- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Herbal Remedies Saved My Babies
Fried grated coconut
I do appreciate modern medicine and doctors, but at one time in my life, it was an herbal combination that saved my baby girl and baby boy's lives. We lived in a small island in the South Pacific. Being fairly new to this environment, I was unaware of the many medicinal plants that the natives relied on almost daily.
My two children became very ill one day with thrush in their mouths. Thrush appears as small lesions on the inside of the mouth on the tongue, uvula, roof of his mouth and inner cheeks. It can also cover the tonsils, gums and throat. If it gets past the esophagus, it can cause fever and makes it difficult to swallow. It can be quite painful and both of my babies were unable to drink their bottles and would cry most of the time and could not sleep. Thrush can also go through the whole system and even cause diaper rash.
I took my babies to the American doctor that served the Peace Corps on the island. He prescribed Nilstat drops. I followed his instructions but the babies were not getting any better. They would not eat anything and were very miserable. Being a young mother, I started to panic as I saw them deteriorate quite quickly. I returned to the doctor who gave me another prescription for Diflucan, but that did not work either. I was getting desperate. My babies were fifteen months apart and both under two years of age. Of course there was no sleeping for any one in the house day or night because the babies were in such pain.
My mother in law was worried also and suggested to me that we take the babies to the local witch doctor. Since I had seen no improvement from medical treatment and I trusted her judgment, I allowed her to take the babies. She suggested I stay behind and get a little rest. She later reported that the witch doctor took a mixture of noni (otherwise known as Indian mulberry), kava, and fried grated coconut and covered the babies gums, inside cheeks and tongue with it. It was very bitter so the babies did not like it and cried from being held down.
But, the result was quite drastic. Where before the swollen gums had almost completely covered their teeth, now they were receding and the white lesions started to disappear. Within one day, the babies were much improved and started to take nourishment. I was so happy and relieved. I gained a respect for local traditional medicine.
Have you had a positive experience with herbal medicine vs. modern medicine?
Healing thrush on baby bottom
The Polynesians are very aware of their environment and which herbs, plants and trees can help with health related issues. They even believe that some can chase away evil spirits. These healers are sought out when modern medicine fails. Some forgo seeing a doctor and go directly to the local witch doctors and swear by them.
These healing skills and powers are passed from one generation to another. It is interesting to watch as herbal medicine is becoming more popular.
Contemporary Polynesian Healers are mostly middle-aged and elderly women. They believe their healing art and herbal medicines are gifts from God. They also believe their remedies will not work for others without their permission. They are trained in healing assisting older healers.
The kava plant, Piper methysticum in the pepper family Piperaceae is currently prepared into medicines used to induce sleep, as a tranquilizer and also a pain killer.