About a year ago, my dad and I had a conversation about folk medicine remedies. My father will be 79 years old this year, is a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and retired after almost 35 years as a reliability engineer: so any talk my father has with me I am honored because he doesn’t waste time talking about just anything!
Our conversation centered around how would anyone know, in general, of how or even if most folk remedies would work: Also, how would anyone know, in general, of which natural remedies to use or avoid.
I suggested to my dad that perhaps many, many moons ago there was a person of lower rank in a village or tribe selected for the medicine man, midwife or shaman to test out which remedies “might” work.
Instead of schooling me on theories, my dad sort of agreed: “maybe.”
So, this blog post is to think about — and not jokingly — the ancestors who were the testers of most or all folk remedies (ancestors are those who have lived before us: direct relatives or not).
Have you ever thought about the long history of folk medicine and who the essential individuals were that might have risked their lives (or died) testing out which natural remedies to use?