LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2007 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 155-156
Use of home remedies by women for the treatment of minor injuries
YR Kadam, PM Durgawale, SV Kakade
Department of Community Medicine, Krishna Medical College Research Centre, Karad, India
|Date of Submission||24-Jan-2006|
Y R Kadam
Department of Community Medicine, Krishna Medical College Research Centre, Karad
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Kadam Y R, Durgawale P M, Kakade S V. Use of home remedies by women for the treatment of minor injuries. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:155-6
|How to cite this URL:|
Kadam Y R, Durgawale P M, Kakade S V. Use of home remedies by women for the treatment of minor injuries. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2019 Aug 25];32:155-6. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2007/32/2/155/35667
Home remedies are a form of traditional medicine. By definition, traditional medicine refers to the sum total of all knowledge and practices, whether rational or not, used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of physical, mental, or social imbalance and relying exclusively on practical experiences and observations that have been handed down from generation to generation, orally or in writing.  It includes complex and evolved systems such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine as well as collections of simple home remedies.  These home remedies are time-tested and of proven efficacy. The contribution of traditional medicine to Health for All is potentially very great because they are culturally acceptable and economical. 
Appropriate treatment of common injuries is one of the important elements of primary health care. Such injuries are most commonly seen in children,  and mothers commonly treat such injuries with home remedies. The present study was conducted in a village to assess the knowledge and mistaken beliefs of women with regard to the common home remedies used for minor injuries. The study was followed by a health education session.
A self-designed questionnaire was pretested with a pilot study after which necessary changes were made in it. The NSS students of Krishna Medical College's NSS unit were oriented and trained to collect information with the help of the questionnaire. The survey was conducted in Kapari village, Battis Shirala taluk, Sangli district, in March 2002. Informed consent was obtained from respondents after explaining the purposes of the study. House-to-house visits were made to collect information on the common home remedies used, the practice of washing of wounds, and food taboos. If the woman was not available at the first visit, another two visits were made. Out of 120 houses, we were able to collect information from only 84 houses.
A total of 84 women were interviewed. Out of them 39 were illiterate. All 45 literate women reported using soap and water to wash wounds. Only 13 (33.33%) of the illiterate women practiced washing of wounds as part of treatment.
The various easily available substances that were used for treatment are listed in [Table - 1]. The most commonly used home remedy for treatment of injuries was turmeric (85.71%); this was followed by ghee or oil (55.9%). Tulsi was also commonly used as a home remedy by women (42.8%).
A study conducted by Singh and Kaur  on rural and urban students had shown that 84.6% of rural students used turmeric powder as a home remedy; this is comparable with the 85.7% of mothers who reported using turmeric powder in present study.
In the study by Singh and Kaur, 89.1% of the students had mentioned the use of mustard oil, but in our study only 5.95% of the women have mentioned the use of mustard oil as a home remedy. This may be because groundnut oil is the main cooking oil in this area, while mustard oil is most commonly used oil in northern India. Easy availability of cooking oil in kitchen may be the reason behind the preference for oil as a home remedy.
Food restriction is commonly practiced during any illness as a part of the treatment in traditional medicine. This is also true for wound management. This is often based on wrong beliefs and may actually be harmful. Therefore, we have included food taboos in this study. The only mistaken belief that we identified was the idea that eating rice and groundnut would cause pus formation in the wound. In the present study, talcum powder, marking nut, calcium carbonate, and kerosene were the objectionable substances used as home remedies. The practices were classified as harmful practices (e.g., failure to wash of wounds with water, food taboos, use of harmful substances for application on wounds, etc.) and useful practices.
Later, a meeting was held, attended by 69 women, in which teachers and NSS students discussed the proper ways of treating minor injuries and the ill effects of harmful practices.
We recommend that measures to be taken to promote IEC activities for women and that first-aid training be included in the school curriculum.
| Acknowledgement|| |
We wish to thank Mrs. S. D. Kadam, social worker, for her meticulous collection of the data.
| References|| |
|1.||Akerele, Olayiwola. WHO's traditional medicine programme progress and perspectives. Traditional Med Syst 2(4);1-4. |
|2.||Singh AJ, Kaur A. Knowledge and practices of urban and rural high school children regarding minor injuries. Indian J Public Health 1995;39:23-5. [PUBMED] |
[Table - 1]