folk medicine

See also: folk-medicine


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folk medicine (countable and uncountable, plural folk medicines)

  1. (uncountable) Traditional medical practices developed and used by nonphysicians, typically involving customary homespun techniques and medicinal remedies derived from native plants.
    • 1935 Sept. 2, "Medicine: Chemotherapy," Time (retrieved 8 June 2014):
      He learned medicine and surgery "from executioners, bathkeepers, gypsies, midwives, and fortune tellers and incidentally acquired an unusual knowledge of folk-medicine and a permanent taste for low company."
    • 2008 March 11, Eric Nagourney, "Nostrums: Aromatherapy Rarely Stands Up to Testing," New York Times (retrieved 8 June 2014):
      Aromatherapy is a big business, and its roots run deep in folk medicine.
  2. (countable) A particular medicinal remedy used in such traditional medical practices.
    • 1996 Aug. 2, Liz Hunt, "Flower-power remedy proves equal of anti-depressant drugs," The Independent (UK) (retrieved 8 June 2014):
      A folk medicine traditionally used to treat depression is as effective as standard anti-depressant drugs and has fewer side-effects, according to a new study.



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