Finding the best treatment
Choosing a medicine that is safe and helpful
Before you give a medicine
(traditional or Western), you
should be confident that it is safe
and helpful. To know if this is true,
think about (and ask others)
I make a tea from this
plant. It always seems to
help when labor is slow.
• What is it used for?
• What happens when you use it?
• How often does it help make a problem better?
• What side effects or other problems does it cause?
When you are trying a treatment for the first time,
use it alone, not mixed with other treatments. That way
you will know if it works, and if it causes problems.
See page 463 to learn more about using medicines safely.
But does it
Medicine and greed
Sadly, some healers and health workers are motivated by greed. In order to make
money, they may recommend a treatment that is not necessary, that does not work,
or even one that is dangerous. Some healers rely on the respect others have for
them to sell potions or medicines that do not really work.
Some companies that make and sell medicines use their reputations to mislead,
too. When drug companies act in this way, whole communities can be put in
danger. For example, a US drug company named Eli Lilly used to make a medicine
called diethylstilbestrol (DES).
DES was supposed to help
prevent miscarriages. In fact,
DES did not prevent
miscarriages. It caused birth
defects and cancer. Eli Lilly
knew that the drug might cause
these problems but kept selling
it anyway. And even after the
drug was made illegal in the
US, it was still sold in other
A Book for Midwives (2010)