Philippine's Traditional Health Care

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Albularyo, Manghihilot, and Faith Healer
(Philippine's Traditional Health Care)

Albularyo

Based on my research, the word Albularyo came about from the Spanish word 'herbolario' which means herbalist. [1] Usually, there is a history of healers in the family tree. Their 'healing power' is bestowed by a supernatural being through a 'calling.' Albularyos commonly lack in formal education but are trained by their elder or a local healer. It takes years to become familiar with the teachings, rituals and modes of diagnosis and healing, the prayers, 'orasyon', and the use of herbs. They take care of common illnesses such as fever, cough, cold, diarrhea. Considering the many islands of the Philippines and the varied culture, it is no surprise that Albularyos have different techniques and beliefs. For example, in the southern Tagalog areas, their belief is that land is also populated with dwarfs or duwendes, nunos, lamang lupas, tikbalangs and kapres and that these mythical creatures are the ones responsible for our illnesses. Their belief in these creatures and the sickness that they cause affects the ritual and the treatment used. Rituals usually include tawas or luop and treatments are tapal, lunas, kudlit, pang-kontra, bulong or orasyon. While in the northern mountain ethnic communities, their belief in mythological creatures are different. Consequently, their modalities of healing also differ. They perform what they call the 'kanyaw' which involves the draining of the blood of a chicken around the house and the slaughtering of pigs as they search for the right kind of 'liver' that provides clues to the cause/s of the sickness. Despite the differences, their common thing is that they believe in the 'Gods' or in the 'Spirits' that guide them in their healing practices with prayers, bulongs or orasyons, rituals and/or sacrificial offerings. And last but not the least, they commonly prescribe herbs, usually boiled, for the sick to drink or pahid on the part of...
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