Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
A traditional medicine system of the Kui community in northeast Thailand
Virapongse A.1, Picheansoonthon C.2
1Graduate student 2Department of Pharmaceutical Botany and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
To define three different types of Kui traditional healers, herbalists, blowing doctors and spirit healers, according to their range and methods of treatment.
Surveys were conducted to identify traditional healers among a population of Kui villages in the southern part of Northeast Thailand. Criteria were established to select a sample group of thirty healers, ten of each type of healer. For over a six month period, free-lists and patient logs were conducted with the sample group to determine the range of health conditions treated by each healer and their method of treatment. Comparisons were made to analyze the similarity of knowledge among the same type of healers and between the different types of healers.
A high rate of similarity was determined among same-type healers. Each type of healer treated specific groups of health conditions. In general, herbalists rely mostly on medicinal plants to treat both chronic and acute afflictions, blowing doctors treat mostly acute health conditions with a blowing technique and incantation, and spirit healers rely on ceremonies to treat diseases that are long term and have a spiritual origin.
A system of traditional medicine has been established within Kui communities. To meet the healthcare needs of local people, different types of traditional healers have developed over many generations to provide specialized forms of treatment for specific health conditions.