hindu religious healing ceremony). Moodie (1982) claims that the oracion prayers were brought to Trinidad with the conquistadors. The santowah ceremony includes sweet broom (Scoparia dulcis) used to sprinkle holy water. A similar healing ceremony is conducted in Almería, Spain (Martínez-Lirola et al. 1996) . In Trinidad and Tobago red cloths are hung around the neck of young animals to protect them from the evil eye. This practice is also found in Tuscany (Pieroni 2000). One problem in getting the attention of modern medicine is that most research is funded by those who hope to eventually make a profit from such research. For example, honey has been a part of many folk cures, but it is common and cheap (compared to pharmaceuticals), but it is difficult to fund any research of its effectiveness. Another factor is that scientists' reputations hinge on the validity of their research conclusions (Ikerd, 1993). To ignore the existence of something real means a scientist fails to make a discovery -disappointing but not harmful to the reputation, so scientists are more willing to do this than take conclusion risks. Replication and comparison are emphasized by scientists.

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