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KIRTADS – The Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, is conducting a പൈത്രികൊല്സവം (culture festival, the translation may not be accurate) in Mala, Kerala from Jan 22nd 2012 to Jan 30th 2012. Since I am in Kerala now on vacation, I visited this festival a couple of days back. They had several stalls for traditional medicine. I will blog about my experience later. Today I will translate relevant parts of their brochure. Disclaimer: The translation may not be accurate. Read at your risk!!

Ethnomedicine (വംശീയവൈദ്യം): Every tribe has their own knowledge and treatment methods to deal with various diseases. Diseases that exist for several generations are treated with herbs and materials of animal origin. These practical knowledge evolved over several centuries and became a form of medicine called ethnomedicine. However this form of medicine is on the decline because of inefficient transfer of information through generations. Kirtands is trying to preserve this knowledge by encouraging ethnomedicine practitioners. Their core expertise is in psoriasis, piles, infertility, cancer, diseases of the nervous system, vitiligo, asthma, hair fall, abdominal diseases, cough, various arthritis and joint pains, eye diseases and tonsillitis. 

Medical Sauna: 

This is effective for skin diseases, respiratory diseases and arthritis and includes more than 60 herbal medicines. This treatment method is available in several centers in Kerala.

Research Initiatives in Ethanomedicine:

The main emphasis of our research division is on perpetuating the knowledge we have accumulated. We have initiated a 3 year course in ethanomedicine. Many of our practitioners who completed this course has become very popular in various districts of Kerala. We also conduct treatment camps in various places. We have even collaborated with Regional research center, Trivandrum on trials for diabetic medications. Our initiatives have helped in preserving our traditional treatment methods and to make it popular among the masses. 

In my next post I will describe my personal experience!

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