Herbal and Magical Medicine draws on perspectives from folklore, anthropology, psychology, medicine, and botany to describe the traditional medical beliefs and practices among Native, Anglo- and African Americans in eastern North Carolina and Virginia. In documenting the vitality of such seemingly unusual healing traditions as talking the fire out of burns, wart-curing, blood-stopping, herbal healing, and rootwork, the contributors to this volume demonstrate how the region’s folk medical systems operate in tandem with scientific biomedicine.
The authors provide illuminating commentary on the major forms of naturopathic and magico-religious medicine practiced in the United States. Other essays explain the persistence of these traditions in our modern technological society and address the bases of folk medical concepts of illness and treatment and the efficacy of particular pratices. The collection suggests a model for collaborative research on traditional medicine that can be replicated in other parts of the country. An extensive bibliography reveals the scope and variety of research in the field.
Contributors. Karen Baldwin, Richard Blaustein, Linda Camino, Edward M. Croom Jr., David Hufford, James W. Kirland, Peter Lichstein, Holly F. Mathews, Robert Sammons, C. W. Sullivan III