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Item : Irish Folk Cures
CAD $ 4.98

The complete introduction from the booklet........


The past century has seen greater advances in combating disease and treating illnesses than any other period in history. The powers of medical science have been harnessed in the fight against disease, and medicine has been one of the most celebrated success stories of the modern world. Human beings - especially in the developed world - have become steadily healthier and more long-lived, and diseases once deemed incurable are now treatable. Tuberculosis, for instance, is no longer the deadly scourge it once was, and smallpox, once so prevalent, has thankfully disappeared from much of the earth. Scientists have steadily advanced the frontiers of medicine using a wide range of treatments and techniques - and above all drugs - to make possible better health standards for many millions worldwide.

The benefits to humanity of modern medicine have been enormous, but nevertheless many people have wondered about the direction in which a purely scientific approach to health and wellbeing is leading. There is a general wariness among many about the long-term effects and overall safety of the many synthetic drugs being used increasingly to combat and control disease. Some people are turning to older forms of medicine, and looking again at folk remedies that have existed for centuries. These cures and treatments are firmly based in the natural world - mainly in the plants and herbs which grow wild in the countryside. Unlike modern science-based medicines, traditional folk remedies use familiar items that are found all around us, and fall into three broad categories :-

  • Preparations or potions made from plants and herbs and either ingested or applied to the body.

  • Charms in which certain acts or rituals using common everyday items are observed.

  • Visits to particular sites such as holy wells or saints' graves which are reputed to have cures for certain afflictions and conditions.

The latter two categories would seem to be forms of 'faith-healing', where psychological elements are at work and people effectively heal themselves through the power of belief.