A Study on the Treatment with Herbal Remedies in Seven Groups of Diseases: A Case Study of Mr. Prawit Kaewthong, Songkhla Province

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Sorawit Kesornmas Kanruethai Nakthaworn Kotchakorn Musikapong Chula Viriyabubpa

Abstract

Folk healers are still dependent on a number of Thai patients who believe in traditional healing as an alternative medicine. This qualitative research aimed to study the life history of Mr. Prawit Kaewthong as a folk healer, as well as the principles and practices used in treating his patients with herbal remedies. The data was collected from April 2017 to March 2018. Participant observation and in-depth interviews were the main data collecting methods. The data were then analyzed by content analysis.The results showed that Mr. Prawit strictly followed moral and folk medical ethics. He performed the five precepts and practiced a good role model for the people in society. He diagnosed the diseases by observing general characteristics, taking history, and taking pulse, treating with herbal medicine, chanting incantations during the healing process, and massaging some specific diseases. There were a total of 99 herbal remedies used in the treatment, classified according to seven groups of diseases namely: (1) wind diseases (26 formularies, hot-warm taste to expel wind), (2) fever diseases (12 formularies, bitter taste to reduce heat in the body), (3) maternal and child diseases (18 formularies, hot-warm taste to stimulate blood circulation and astringent taste to heal wounds), (4) gastrointestinal diseases (16 formularies, hot-warm taste to expel wind, sweet taste to reduce fatigue, and sour taste to stimulate excretion), (5) gallstones and urinary tract diseases (6 formularies, bland taste to expel gallstones and enhance urination), (6) skin diseases (14 formularies, abashed taste to enhance excretion of toxin and astringent taste to heal wounds), (7) chronic diseases (7 formularies, hot-warm taste to dissolve fat or bitter taste for treating diabetes mellitus). Mr. Prawit prescribed these herbal remedies as suitable for each patient’symptoms.This study suggests that further research aimed at developing these herbal remedies is required.

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