Traditional Obstetrics: A Himalayan Experience of Traditional Birth Attendants & Their Indigenous Wisdom

  • Dr. Pankaj Gupta Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies, Himachal Pradesh University, Summer Hill, Shimla-171005
Keywords: Traditional Birth Attendants, Traditional Midwifes, Gynecological Problems, Herbal Medicine, Herbal Formulation, Folk Herbalists

Abstract

The modern society, whose foundation is deep-rooted in ancient wisdom, has unveiled a legacy which is based on the strong relationship between man and nature. The use of herbs for curative purpose is probably as ancient as men himself. This wisdom has not only remained the basis of human sustenance through ages, but has offered ways and means for escaping from dreadful situations. One of the areas lacking in the remote mountainous region is availability of proper health care facilities especially with regard to women’s health. Women suffer from avoidable and curable gynecological problems and the only refuge available is the assistance offered by traditional birth attendants, folk herbalists and elderly women. This paper is outcome of studies conducted in the selected pockets of Himachal Himalayas to gather information on the indigenous wisdom of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA), folk herbalists and elderly women dealing with the gynecological problems of women. Different herbal formulations and techniques which are used to normalize menstrual cycle, labor induction, evading abortions, post-natal care, etc., have been revealed by the practitioners. In this paper, an attempt has been made to exemplify the conventional procedures and medicines used for the treatment of different gynecological problems in women. 

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