Essay Final Draft
Russian Traditional Medicine: Its roots, history and popularity in the modern world
Russian culture is usually considered as the experience accumulated by Russian people from the times of ancient Rus’ through the Russian Empire and up until now. Russian culture is very rich, mostly by its diversity, as there were a lot of different nations living in one country and affecting each other. Also, Russian culture has always been quite open for other cultures and throughout history it’s been affected by Greek, Dutch, French and many other cultures. However, some part of real Russian Slavic culture from Rus’ has remined. Rus’, which is nowadays the European part of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as well as Siberia, has always had an abundance of different types of herbs. So that Slavic people who inhabited Rus’ and indigenous peoples of Siberia developed a huge number of different medical practices using herbs, potions and even words. These practices have always been used by all the generations of Russian people and are still used nowadays. In a largely globalized Russia the practice of traditional medicine maintains a connection to traditional Russian society and Russian culture. Health in Rus’ was a big part of life, so ancient Russians developed a big knowledge of different types of natural medicine practices, which have always been used by Russian peoples and played a big role in Russian culture. Russian treatment methods are very diverse due to the big variety of different ethnicities that inhabit the country. Although most of Russian people live in urban areas in the Western part of Russia, a lot of cultural minorities live throughout the rest of the country and have been there throughout the entire human history. This range of territories and variety of different cultures in what is now Russia experienced a significant disparity in climate and environment. Ill people of different regions required specific care that would fit to the conditions in which they lived. These different groups developed a big variety of natural remedies by systematic experiments with the healing properties of plants, which were available due to the abundance of different plant species in Russia. These “researches” began to yield beneficial results, which were the foundation of folk medicine that was passed throughout the generations. (Gerhart, Genevra) Traditional medicine was gradually changing step by step. And at each step of traditional medicine in history there were different combinations and methods of healing. First it was Shamanism, people used different pagan rites of “purification”. For each rite, in addition to magic, Shamans used different herbs and potions. All diseases and injuries were considered as the breaking of rules of behavior. Then during the times of Sorcery disturbances in the human organism were considered as the conflict of Gods. For each deity there were special herbs and special methods. In the practice of sorcery healing potions and pagan rites became equivalent. The times of Healers were different by including the classification of disturbances in the reactions of an organism, using the symptoms and appropriate methods of healing. Watching the animals allowed people to use herbs and minerals, and for their complete efficiency it was needed to study the functions of human body, its functions and structure. Accumulated experience of use of herbs and minerals became one of the traditions of Russian culture. The use of the flame of fire, water vapor, heated rocks also gave the rise to a set of traditional healing practices such as cauterization, healing baths, Russian banyas (saunas). (Баландин К.) Russian healers also practiced the methods with live water and dead water. The first thing Russians did in the morning was to wash their hands, face, head, armpits, belly and legs with cold water, no matter what the temperature was. Russians also bathed in dew in the morning before sunrise. Russian...
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