Folk Medicine

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Plantain – Medicine that Treats Everything

Throughout years, I was taught to believe that the best medicine is not a pill, but a folk

medicine. The most common folk medicine in my culture was plantain. This herb meant to help

in a variety of sicknesses. For instance, when I got food poison followed by high fever,

vomiting, and diarrhea, my mother prepared a tincture based on plantain, vinegar and salt. I had

to drink 15 drops of this mixture every hour and after 5 hours the reaction of poisoning in the

stomach terminated. At the same time my mother also put the fresh leafs of plantain on my

abdomen to relieve my pain. In addition, plantain was also believed to treat other diseases such

as burns, hemorrhages , dysentery and bronchial asthma. For example, when my cousin had

symptoms of bronchial asthma, she was given a mixture based on granule of plantain. She had to

drink it 5 times a day to stop her symptoms. After repeating procedures for 3 months, her

symptoms stopped and she fully recovered.

I think the root of the belief that plantain treats many diseases is cultural. My mother

learned about plantain from her parents , relatives and friends and thus passed her knowledge to

me. Even though fresh plantain was available only in a summer, many people in Russia collected

plantain and dried it for the use during the winter. Now that we live in USA we are able to buy

the granules of plantain in stores and continue to use plantain when needed.

I believe that experience in the folk medicine taught me about another way of

treating a sickness. I also think that besides my culture, there are also other cultures who believe

in folk medicine. Thus, when working in a health care field it will help me to understand better

why some patients refuse particular medicine and incline toward another medicine.
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