Chapter 2: Treating health problems
Western medicine, when used correctly, can save lives. And Western medicine is
usually the best treatment for emergencies. For example, when a woman is
bleeding heavily after a birth, there may be plant medicines in your area that can
slow her bleeding. But Western medicines often work better and more quickly —
they are more sure to save a bleeding woman’s life.
Use Western medicines correctly
Most Western medicines have been carefully tested by science. Western medicine is
usually very effective at treating problems. But Western remedies are often
expensive, some have side effects, and in many cases they are not necessary. Most
basic health problems could be treated just as well with traditional or home
remedies, or just by waiting.
Using any medicine when it is not necessary, or using too much, can cause
serious health problems. For example, some people believe that only an injection
will help them when
they are sick. These
people would usually
get better if they did
nothing, and in many
injections have caused
abscesses or have passed
disease (like HIV) when
given with unsterilized
No. All he has is
a cold. Let him
rest, give him
good food and
lots to drink.
won’t help and
needles. So although
medicines can save lives,
they must be used
Take time to explain why
medicines are not needed.
This book is mostly about Western medicine
This book mostly teaches how to use Western methods of healing. There is one
main reason for this: Western medicines are available in most parts of the world.
We do not know enough, nor do we have enough room to explain how to use the
millions of traditional plants and ways of healing that are used around the world.
Therefore, please use the back of this book to write down the traditional methods
that you use. And if you translate or adapt this book, be sure to include your local
ways of healing. It is very important to share these traditional ways of healing so
that they are not forgotten!
A Book for Midwives (2010)