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Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Universiti Malaya. Harun Mat Piah. Kitab tib: Ilmu perubatan Melayu. Manderson, L. Sickness and the state: Health and illness in colonial Malaya, — New York: Cambridge University Press. Matheson, V. Jawi literature in Patani: The maintenance of an Islamic tradition. McHugh, J.

Hantu hantu: An account of ghost belief in modern Malaya. Singapore: Donald Moore. Affendi Mohd. Malay medical manuscripts: Heritage from the garden of healing. Tumbuhan dan perubatan tradisional. Kuala Lumpur: Fajar Bakti. Ong, H. To heal the sick: The story of healthcare and doctors in Penang.

Owen, N. Death and disease in Southeast Asia : explorations in social, medical and demographic history.

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Singapore: Oxford University Press. Taib Osman. Malay folk beliefs: An integration of disparate elements. Tuminah Sapawi. Bidan kampung now offers massage and other rituals. The Straits Times , p. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Malay healers used Quranic verses to supplement the efficacy of herbs and medicinal plants.

Supplications remain at the heart of Malay healing. A healer may choose to use only plants and herbs with supplications but without wafaq , while another may use fewer plants and herbs and more wafaq in his practice. A prominent Patani scholar, Sheikh Ahmad al-Fathani, laboured his discourse in Islamic knowledge with the science of medicine.

His manuscript, Tayyib al-Ihsan fi Tibb al-Insan, which was produced in , was widely consulted by traditional healers in 20th-century Malaya. John D. Gimlette was a physician who resided in the Malay state of Kelantan for many years and was extremely interested in the subject of Malay poisons, sorcery and cures.

See Gimlette, J. Malay poisons and charm cures. London: J. Winzeler, R. The study of Malay magic. Thomas N. Annandale was a Scottish zoologist, entomologist, anthropologist and herpetologist, who became interested in Malay animism, related magical lore and curers. From pineapples Ananassa sativa and keladi Alocasia denudata to cheraka Plumbaginasea , the poisons Gimlette examined have been described to contain active ingredients useful in the study of modern medicine. A vocabulary of Malay medical terms.

This prevents any possible conflict with Islamic beliefs that may border on shirk idolatory or Polytheism. Why fewer babies are now dying in Singapore. The Straits Times, p. In the Malay villages, traditional healers were involved in sanctifying the village via ceremonies and rituals, and were also involved in the affairs of the state. Known as the Maharaja Lela in Selangor or Sultan Muda in Perak, a bomoh enjoyed unfettered entry into the palace compounds. Death and disease in Southeast Asia: Explorations in social, medical and demographic history p.

The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore. Sale of Drugs Act Cap , Rev. Retrieved from Singapore Statutes Online website. Poisons Act Cap , Rev. Newbold, T. Political and statistical account of the British settlements in the Straits of Malacca, viz. Pinang, Malacca, and Singapore, with a history of the Malayan states on the peninsula of Malacca vol, 2 of 2 p. London: Forgotten Books. Her main responsibility lies in managing and developing the Singapore and Southeast Asian collections. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Post comment. Skip to content. Magic or Medicine? Malay Healing Practices. Oct 16 Related posts. On Writers and Their Manuscripts August 30, Georgette Chen: Artist Extraordinaire August 30, Medicine Bags or Bundles. Native American and Other Ancient Remedies.

"Devils, Drugs, and Doctors": The Story of the Science of Healing from Medicine-Man-To-Doctor

Native American Dances. Native American Inspired Healing Products.

Native American Rituals and Ceremonies. This is the Indian theory of existence. The healing traditions of Native Americans go back for thousands of years, as the many indigenous tribes of North America learned that by mixing herbs , roots, and other natural plants, that they could heal various medical problems. But, remedies were not the only part of the Native American healing process. While there were no absolute standards of healing, most tribes believed that health was an expression of the spirit and a continual process of staying strong spiritually, mentally, and physically.

This strength, as well as keeping in harmony with themselves, those around them, their natural environment, and Creator, would keep away illness and harm. Each person was responsible for his or her own health and all thoughts and actions had consequences, including illness, disability, bad luck, or trauma. Only when harmony was set right, could their health be restored. The herbs and other natural products used in remedies, were generally gathered from their surrounding environment, resulting in a wide variety of cures.

However, sometimes items that were unavailable locally were traded over long distances. Herbs and medicinal plants were often seen as deeply sacred. Many of the various practices have been passed down orally from generation to generation and never documented in writing, which leaves many of the healing remedies a mystery.

What is medicine?

Only rarely did the healers, such as the Cherokee , who developed a written language, put their formulas or practices in writing. When early Europeans arrived in the United States more than years ago, they were surprised to see Native Americans recovering from illnesses and injuries that they considered fatal.

Not only lost were these many Native Americans, but also, bodies of knowledge that went to the grave with healers. Despite the loss of some of the information, much of it has survived to this day, utilized by both Native Americans, and non-natives alike. Many modern medicines are based on the plants and herbs that were used by Indians for thousands of years. In fact, more than botanicals, derived originally from Native Americans, have been or are still in use in pharmaceuticals. With a greater knowledge of the body there also came a belief that the balance of the various fluids humours within it could be a factor in causing illness.

So too, the observation of symptoms and their variations became a preoccupation of the Greek doctor.

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Medical matters and doctors are also frequently mentioned in other types of Greek literature such as comedy plays but the most detailed sources come from around 60 treatises often attributed to Hippocrates 5th to 4th century BCE , the most famous doctor of all. However, none of these medical treatises can be confidently ascribed to Hippocrates and next to nothing is known about him for certain. The Hippocratic texts deal with all manner of medical topics but can be grouped into the main categories of diagnosis, biology, treatment and general advice for doctors.

Another source is the fragmentary texts from the Greek natural philosophy corpus dating from the 6th to 5th century BCE.


Philosophers in general, seeing the benefits of good health on the mind and soul, were frequently concerned either directly or indirectly with the human body and medicine. The Spartans did, though, have specific personnel responsible for medical care in their professional army.