Dong nationality therapeutic methods


Among the many interesting information provided in Liu Heng and Long Chun-lin study of the Dong medicine in Hunan province, as the more than 1420 recipes collected by them during the years the conducted their researches, or the astonishing name of 686 medicine species belonging to 517 species of plants, animals and minerals, one is specially remarkable for those not familiar with the ethnic medicines: The Form of using the medicine.

According to the researchers the Dong people "use different forms of medicine for different persons and diseases." In the preparation of these medicines, besides the methods that can be considered similar to those used in traditional Chinese medicine, they have some special methods.

- Fish. Fish is used as medicine after it is fed with medicinal water. For example a common carp fed with Japanese iris is used to cure stomach ache.

- Clothing is also used as medicine. To do it, first they steam the cloth with medicine, and then they place it in the shadow to dry. For example, when clothes are steamed with Japanese thistle and Chinese date can be used for curing infant malnutrition caused by digestive disturbances or intestinal parasites in children.

- Wear: Some medicines are worn by patients to be cured. Dong people think that children suffering from malnutrition can be cured wearing seven pieces of vitex plant.

- Live animals are affected on the affected part of the patient's body to cure disease.

- They have also an innovative way of extract the essence of some medicines, it consists in burn the fresh branches of the medicine near cool ironware in a way that the vapor from the medicinal herbs can condense as liquid in the ironware.

This is a brief quotation from Liu Yuheng and Long Chun-liu.- Studies on Dong Nationality medicine in Hunan, China. Published in Pei Shengji, Su Yong-ge, Long Chun-lin, Ken Marr and Darrell A. Posey. The Challenges of Ethnobiology in the 21st Century. Yunnan Science and Technology Press. Kunming, 1996

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