FOLK MEDICINE CURES

FOLK MEDICINE

Amulets for Health

To relieve pain, touch the affected area with an amulet created from a poultice
of red coral and ash leaves. Bury the amulet under an oak tree. Similar methods
were used to rid the body of warts. A potato was applied to the wart, then
buried. For any health-related magic, coral, ash leaves, oak leaves or a piece
of potato makes an excellent focuses or components.

Arthritis
One teaspoon of chopped garlic twice daily with water is reputed to ease
arthritis symptoms. This folk remedy may have come from the belief that garlic
aids the blood circulation. Other options include wearing charmed belts or
blessed cords of wool near the afflicted area.

Athlete’s Foot
Saltwater soaks and cornstarch powder dusted on the feet daily work against the
fungus that causes athlete’s foot. In ancient Greece, you may have been given
powdered orris root. This not only helps keep your feet dry, but also relieves
odors.

Bee Stings
Plant leaves are the common denominator in methods of relieving the pain and
itch of bee stings. Turks apply wet tobacco leaves directly to the sting. In
other cultures, various types of plant leaves or petals are used, including
burdock, dandelion and marigold.

Burns
The three most universal aids to spread over a burn are damp baking soda, honey
or aloe. Any of these might also be metaphorically applied in a spell to ease
fiery anger. Rub the substance over a picture of the individual who is irate.

Colds
A tea made of lemon juice and honey in warm water is soothing, and hot tar smoke
is thought to relive and prevent coughs. If you put seven beans in your pocket
and throw one away each day, but the end of the week your cold should be gone.
This can be further assisted by eating horseradish.

Constipation
A daily cup of licorice and senna tea works to relieve constipation. These herbs
are also excellent magical ingredients for spells to overcome an artistic block
or any other barrier.

Cramps
Ginger and pepper combine for a good hot drink to ease stomach cramps.
For muscle cramps, wear a garter of corks near the afflicted muscle or place it
between the springs of your bed and the mattress. This last idea may have
developed because, when a cork is taken from a bottle, it releases pressure with
a pop. Consider employing this symbolism any time you feel constrained or
limited.

Diarrhea
Peppermint tea is one of the best-known remedies for this uncomfortable
condition. An alternative drink is ginger tea with two teaspoons of vinegar and
a dash of salt.

Dog Bite
The bid of a mad dog was once thought to be cured by eating some of the
creature’s hair boiled or fried with rosemary. This was how the saying “hair of
the dog that bit you” came into being and is an excellent early example of
sympathetic magic. Thus, when people drink alcohol for a hangover, they are
using the “biting” item to effect their cure.

Eyewash
Ringing the eye with the water used for steeping a lapis stone is said to
relieve itching eyes. One work of caution: be sure the lapis and water are both
clean and free from impurities. Lapis water blessed beneath a full moon can also
enhance psychic vision.

Fever
Goldenseal tea and a teaspoon of lemon juice taken every four hours reduces
fever. Another recommendation is to take clippings of your fingernails and mix
them with warm wax which is then bound to a tree or rock so that the fever is
attached to something other than you. Similar symbolism can be used when you are
feeling angry and out of balance. In a symbolic sense, you are literally
disengaging the negativity from yourself.

Gemstones
The use of gem stones in remedial work was closely tied to their color, planet
of influence, and other commonly associated superstitions. Red stones, for
example, were frequently considered helpful for blood conditions, green stones
for all type of healing, and blue for improving emotional disposition.
Gems were used in a wide variety of ways not only as curatives, but also
to ward off sickness. In many instances, the individual was instructed to wear
or carry the stone in a specific manner, frequently near the center of the
prevailing problem. This was done so that the stone could collect any illness.
An alternative to amuletic work was the gem elixir. These may or may not
have actually been made from gemstones, considering the expense involved and the
cleverness of many healers. Instead, solutions likely had the appearance of a
particular stone in coloration. The other option was to place a particular stone
in any liquid for a duration of time to allow absorption of its positive
remedial qualities. Some of these costly cures include diamonds and emeralds for
an antidote for poison, jade for kidney disease, jasper for stomach ailments,
ruby for flatulence, topaz for the plague, and bloodstone to stop hemorrhaging.
Crystalline elixirs are used by many people in the New Age community today
to internalize specific aspects of a stone. Usually the gem (or crystal) is
steeped in spring water by the light of the sun or moon, depending on its
intended use. The stone is removed afterwards and the liquid drunk.

Headaches
An amethyst, warmed by the rays of the sun, wrapped in silk, and then bound
lightly to the temples, eases the pain of a headache. Wearing rings of lead or
quicksilver also prevents and soothes this difficulty. These suggestions are
likewise applicable for psychically caused pain as experienced from overexertion
in a reading, or returning to normal awareness too quickly after meditation.

King’s Evil
This is a disease of the lymph glands thought in the Middle Ages to be cured
only by the touch of a reigning monarch. The first instance we see of King’s
Evil is during the time of Edward the Confessor (A.D. 1024-1066). Most likely,
this superstition was invented by the court to improve the king’s esteem in the
eyes of the populace.
Since kings are not readily available these days, a supplication directly
to the king and queen of the heavens can be made to reduce the swelling of the
lymph glands. Or wear a piece of blue flannel tied nine times around your neck.
The warmth of the flannel, combines with its peaceful color was considered a
powerful combination.

Laryngitis
When your voice leaves you, try gargling three times with a combination of
vinegar, rainwater and honey. Salt and garlic water are also effective. In
England, country physicians recommend the juice of a boiled cabbage with honey.
By adding a little incantation, such as “through the guns and past the
lips, my speech is strengthened with each sip” you can also use these
concoctions before a speaking engagement to empower your presentation. While the
incantation may seem a little silly, it is easily committed to memory and has a
meter which allows for rhythmic repetition.

Laying On Of Hands
Great power and reverence has always been given to the hands of the healer. They
are the conduit not only of divine energy, but also, more immediately
significant, of relief from pain. Many religions and even modern science speak
of the amazing power of touch to calm, reassure, and grant emotional relief on a
temporary basis. Many healing methods have developed from the simple laying on
of hands, for example, acupressure, shiatsu, and reiki. In these methods,
pressure points, massage and touch are incorporated to improve circulation, ease
pain, perform auric cleansings and even cure hiccups.

Melancholy
To cure a case of melancholy in India, healers suggest wearing lapis lazuli
around the neck and keeping busy so there wasn’t time to think about troubles.

Pain
Jade or lapis worn on any afflicted area is thought to relieve pain. Once the
pain is gone, the stone should either be thoroughly cleansed in saltwater or
buried so the pain isn’t returned the next time the gem is handled. For
emotional pain, place the stone over your heart.

Prescriptions
Medicinal prescriptions have been found in cultures dating from ancient
Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. These first prescriptions included clearly
written instructions and pictures. These images were not only for the
illiterate, but also were believed to help improve the effectiveness of the folk
cure. (Considering the handwriting of many contemporary physicians, they might
want to consider doing likewise.)
More seriously, we can continue this tradition by adding appropriate runes
or other personal symbols to any written spell.

Sand Paintings
One of the more interesting healing traditions is that of sacred sand painting
practiced by the Hopi culture in the southwestern United States. Here, it is
regarded as a kind of magic, where the ancestors and the Gods are called in to
aid the patient.
When the shaman finishes the painting (usually a two-day process), the
patient sits on one portion while the shaman chants and blesses him or her.
Eventually, some indication is given to the healer that the work is complete and
the sand painting is destroyed with the remains being given to the winds.
In our own healing rituals, sand could be used in a similar manner.
Personally significant symbols can be sketched with various colors of sand, then
given to the afflicted person to hold. He or she should then direct all aches
and pains to the grains of sand while releasing them to the winds. This will
carry the sickness away.

Scapegoat
The term scapegoat dates back to the time when animals were used for disease
transference. Here, one particular animal would be chosen to bear the sickness
of the entire community, and would then be ritually killed, burned, or buried to
cure the people.
Most magical people today disdain such activities as disrespectful to the
animals involved, so a kinder alternative should be considered. Inanimate
objects such as the sand illustrated above can be substitute for a creature with
equal effectiveness, since symbolism is the most important factor in sympathetic
magic.

Skin Disease
Tenth-century Anglo-Saxons used a basic preparation of goose fat mixed with
elecampane, bishop’s wort, cleavers, and a spoonful of old soap, lathered it
onto the skin at night to relieve skin problems. Additionally, a little blood
taken from a scratch on the neck was released into a flowing stream to magically
carry the sickness. While it moved away, the afflicted person would say, “take
this disease and depart with it” three times, then return home by an open road,
going both ways in silence.

Sneezing
The sneeze was considered a message direct from God or a bit of the soul being
released. In Scotland, parents waited impatiently for their child’s first sneeze
to prove there was no fairy hold over him or her and that the child was thus of
sound mind.
There is also a form of divination by sneezing: if you sneeze after dinner
it means good health; three sneezes in a row portend gifts or a letter; two, a
wish; five, silver; six, gold. Perhaps it seems a little silly to try, but if
you are performing prosperity magic, you might keep a little pepper handy to see
if the sneeze helps empower your spell!

Sympathetic Magic
Sympathetic, or symbolic magic, whether called by that name or not, is common
throughout various cultures. For example, the patient would have a string
attached to the affected area and the healer would place the other end in his
mouth to suck out the sickness; to break curses or mark transitions from the
sickness to health, the patient would be moved through a fire or wreath.
Similar versions of sympathetic magic can be seen in prescriptions calling
for a wool string to be worn around the neck to cure a cold, red glass beads
worn as a necklace to prevent nosebleeds, placing medicine on an object of help
cure a wound it inflicted, and making headaches disappear by sleeping with
scissors under your pillow.
The marvelous part about sympathetic magick is the wide variety of
creative approaches it offers. Consider what it is you are trying to accomplish,
an appropriate symbol of that goal, and finally what magickal procedures you
want to follow, and you have just originated a personalized spell or ritual.

Toothaches
A nearly universal treatment for toothaches is clove oil.  In Kenya, wax or
chewing gum is used for temporary fillings. Another interesting superstition is
that a wedding ring touched to an aching tooth will relieve the pain because of
the power of love.

Toxins
In Scotland, a poultice of onions is applied to the stomach and armpits in order
to help the body sweat out any toxic materials. This might be a good folk remedy
to try when you are going through a personal purification or attempting to rid
yourself of a physically addictive habit such as smoking.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

FOLK MEDICINE HEALING

FOLK MEDICINE HEALING

Folk medicine consists of traditional healing beliefs and methods used in
past cultures mostly by people deemed to have the healing power. As an part of a
culture’s knowledge and values, folk medicine is a system based on traditional
modes of conduct, of coping with sickness. Often sanctioned by the population’s
claims or religious beliefs, these popular practices are used to alleviate the
distress of disease and restore harmony in people who are emotionally or
physically ill, or both. Folk medicine’s lore is widely known among members of a
culture and is usually handed down from generation to generation by word of
mouth.

In general, the system is flexible, allowing the introduction of new ideas about
sickness and healing practices, many of them borrowed from classical and modern
medicine.

——————————————————————————–

HEALERS

To implement the various folk curing practices, most social groups have
established a hierarchy of healers–beginning with the individuals affected,
their immediate families and friends, knowledgeable herbalists, members of the
clergy, faith healers, and SHAMANS, or medicine men. Many are consulted because
of their empirical knowledge of roots and herbs possessing medicinal properties.
Others are considered endowed with healing gifts because of station or accidents
of birth. The belief that posthumous children have such talents is widely known
in the United States. In the European folk-medical tradition, seventh sons and
daughters are said to possess unusual curing powers; the same applies to twins.
Often spouses and children of known healers are automatically considered to have
similar gifts. As in primitive medicine, many people affected by ailments that
are considered minor and natural treat themselves, with the help of family
members. A vast array of easily available herbal preparations known to most
members of the culture is used to effect a cure. More difficult cases suspected
to be of a magico-religious nature are referred to local healers who are endowed
with special powers. These shamans stage a variety of ceremonies and employ many
of the techniques used in preliterate social groups.

——————————————————————————–

NAVAJOS

Native American folk medicine is popular in the less acculturated Indian
tribes. A notable example are the Navajos still living in their homeland.
Disease is considered a disruption of harmony caused either by external agents
such as lightning and winds, powerful animals and ghosts, and witchcraft, or by
the breaking of taboos. Three categories of folk healers are usually consulted:
first the herbalists, for symptomatic relief of minor ailments; if no
improvement is observed, then the hand trembler, or diviner, is called; finally,
the singer, or MEDICINE MAN, will carry out specific healing ceremonies
suggested by the hand trembler’s diagnosis. Ritual sweatbaths, drinking of
herbs, and elaborate sandpainting ceremonies characterize Navajo folk healing.

——————————————————————————–

HOT-COLD THEORY

The hot-cold theory of disease ranks among the most popular systems of
contemporary folk medicine in the United States. In health, the human body
displays a balanced blending of hot and cold qualities. Sickness will ensue
if an excess of hot or cold foodstuffs is ingested. The basic scheme was
introduced into Latin America by the Spanish during the 16th century. Reinforced
by native cultural values, it became firmly embedded in popular Latin healing
traditions. The hot-cold scheme is applied to foods, diseases, and remedies. The
terms hot and cold do not necessarily refer to the temperature of foods or
remedies. Qualities are assigned on the basis of origin, color, nutritional
value, physiological effects of the food or remedy, as well as therapeutical
action. Among New York Puerto Ricans, for example, bananas, coconuts, and sugar
cane are considered cold, whereas chocolate, garlic, alcoholic beverages, and
corn meal are hot. Cold-classified illnesses such are arthritis, colds, and
gastric complaints must be treated with hot foods and remedies. Their hot
counterparts –constipation, diarrhea, and intestinal cramps–require treatment
with cold substances.

——————————————————————————–

BLACK AMERICANS

The medical folklore of black Americans contains elements derived from popular
European and African beliefs, blended with religious elements belonging to
Christian Fundamentalism and West Indian voodoo. The world is seen as a
dangerous place, prompting individuals to constantly exert caution because
of the whims of nature, frequent divine punishment, and the threat of witchcraft
practiced by hostile humans. Individuals are urged to look out for themselves,
be distrustful, and avoid the wrath of God. Sickness is broadly divided into
“natural” and “unnatural.” The former comprises bodily conditions caused by
environmental forces as well as God’s punishment for sin. Unnatural illness
represents health problems caused by evil influences and witchcraft after the
loss of divine protection; the magical intrusion of “animals” into the body and
the placement of a certain hex play prominent roles in the causation of disease.

——————————————————————————–

MEXICAN-AMERICANS

Folk medicine is still popular among large groups of Mexican-Americans in New
Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, California, and especially in West Texas. Their
healing system, based on pre-Columbian indigenous lore, reflects a degree of
isolation and unwillingness to assimilate Anglo-Saxon culture. Moreover, the
inability of scientific medicine to offer relief for various categories of folk
illness further enhances the usefulness of these practices. Five types of folk
illness are most prominent: mal de ojo (evil eye), empacho (gastro-intestinal
blockage due to excessive food intake), susto (magically induced fright), caida
de la mollera (fallen fontanel, or opening in or between bones), and mal puesto
(sorcery). Prominent among Mexican-American folk healers is the curandero, a
type of shaman who uses white magic and herbs to effect cures. In the cosmic
struggle between good and evil, the curandero, using God-given powers, wards
against harmful spells and hexes. As in other folk systems, faith in the
curandero’s abilities is the essence of the healer’s continued success.

——————————————————————————–

FOLK MEDICINE TODAY

Folk medical systems, especially those ftinctionffig in a pluralistic society
comprising several distinct ethnic groups (as in the United States), govern
domestic healing activities to a great extent. Recently, the increasing
complexity, technicality, and cost of modem medicine have spurred renewed
attempts at self-medication and the use of herbal preparations, thus reviving
folk medical practices.

A number of folk remedies used *in the past are now manufactured as
pharmaceutical preparations prescribed by physicians. For example, rauwolfia is
an extract of the snakeroot plant, which was used for centuries in the Far East
for its calming effect. It is now prescribed by physicians to lower blood
pressure. Reserpine, a derivative of rauwolfia, has been used by psychiatrists
‘in treating severe mental disorders. Foxglove was first brewed by Indians to
treat dropsy, fluid in the legs caused by heart problems. This practice occurred
for hundreds of years before it was discovered that foxglove contributed the
active ingredients now known as digitalis. Today digitalis is commonly used to
stimulate weakened hearts.

Enhanced by Zemanta