23 minutes | Oct 7th 2020

The Most Ancient Medicine (Chatroom #3)

Season 1, CHATROOM 3 The Most Ancient Medicine A bowl of hot chicken soup when you have the flu; a decoction of turmeric, pepper and other spices to fight off infection; such remedies we learn from our grandmothers are still used widely throughout the world. Folk healing is the most ancient form of medicine. It sprung from common kitchen ingredients — when humans realized that spices, herbs, and foods not only provide nutrition but could help us overcome illness. India’s medical system depends on the roughly 2 million folk healers to provide medical care in villages far from hospitals and health centers. They use more than 6,500 medicinal plants. G. Hariramamurthi, a folk medicine expert, has traveled throughout India over the past three decades, visiting more than 12,000 villages. He helps folk healers document their medical practices and treatments, most recently for prevention of Covid-19. In this episode, Hari addresses a question posed to many folk healers: do folk remedies really work? Time Markers (mins: sec) 1:12 Food is medicine 1:40 Grandma’s treatment for fever 2:46 How to prevent coronavirus infection 6:13 Using locally available medicinal plants 8:45 Folk healers and India’s health system 10:32 A snakebite in the night 11:52 Where is the proof? 12:32 Social legitimacy keeps folk healing alive 14:53 One knowledge system dominates 15:32 The birth of allopathy came from traditional knowledge 16:15 Five essential elements of living beings 18:44 Use of pepper in traditional medicine and biomedicine 19:32 Whole systems approach vs. microscopic understanding 20:18 The Politics of Knowledge 21:39 Integrative medicine is the future Guests Hariramamurthi G Resources Transcript Reading Suggestions Share Episode Twitter Facebook WhatsApp  Sign up for updates   EMAIL References Maarten Bode, G. Hariramamurthi, Integrating folk healers in India’s public health: acceptance, legitimacy and emancipation, eJournal of Indian Medicine, Volume 7, 2014, p. 1-20 Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana, G. Hariramamurthi, Local Health Practitioners in India – Resilience, Revitalization and Reintegration, Medicine, state and society- Indigenous medicine and medical pluralism in contemporary India V. Sujatha and Leena Abraham, Orient Blackswan, New Delhi, 2012
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