Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Traditional medicine also known as indigenous or folk medicine comprises knowledge systems that developed over generations within various societies before the era of modern medicine. Practices known as traditional medicines include herbal, Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, Unani, ancient Iranian medicine, Irani, Islamic medicine, traditional Vietnamese medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, traditional Korean medicine, acupuncture. These terms are often considered interchangeable, even though some authors may prefer one or the other because of certain overtones they may be willing to highlight. In fact, out of these terms perhaps only indigenous medicine and Traditional medicine are the terms well congruent. It also formalized aspects of folk medicine, i.e. longstanding remedies passed on and practiced by lay people.
The term folk medicine refers to healing practices and ideas of body physiology and health preservation known to a limited segment of the population in a culture, transmitted informally as general knowledge, and practiced or applied by anyone in the culture having prior experience.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines traditional medicine as:
"the health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral-based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being."
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