Umhlonyane, also known as Artemisia afra, is one of the oldest and best-documented indigenous medicines in South Africa. This bush, which grows wild throughout the sub-Saharan region, smells and tastes like “medicine,” thus easily making its way into people’s lives and becoming the choice of everyday healing for Xhosa healer-diviners and Rastafarian herbalists. This “natural” remedy has recently sparked curiosity as scientists search for new molecules against a tuberculosis pandemic while hoping to recognize indigenous medicine. Laplante follows umhlonyane on its trails and trials of becoming a biopharmaceutical — from the “open air” to controlled environments — learning from the plant and from the people who use it with hopes in healing.
Author: Arielle A. Smith
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Release Date: 2018-05-24
Genre: Social Science
Since the turn of the century Singapore has sustained a reputation for both austere governance and cutting-edge biomedical facilities and research. Seeking to emphasize Singapore’s capacity for “modern medicine” and strengthen their burgeoning biopharmaceutical industry, this image has explicitly excluded Chinese medicine – despite its tremendous popularity amongst Singaporeans from all walks of life, and particularly amongst Singapore’s ethnic Chinese majority. This book examines the use and practice of Chinese medicine in Singapore, especially in everyday life, and contributes to anthropological debates regarding the post-colonial intersection of knowledge, identity, and governmentality, and to transnational studies of Chinese medicine as a permeable, plural, and fluid practice.
Belian is an exceptionally lively tradition of shamanistic curing rituals performed by the Luangans, a politically marginalized population of Indonesian Borneo. This volume explores the significance of these rituals in practice and asks what belian rituals do – socially, politically, and existentially – for particular people in particular circumstances. Departing from the conception that rituals exist as ethereal, liminal or insulated traditional domains, this volume demonstrates the importance of understanding rituals as emergent within their specific historical and social settings. It offers an analysis of a number of concrete ritual performances, exemplifying a diversity of ritual genres, stylistic modalities and sensual ambiences, from low-key, habitual affairs to drawn-out, crowd-seizing community rituals and innovative, montage-like cultural experiments.
Focusing on practice more than theory, this collection offers new perspectives for studying the so-called "humoral medical traditions," as they have flourished around the globe during the last 2,000 years. Exploring notions of "balance" in medical cultures across Eurasia, Africa and the Americas, from antiquity to the present, the volume revisits "harmony" and "holism" as main characteristics of those traditions. It foregrounds a dynamic notion of balance and asks how balance is defined or conceptualized, by whom, for whom and in what circumstances. Balance need not connoteegalitarianism or equilibrium. Rather, it alludes to morals of self care exercised in place of excessiveness and indulgences after long periods of a life in dearth. As the moral becomes visceral, the question arises: what constitutes the visceral in a body that is in constant flux and flow? How far, and in what ways, are there fundamental properties or constituents in those bodies?
Author: Linda L. Barnes
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2005
Americans have long been aware of the phenomenon loosely known as faith healing. Such practices most often received attention when they came into conflict with biomedical practice. During the 1990s, however, the American cultural landscape changed dramatically and religious healing became acommonplace feature of our society. The essays in this book chart this new reality. Insofar as healing traditions constitute the meeting ground or point of conflict between different groups, argue the authors, they provide a powerful lens through which to examine cultural changes at work. Each ofthe papers offers a particular case study. Many emphasize gender, race, ethnicity, and class as key components of healing experiences.
In many parts of the world seriously ill patients are not informed of their diagnoses. Consequences of this for the patient are not being informed about the therapy and its possible side-effects and ultimately deprivaion of autonomy. Telling the truth to a patient is not simply a matter of providing information. Rather, the truth is a matter of two-way communication, the result of a relationship between doctor and patient that develops over time in the context of a given culture. In this volume oncologists in different countries give their perceptions of how truth telling is handled in their cultures.
Author: Leo P. Chall
Release Date: 2001
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