Native American Studies

Download American Indian Medicine by Virgil J. Vogel PDF

By Virgil J. Vogel

The aim of this booklet, says the writer, is to teach the impression of Indian medicinal practices on white civilization. truly it achieves way more. It discusses Indian theories of affliction and techniques of fighting disorder or even is going into the query of which illnesses have been indigenous and that have been dropped at the Indian via the white guy. It additionally lists Indian medicinal drugs that experience received reputation within the Pharmacopeia of the U.S. and the nationwide Formulary.The effect of yankee Indian therapeutic arts at the medication and therapeutic and pharmacology of the white guy used to be significant. for instance, such medicines as insulin and penicillin have been expected in rudimentary shape via the aborigines. Coca leaves have been used as narcotics through Peruvian Indians enormous quantities of years ahead of Carl Koller first used cocaine as a neighborhood anesthetic in 1884. All jointly, approximately a hundred and seventy medicinal drugs, typically botanical, have been contributed to the legit compendia by way of Indians north of the Rio Grande, approximately 50 extra coming from natives of the Latin-American and Caribbean regions.Impressions and attitudes of early explorers, settlers, physicians, botanists, and others concerning Indian healing practices are stated by means of realms, with British, French, and Spanish colonies and the younger usa individually treated.Indian theories of disease—sorcery, taboo violation, spirit intrusion, soul loss, unfulfilled desires and needs, and so forth -and shamanistic practices used to wrestle them are defined. equipment of treating all types of injuries-from fractures to snakebite-and even surgical procedure are integrated. The effect of Indian therapeutic lore upon people or family drugs, in addition to at the "Indian medical professionals" and patent medications, are mentioned. For the benefit of the reader, an index of botanical names is equipped, including a wide selection of illustrations. The disproportionate cognizance that has been given to the superstitious and unscientific positive factors of aboriginal medication has tended to vague its genuine contributions to American civilization.

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I, No. 4 (October, 1946), 576-79. " Some Indians even stumbled upon the working principle of modern antibiotics, although of course they were unaware of how and why certain molds and fungi produced desired results. Clearly there is a vast untold story here. When Frederick Jackson Turner set forth his thesis on the frontier influence in American history, near the end of the last century, he pointed out that the pioneer, at first, was compelled by the environment to live like an Indian. "The wilderness masters the colonist," he wrote, and "the frontier environment is at first too strong for the man.

S. Pharmacopeia were borrowed from the Indians. The activities of Indian medicine men drew the favorable attention of William T. Corlett in The Medicine Man of the American Indian and His Cultural Background (1935). Rounding out this decade of rediscovery was Wilton Krogman's article, "Medical Practices and Diseases of the Aboriginal American Indians" (Ciba Symposia, April, 1939). Still, the majority of the medical profession kept its distance from what was regarded as little more than bizarre superstition.

The American hemp plant (Apocynum cannabinum) was used by Indians mainly for cordage. Some hallucinogenic fungi and the peyote cactus were used in Mexico, and the latter spread slowly into the United States, but did not become important here until after 1890. In western South America, coca leaves were widely used, and their derivative, cocaine, a local anesthetic, was eventually adopted in conventional medicine. W. E. Safford first listed the native American drugs of this class in his forgotten article, "Narcotic Plants and Stimulants of the Ancient Americans," pub- Page viii lished in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1916.

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