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“Exploring Gender Issues and the Use of Ethno-medicine among Women in Latin American Cultures”

“Exploring Gender Issues and the Use of Ethno-medicine among Women in Latin American Cultures”

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“Exploring Gender Issues and the Use of Ethno-medicine among Women in Latin American Cultures”

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  1. “Exploring Gender Issues and the Use of Ethno-medicine among Women in Latin American Cultures” Profesora Clementina E. Adams, ClemsonUniversity

  2. Introduction • For generations, Asian, Latin American, and even North American women, have trusted ethno-medicine to deal with gender-related problems. Women and Ethno-medicine

  3. Women and Procreation Women’ s sensitivity and trust in ancestors’ choices increases their motivation and interest in ethno-medicine. In their role as procreators, women try to improve their chances with the “magic potions” that ethno-medicine can provide. Women and Ethno-medicine

  4. Trust in Ethno-medicine Ethno-medicine helps to reduce levels of stress in female patients, which contributes to increases in their general health and fertility. There is not sufficient hard data to justify the effect of those remedies; however, modern technology and globalization have contributed to validate women’s trust. Women and Ethno-medicine

  5. Health as a Balance For centuries, scientists and naturalists have tried to find the causes and best cures for diseases. First, the Greeks believed diseases were caused by unbalanced humors. This concept is similar to Latin Americans’ beliefs in diseases as an inbalance between cold and heat in the body. Women and Ethno-medicine

  6. Hot and Colddiseases • The following are examples of hot diseases: pregnancy, hypertension, diabetes, acid indigestion, susto, ojo and bìlis. • The following are considered cold diseases: menstrual cramps, frio de la matriz, coryza, pneumonia, empacho, and colic. Women and Ethno-medicine

  7. Remedies that Bring Balance The “curandero” or healer reestablishes the body’s balance using a reverse treatment: Cold remedies for "hot" diseases and hot remedies for “cold“ ones. For example, hypertension, a hot illness, is treated with cold remedies: bananas and lemon juice; herbs and fruit teas. Women and Ethno-medicine

  8. Fitoterapia • Fitoterapia: the use of natural remedies: • Advantages: • Easy to find in our own house or neighborhood. • Provides more prolonged and constant effects, with less damaging side effects. • Do not cause stomachache of headache. • They are free or have a very low cost. • Can be taken with tea or coffee or mate. • Names are easy to recognize and pronounce. • The plants can be grown in your garden or collected for free in nature. Women and Ethno-medicine

  9. Women’s Use of Ethno-Medicine • For this presentation three important aspects of women’s use of folk medicine are considered: • Women and Fertility • Women and Beauty and Youth • Women and Common Illnesses Women and Ethno-medicine

  10. Women and Fertility Issues • A large number of women with fertility problems believe in the effectiveness of natural and folk remedies. Being fertile also requires a healthy sexual desire which many women prefer to treat with the help of folk and ethno-medicines. Women and Ethno-medicine

  11. Women’s Liberation • “…Many women are enjoying motherhood later in life in order to pursue their dreams…And those beyond menopause are reclaiming their sexual selves to take pleasure in vibrant, active sex lives.” • “Nature has given both men and women the ability to enjoy sexual pleasure for the duration of their lives!” Women and Ethno-medicine

  12. Ethno-medicine and Fertility Homeopathy, naturopathy, Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine use ancient techniques, such as herbal remedies, cleansers, and acupuncture, to increase fertility. These approaches usually work best if both partners (producers of egg and sperm) are involved. Women and Ethno-medicine

  13. Fertility Treatments and Side Effects Scientistshaveused HRT to treatfertility and menopause in women; aftermany real trials, theyfounddefinitiveevidencethattherisks of long-termcombinations of therapyoutweightheirbenefits. Thebenefits: fewer hip fractures and a lowerrate of colorectalcancer; didnot top therisks—of breastcancer, heartattacks, bloodclots, and strokes. Alltheinformationabout HRT and WHI research comes fromSusanJacoby’sarticleweighingtheRisks In Study'sAftermath, Experts Urge WomenTakingCombined HRT To AssessOwnNeeds, of September 2002. Women and Ethno-medicine

  14. Fertility Plants Alternatives • Alternatives to HRT: "bio-identical" or "natural" hormones, such as Tri-est or Estrace, contain estrogens synthesized from plants. (not thoroughly tested). • Some believe, soy black cohosh, the Chinese herb dong quai, and evening primrose oil, relieves their symptoms, but clinical evidence is equivocal and they have not been proven more effective than placebos. Women and Ethno-medicine

  15. Fertility Treatments Just as infertility is usually a combination of causes, the path to conception usually takes a combination of changes, treatments and options. Don’t be afraid to combine the ancient with the modern, or the natural with the high-tech. Women and Ethno-medicine

  16. Remedies for Women’s Sexual Life • *Gingko Biloba: Used in China, for thousands of years, it is believed to promote longevity, improve circulation and libido. It also enhances mental alertness. • *Mentol (eucalypts): Has relaxing and dilating effects on skin cells for better blood circulation and fluency to the body limbs including the clitoris. Women and Ethno-medicine

  17. Other Remedies for a Healthy Sexual Life • *Ginseng Siberian and palm: Increases the libido’s energy and promotes better vaginal lubrication. • *Bayberry: It is a sexual stimulant, improves the blood flow and vaginal lubrication. Women and Ethno-medicine

  18. More Remedies for Healthy Sexual Life *Catuaba: A South American bush, and a great stimulant, used by natives for centuries. It stimulates the central nervous system and the areas that control sexual responses. It is also recommended for men. Women and Ethno-medicine

  19. Beauty Remedies • Astringents • Cola de caballo/ Ortiga • Emolients y demulcents • Aloe Vera / Batatilla /Borraja/ Malva • Antiseptics • Cangorosa / Ceibo / Ñandypá • Healing • Cangorosa/ Cola de caballo / Ñandypá Women and Ethno-medicine

  20. Beauty Remedies • Hair Problems: Berro / Culantrillo / Romero • Perspiration and Sweating: Kapi’i kati / Kuratu (Cilantro)/ Romero • Clinical trials have shown: • Vitamin E delays some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease • Gingko Biloba slightly improves mental functioning in patients with dementia.

  21. Female-Focused Remedies • For the urinary and genital tracks • Diuretics • Amargón /Cepacaballo/ Cola de caballo/ Perdudilla/ Siete sangrias/ Tapakue/ Zarzaparrilla • Uterine Stimulants • Arasá/ Poleo/ Ruda • Urinary Disinfectants • Ajenjo/ Albahaca/ Batatilla/ Ñandypá Women and Ethno-medicine

  22. Female-Focused Remedies • Genital Disinfectants • Cepacaballo/Karanda’y/ Ñandypá/ Tapakue • Menstrual Problems • Borraja/Burrito/ Cedrón/ Culantrillo/ Hierba lucero/ Hinojo/ Marcela/ Perejil/ Poleo/ Romero/ Ruda Note: Remedies cited come from the book on Fitoterapy, presented by María Stella Cáceres A., Executive Director of the Celestina Pérez de Almada Fundación, Asunción, Paraguay, June 2001. Women and Ethno-medicine

  23. Integrative Medicine • Goal: to treat each individual holistically, and to increase his/her life span and strength. (In TCM, this is called qi; in Ayurvedic medicine it is referred to as prana.) • In TCM, practitioners will also assess the nature of the energy flow between a couple and adapt their treatments accordingly. These techniques have helped people become parents for millennia. Women and Ethno-medicine

  24. Complementary Integrative Medicine Treatment occurs in the least invasive, most natural way to foster a well-balanced, well-nourished body that will resist disease, fight infection, heal faster, age gracefully and rarely if ever need more radical intervention. Women and Ethno-medicine

  25. Complementary Integrative Medicine Alternative medicine as part of a conventional treatment is called complementary medicine. Many leading hospitals now offer that alternative. There is still confusion about the appropriateness of the name. Women and Ethno-medicine

  26. Complementary Integrative Medicine in the Curriculum Integrative medicine is now a part of the curriculum at 28 major medical schools in the United States. This is great progress, but unfortunately, what is being taught in medical schools is far ahead of what most doctors are telling their patients. Women and Ethno-medicine

  27. Traditional and Conventional Medicine • Both practices have benefits and limitations, but together they provide a synergy that can transform your health and fill you with vitality, naturally, for the rest of your life. • Chronic diseases are on the rise and are evidenct at younger and younger ages. • Drugs have side effects that often diminish or shorten our quality of life. Women and Ethno-medicine

  28. Herbal Medicines • Herbal remedies are the basis for many prescription drugs in the Western paradigm. • Therapeutic herbal remedies are the specialty of herbalists, but they are a component of teas, tinctures, oils, creams, and pills. • Many herbs can be poisonous or interact dangerously with prescription drugs, so it is best to use them under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Women and Ethno-medicine

  29. Conclusion Ethno-medicine is one widely used alternative for a good number of women. The main motivations are to increase their procreative power and their desire to have a healthy balanced life, not only internally but also in their physical appearance. Another motivation lies in the trust in the experience of ancestors. It is evident that ethno-medicine has a place as one of our medical alternatives. Women and Ethno-medicine

  30. Herbal Medicine Research Resources • Original Publication Date: 10/26/2006Last Modified: 02/16/2010 Principal Author:Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP • Manual De Uso De Hierbas Medicinales Del Paraguay. Investigationby María Stella Cáceres A., Editing: Marta Machaín Singer; TranslationCastellano - Guaraní: Arnaldo Gutierrez Acosta. • Medicina Natural, Manuel Lezaeta Acharan, Editorial PaxMexico, 1997. [and others]. • Traditional Medical Beliefs (list of references) Selected and compiled by Jacquelyn Coughlan, M.S., M.L.S. , May 2004 (126 citations) • Plantas medicinales andinas, EduardoRuiz, Ediciones Abala-Yala, 1993. • Nature’s Cures, Michael Castleman,RodaleBooks, 1996. Women and Ethno-medicine

  31. The End Thank you for your attention; for questions or suggestions, please contact me via e-mail at adamsc@clemson.edu Women and Ethno-medicine