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Folk remedies for today's medicine
Home remedies from a country doctor
by Jay Heinrichs, Dorothy Behlen Heinrichs, and the editors of Yankee Magazine.
New York, NY : Skyhorse Pub., 2011.
Got a cough you can't cure? An insatiable craving for a candy bar? A hangover you can't shake? This is the book for anyone who wants quick, simple, timeproven cures for anything that ails you. Collected from over 250 country doctors,herbalists, nurses, midwives, dentists, and other medical professionals, here are more than 1,400 drug-free, country-tested remedies for warding off a backache, curing a cough with licorice, relieving neck pain with a hot-pepper cream, cooking a breakfast that will ward off a headache, curing a dizzy spell with potato chips, and much more. These “house-call cures” are tried and true and should be available in every home.
     
Mayo Clinic book of home remedies : what to do for the most common health problems
[medical editors, Philip Hagen, Martha Millman].
New York, N.Y. : Time Home Entertainment, 2010.
Many common health problems can be treated with simple remedies you can do at home. Even if the steps you take dont cure the problem, they can relieve symptoms and allow you to go about your daily life, or at least help you until youre able to see a doctor. Some remedies, such as changing your diet to deal with heartburn or adapting your home environment to cope with chronic pain, may seem like common sense. You may have questions about when to apply heat or cold to injuries, what helps relieve the itch of an insect bite, or whether certain herbs, vitamins or minerals are really effective against the common cold or insomnia. Youll find these answers and more inMayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. In situations involving your health or the health of your family, the same questions typically arise: What actions can I take that are immediate, safe and effective? When should I contact my doctor? What symptoms signal an emergency?Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remediesclearly defines these questions with regard to your health concerns and guides you to choose the appropriate and most effective response.
     
Ethnobotany of Pohnpei : plants, people, and island culture
compiled and edited by Michael J. Balick.
Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press; [New York] : New York Botanical Garden, c2009.
A team of collectors has identified 1,041 plants on the small Micronesian island, and record uses or local names for 461 of them, drawing on the systematic acquisition and preservation of botanical knowledge by past and present inhabitants since humans first arrived. They discuss yams and their traditional cultivation, breadfruit, banana as an essential crop, taro, the sacred root sakau en Pohnpei, traditional medicine and its integration, and an ethno-botanical compendium of local uses of plants and fungi with color photographs. A final chapter contains a checklist of vascular plants of the island. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
     
A healing grove : African tree remedies and rituals for body and spirit
Stephanie Rose Bird ; foreword by Judika Illes.
Chicago, Ill. : Lawrence Hill Books, c2009.
Reclaiming traditions based on plants and herbs has never been more important than it is today. Widespread use of chemicals, hormones, and additives introduce unknown substances into our bodies. On a larger scale, our future on the planet depends on our ability and willingness to incorporate earth-friendly practices into daily life. Where better to look for natural remedies and soothing rituals than Africa? It is, after all, the Mother Continent, the birthplace of the entire human race, and the keeper of ancient earth knowledge.
     

Many discoveries in medicine have been made by people who are not medically trained. Medical folk remedies are found in every culture. They have been passed down through families and around the world through travel, migration and exploration. And some of these have been adopted for use by todays modern medicine.

Thousands of years before plaster of paris was invented, the Ancient Egyptians immobilized broken bones with bandages that were soaked in bean flour that hardened before it dried.

Maggots, the larvae of flies, were commonly used by the Negemba Tribe of New South Wales, Australia to clean gangrenous wounds. They are still used in this way and aid in the healing process of open wounds by only eating the dead tissue, leaving healthy tissue to heal.

A clay rich with sodium bicarbonate called Tureba, was used by the Sudanese for indigestion. Today there are many products on the shelves that give relief for indigestion in the form of tablets, liquid and pill.

"Today more than ever, there is a need also for medical interpretations and evaluations of the past medicines."

Henry E. Sigerist
Medical Historian

In the past leeches were used to remove blood from the body to reduce black eyes and sprained ankles. Today, leeches are linked with one of the most high-tech forms of medicine around, microsurgery. They remove stagnant blood and at the same time inject anticoagulating and antibiotic substances that help maintain a healthy circulation of blood.

Time and experiences brought a better understanding of old folk medicine tradition to use in modern medicine. Who knows what we know today will become old folk remedies in the future.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff