Traditional Malay medicine encompasses various kinds of ritual ceremonies intended to communicate with the world of spirits to determine whether the nature of an illness is physical or psychological. In such ceremonies, the aim is to summon and exorcise the spirits causing illness. A ritualist serves as a medium, and a small ensemble often provides the musical component.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Malay Traditional Medicine

Malay Traditional Medicine
Before the advent of Islam in the Malays States, Malay traditional medicine was largely influenced by the belief and practices existing then. This certainly chanting and the used of supernatural powers.

Traditional medicine has been used since time immemorial and until today, it remains a popular method of treatment.

In the earlier century, the local community held traditional medicine in very high regard. This is obvious from the respect accorded by the community to the bomoh (shaman), the mak bidan (midwife) and also the mudin (religious man who performs circumcision on boys). These practitioners of dispensing medicinal care.

However, time have changed and the attention given to them now, is not the same as before. This is due, not just the progress of science and technology or modern methods of treatment, but in part, to the weakness of the practitioners themselves.

Their inherited knowledge is undocumented and has therefore resulted in a decline of the knowledge thus making it unreliable.

In Malay traditional medicine, knowledge of treatment methods and materia medica were imparted orally and committed to memory.

In the case of specific skills, it was imparted to select pupils only and if none was found befitting, the knowledge was ultimately buried with dead practitioner.

Malaysia is rich in natural resources basic to traditional medicine. There are over six thousand species of tropical plants all over the country and in Peninsular Malaysia there are 550 general containing 1,300 species.

Most of these are medical plants beneficial for the human body. Traditional medicine is well known for its high nutritional value, as well as its ability to cure various ailment.

Unfortunate, thus far it has not been presented to the community in a very impressive manner. Probably a more scientific and modern approach, combined with cautious and hygienic measures may earn traditional medicine a more respectable place in the community, and not just as products to be peddled on the payment.
Malay Traditional Medicine
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