Language Issue
Sacred Folk Medicine in Arab Folk Culture: A Socio-Anthropological Study
Sacred Folk Medicine in Arab Folk Culture: A Socio-Anthropological Study
Issue 53

Dr. Reda Bin Tami 

Lecturer, University of Tlemcen, Algeria

Although modern medicine has developed considerably, folk medicine has not been eliminated because it and its traditional dimensions still play a role in Arab societies. Empirical studies that recognise the significance of folk medicine have confirmed that many groups use both modern and folk medicine.

Traditional medicine is a recorded part of the cultures of the ancient world; there are hardly any cities or villages that do not have traditional medicine. An ancient phenomenon with deep historical roots, it is a practice involving religious, cultural and psychological elements.

Just like other human and social phenomena, traditional medicine provides rich ground for study and research. In this paper, I attempt to touch on the history of traditional medicine across cultures that have passed through the region. I will also address the features of folk medicine and its most important representations, types and related conceptual elements, the healer or principle actor, and the relationship between traditional medicine and the phenomenon of the sacred.

The branch that regulates practices related to plant medicine or herbal medicine, folk medicine is a result of the relationship between man and nature or his environment. It includes reactions and responses to people’s attempts to treat diseases with herbs and medicinal plants. The emergence of folk medicine, Ard doctors and masseurs is related to the emergence of traditional medical practices that are a response to the natural world and its plants, animals and minerals. A long period of experimentation with traditional medicine helped people discover their ability to heal.

Folk medicine is a type of folk knowledge that was formed over long periods of time. It has survived due to social conditions and its connection to nature, and is a type of medicine practiced by professionals and amateurs using plants and animal products.

Botanical folk medicine includes treatments involving plant medicine or herbal medicine that are the result of the relationship between man and his environment. Minerals and the internal and external organs of animals are also used as medication.