This panel seeks papers on wide range on traditional and indigenous medicinal knowledge and practices among the indigenous people in the past and its future.
Over the last few decades, awareness has increased about the phenomenon of medical pluralism and the importance of integrating bio-medicine and other forms of health care among the indigenous people. The broad variety of healing cultures existing alongside bio-medicine is called complementary or alternative medicine in industrialized countries and traditional medicine in developing countries. Indigenous communities throughout the world have medical systems which are heavily based on surrounding nature, supernatural beings and belief systems. With globalization and economic liberalization these medical systems are exposed to other medical systems, including modern bio-medicine. The medical system and magico-religious system is a complex one in the sense that it encompass a variety of practices that employ magic, religion, physical pressure, plant and animal products and even the allopathic medicine representing medical pluralism. During the course of history Indigenous people have evolved various mechanisms to overcome ill health and disease based on traditional and Indigenous knowledge. Though all these diseases are believed to have been caused due to various mystical reasons, the diagnosing practices clearly indicate they are still in search of ascertaining the actual cause of diseases. This can be well established by the fact that the Indigenous people not only observe magico-religious rites to ward off sickness, but they also use a variety of herbal and animal products to get cured. This panel invites papers that seek to investigate medical and traditional knowledge in the globalizing world, especially regarding the health conditions and health practices among Indigenous people.