Philippine folk medicine

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Transcript of Philippine folk medicine

  • 1. By:Abella, JomaicaBenitez, Jennifer Castillo, Alithea

2. 3.

  • Is phenomena in which physical illness appear to be cured by means other than those of drugs, surgery , regimes, manipulations, recognized psychological methods or common sense
  • a prerequisite of healing is belief in the healers powers, or belief that the sufferer will recover, or belief that God wills recovery from the particular ailment


  • -protest against the mechanistic and a return to the tradition of regarding man as a complex of the physical and the spiritual
  • a rediscovery of old wisdom
  • a demand for marvels or simply a relapse into superstition and quackery


  • a part of the Healing Process
  • has 2 basic needs
    • The world must make sense
    • The person must feel himself to be more than a slave of implacable fates, gods or mechanism
  • Faith healers (e.g witch doctors) recognize these dual needs and attempted to satisfy them

6. 7.

  • In the Philippines, there are different types of traditional healer
  • Most of these healers consider their healing craft as God-given, a calling from a supernatural being, and consequently, their healing practices are profusely infused with prayers and religious rituals.
  • Usually rural-based, they are also present in the urban and suburban communities.


  • animistic and mythological ethos, nunos, lamang lupas, tikbalangs and kapres - creatures that often complicate the conundrum of pathophysiology.
  • diagnostic rituals and treatment modalities are affected by the belief in these creatures.


  • Kanyaw:
    • the sacrificial chicken spurting and dripping blood from its gashed neck as it circles the grounds of the haunting habitues, and later to be shared as a poultry dish
    • to drive away the evil spirits.
  • prayers - whispered (bulong) or written (orasyon).


  • methods of treatment used: prayers, spitting, rubbing, plastering and murmuring."
    • Prayer -use of prayers to invoke some saint or God.
    • Spitting -chewing and spitting on the object for a cure. (e.g in circumcision, tobacco mixed with guava leaves is chewed Then spat on the newly cut foreskin).


    • Rubbing -little massage with the use of an ointment or a liniment,(e.g. Kerosene is used to rub on the joints that are painful or aching).
    • Plastering -herbs are pounded in the mortar and applied with a piece of cloth.
    • Murmuring - special secret phrase with specific wonders on certain ailments. It is not directed to God or a saint. The words themselves are responsible for the results. They can also be used to ward off evil.


  • Although most are available for daily consultations, some practice their craft only on tuesdays and fridays, days of the week coinciding with the feast of the Sto. Nio and the feast of the Black Nazarene, when they believe their healing powers to be at their optimum.


  • 'chiropractic' manipulation and massage for the diagnosis and treatment of musculoligamentous and muskuloskeletal ailments.
  • their practice is limited only to bodily complaints amenable to chiropractic manipulations and massage.


  • Tools : an amulet, an 'empowered' cane, or a nazarene-garb.
  • attribution of the healing effect to God, that it is through His guidance that they are able to manipulate the spiritual and energy channels, hoping to expel evil spirits that may have invaded the patient's etheric space and may have caused the physical ailments


  • technique of massage: patterns of symbolic patterns of the cross, crown of thorns, the rosary, and the nailed hands and feet.
  • Panghihila: After gently massaging coconut oil over the areas of concern, the "panghihila" is performed using a mirror, a strip of cigarette cellophane paper, or a strip of banana frond. Any of these is passed over the body areas. If the material, instead of being pulled smoothly, sticks to a specific spot, this is presumed to be an area of malady - "sala," strain or muscle pull, and the massage directed to this area.


  • Bintusa: The treatment is usually supplemented with wrappings of medicinal leaves.
  • Incorporates some elements of "science" (meridians, trigger points, reflexology, basic anatomy and physiology)


  • unfortunate outcomes:
    • delayed diagnosis of serious maladies and many occasions
    • attempting complicated fracture reductions without radiographic imaging resulting in non-union, often life-time, deformities.
  • Like the albularyo, the hilot 's services are "free-of-charge", fearing that set fees will lessen the hilot's healing powers. abilities. Voluntary donations are accepted: P10 - 100 or in kind - cigarettes, snacks, etc.


  • determines the cause of an illness through the ritual of luop.
  • luop is used for gastrointestinal complaints caused the inhalation of unpleasant odors
  • ritual paraphernalia consists of the kalanghuga (a kind of freshwater or saltwater shell), salt (to weaken the supernatural spirits), benditang palaspas (piece of blessed palm leaves from Palm Sunday), charcoal made from a coconut shell, a coconut midrib and a tin plate.


  • A fiery concoction is made from these elements is made on a tin plate, in consonance with prayers and invocations and performing the sign-of-the-cross thrice over the patient, the kalanghuga is examined.
  • The diagnosis is suggested by its appearance: Roughness, a slight affliction; stickiness, a sprain; a figure or form (hugis-hugis), a displeased environmental spirit; brittleness, a really angered spirit.


  • The treatment is then suggested and the necessary alternative referral made.
  • After the diagnostic ritual, the shell is powdered while praying, a sign-of-the-cross is performed on the patient's forehead, both palms and plantar arches of both feet.
  • Then, the ritual paraphernalia are thrown under the entrance stairs to prevent the evil spirits from reentering the house.


  • performed by most alternative healers that serves in providing clues as to the nature and cause of the illness.
  • derived its name from to its chemical nature - alum, an astringent, crystalline double sulfate of aluminum and potassium - and early on, was used exclusively in the diagnostic ritual.


  • today, tawas refers to a diagnostic ritual or procedure, utilizing a variety of materials: candles, eggs, mirrors, plain paper, cigarette rolling-paper, and alum.


  • mediumistic healing
  • mediums are believed to possess extraordinary powers to cure sickness, to exorcise evil spirits from the rice fields, or out of the human body, and to intercede with good spirits for the petitions of the people.


  • claim to have special knowledge of the environmental spirits. They perform all important rituals, chant prayers for the community when the barrio faces a crisis.
  • To insult or harm a medium is to endanger one's life. To imitate his work is equally harmful.


  • The mediums believe that rites of the priests are more effective than their own as they "contain" more powerful magic. That is why the baylan often supplements his own prayers with Latin prayers; and takes his ritual paraphernalia holy water, the cross, pieces of wood from the santo entero (Christ in the Sepulchre), incense, and others from the church.


  • psychic or astral surgeons who claim to cut incisions with their fingers and perform other miracles of para-science.
  • spritistic apport, an apport being the appearance or disappearance of an object within a closed space.
  • dematerialization, where substance just disintegrates and dissolves into nothing.

27. 28.

  • Unlike that of the Greeks or Romans, this does not have generally long epics nor has it been relegated to history.
  • Although there is no scientific evidence for any of these creatures, there is also no shortage in the rural parts of the Philippines of people who believe firmly in their existence.


  • These creatures are also called shape-shifters
  • They are human-like by day but transform into different monstrous forms to harass and eat awake humans at night, especially pregnant women who are about to give birth.
  • These are creatures that have been denoted as flesh-eating night dwellers who favor the human liver.


  • Particularly enjoy feasting on pregnant women who are about to give birth.
  • Can detect them by the scent of ripe jackfruit.

31. 32. 33.

  • are creatures which, in Philippine mythology, imitate the form of a child.
  • It usually ta