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Traditional medicine

In numerous modern medicines you can find plants

This type of medicine in the Republic of Serbia is regulated by special rules. This is the “Ordinance on Closer Conditions, Method and Procedure for Performing Traditional Medicine Methods and Procedures”. In this legal action, the use of products of traditional, domestic, and folk medicine is regulated. This means that the activity is in the legal framework if the institution or private practice using the methods of traditional medicine has at least one person with a license. The Ministry of Health issues the license for performing this activity. So, traditional medicine and its application are subject to this or that side of the law. Be sure to check which items and methods you choose.

How did traditional medicine come to be?

Traditional medicine is a domestic, traditional practice based on experience. Throughout the ages, people have been sick and injured, but they have also been trying to alleviate their pain. Before written word began the first method of random selection, and later with experience, the use of folk remedies. The leaves or fruits of different plants were placed on injuries, wounds or lacerations. Teas were used for diarrhea or bowel obstruction. Sometimes traditional healers have successfully mended broken bones or twisted joints. And they also resorted to magical ceremonies, chanting, dispelling, or expelling demons. Thus, traditional medicine and its products were formed as an ancient form of treatment.

Who are traditional doctors?

X-ray is the typical method for diagnosing breaks of modern medicine
Even today you can find men with ‘golden hands’ who heal broken bones without using the X-ray machine

During this period, people organize healing as a system of self-care. And later, after the success of their treatments, individuals are singled out. They get the status of knowledge experts. In their tribe, they conduct ceremonies of treatment, religious rituals, and enchantments which provide the community with health. So, the first traditional doctors were shamans, wound-menders, midwives, herbalists, etc. It is undoubtedly that this practice had an impact on the oldest records of treatment and their systematization, which led to scientific medicine. However, this does not mean that today there are no folk doctors who practice traditional medicine. In addition to official medical practice, there are traditional doctors everywhere, even in Serbia. However, it is rare for this to be their only occupation. Men usually ‘break’ bones, while women perform enchantments, and all treat injuries with plants.

National medicine is not universal

Traditional medicine is not unique, universal, and specialized as is the field of scientific medicine. Different techniques, products, and approaches are used from nation to nation. Nevertheless, several basic areas of this activity are distinguished: magic medicine, animal medicine, folk surgery and folk phytotherapy.

Bells chase away demons which cause illnesses in men
Different amulets kept evil spirits away

Magical medicine is the oldest approach to disease. According to its beliefs, a demon has entered the sick man. The healers from this group, like white mages, invoke the help of good spirits. Their diagnosis is related to looking at beans, throwing coal or melted lead into the water. Therapy is usually an exorcism-the elimination of malice from the patient. Preventive measures are amulets and talismans.

Animal medicine is typical for the Middle Ages. Patients are treated with substances of animal origin. The products are fish eyes, snake skins, wings of a bat, certain internal organs, horns, urine, feces or hair of various animals.

Traditional surgery was once associated with barbers and blacksmiths. Usually, a craftsman, aside from his day job, let blood, pulled teeth, treated wounds, or set fractures and sprains. For more complicated operations, such as a hernia or bladder stones, wound-menders or healers were called.

Traditional phytotherapy treats wounds with plants. In this area of traditional medicine, there are many products such as teas, balsams, solutions, tinctures, etc. The modern pharmaceutical industry double-checks and uses the confirmed knowledge of national phytotherapy.

Traditional medicine exists since the beginning of humanity
Blacksmiths often painlessly pulled teeth

As incredible as this may sound, all these practices are present today in the world and in our country.

What is traditional medicine today?

A modern man thinks that traditional medicine is practiced today only in backward communities. Still, when you think carefully, you will see that, in a crisis, there are highly educated people who seek salvation from the traditional healers. Traditional medicine today exists parallel to the scientific one. It’s not uncommon that they are opposed to each other.

Traditional medicine insists on harmony in the body as a whole. It sees the human body as a cosmos, ergo, connected with nature. Traditional doctors consider that the disease should be treated by all available means. Therefore, they use plants and their products, diet, prayer, exercises, magic and any means for the purpose of health.

Tolerance and reasonable choices

A long time ago traditional and scientific medicine led a war to extinction. Over time, there has been an agreement of tolerance in order to heal wounds. So, in the 21st century, people are free to choose their relationship with health and illness, so we don’t have to all choose the same method of healing. Consequently, the ostracizing of those who use traditional medicine has disappeared. How can a mere man, now filled with sickness, find strength in all this? How to choose the right approach to health and illness? I doubt it is possible through blind belief. Still, it should remain within the limits of rationality.