The Premises of Natural Medicine
The use of traditional medicine dates back to prehistoric times. Even if we have no formal proof, we can see the representations of a remedy plant in the cave paintings of Lascaux, in France. This knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation through the so-called healers and shamans. And that’s followed by primitive medicine.
Primitive medicine dates from the years 10,000 to 5,000 B. C., For millennia confused with magic and beliefs; primitive men thought that these came from the violation of a taboo, harmful witchcraft, possession by a malignant spirit, or even the magic intrusion of a foreign body. To diagnose the problem, the doctor had to interview the patient in private, to find the cause. The historian Frazer states that at that time, the physician had to have the ability to release the “psychic force” of the ill individual, to be able to heal him. For these primitive peoples, the support of the family and the community with the sick is of great importance, to have moral support in the face of the evils. When the primitive physician thinks that the illness is due to a breach of a taboo, the only way is to use therapy such as confession of the patient.
Primitive medicine took place mainly in China, with the Wou (sorcerers) and the Yi (doctors) who used acupuncture, plants, and moxas. In India, they primarily used hepatoscopy (reading oracles in the livers of sacrificed animals) to identify God, or evil spirit, responsible for various diseases. And in Egypt, with the help of the gods, like Imhotep, and the papyri.
It is during the period of Primitive medicine that the duty of the physician appears as a social function in itself. This is why many authors believe that the primitive physician has a higher overall conception of the patient and disease than the technical physician today because his therapy incorporates the magical concept of disease.
Natural Medicine in Different Parts of the World
According to the countries, alternative medicine is recognized, banned, tolerated and even reimbursed, which is why it does not always appear. But in various countries such as Africa, China, England, France, the use of natural medicine is done for historical or cultural reasons, or to meet primary health needs.
Over the past decade, the use of traditional medicine has received renewed attention and interest worldwide. In China, about 40 percent of all health care is provided by conventional medicine. In Chile and Colombia, 71 percent and 40 percent of the population use traditional medicine, and in India, 65 percent of the rural population use Ayurveda and medicinal plants in primary health care.
Traditional medicine is gaining increasing popularity in developed countries as part of more global belief systems. Example: 38% of Belgians, 48% of Australians,42% of Americans and 75% of French have already used natural medicine at least once. But also because people worry about the harmful effects of chemical drugs. Some people think that when the patient feels sicker, he will tend to want to take care of himself by natural medicine. This shows that fifty-seven percent of women with breast cancer in the United States would use non-conventional medicine.
Even complementary medicine spending is on the rise. For example, in Malaysia, it is estimated at $ 500 million spent annually; in the United States, $ 2.7 million was spent on Natural Medicine in 1997. Because with modern medicine, it is necessary to know that for the development of medicine it is necessary to count more than 530 million euros.
However, natural medicine is widely used and is increasing in developing countries because of its accessibility and affordability. In Uganda, for example, a traditional medicine practitioner per 300 inhabitants versus an allopathic doctor per 20000 inhabitants. Moreover, the care of this medicine is cheaper, which allows the sickest patients to pay in kind and according to their wealth. In Africa, up to 80% of the population uses natural medicine for treatment.