Traditional Medicine A Simple Cure For All English Language Essay

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It has been two years since the death of one of my beloved classmates, but I remember it like it was just yesterday. On one summer day, she said that she had a headache that seemed so unbearable that it felt like a needle poking her brain. It was so bad that she was immediately brought by her parents to the hospital so that she could be examined. After examination, the doctors and nurses confirmed that she only had the flu so she could just drink Tylenol or any other headache-relieving medication to ease the pain. She did as the nurses and doctors said, but after a week of sleepless nights and constant complaining about the pain that had worsened, her parents were convinced that this fever had not gone away. The next day, her parents brought her to the hospital and she was hospitalized so that the doctors may try to uncover the causes of her throbbing headaches. As they continued in their unsuccessful search for the causes, she had slowly slipped into a coma. While in her coma, she slowly started to lose blood which was shown through her blood test results. The doctors then ordered for her to get an x-ray of her brain. The results came and they saw that part of her brain was bleeding. They tried to immediately transport her by plane to Hawaii, but the bleeding had become extremely severe that the pressure produced by high altitudes would cause her to bleed out. They had no other choice but to wait for her to die.

My dear classmate and friend suffered a preventable death. She chose modern medicine as the method to ease her headaches, but they actually made her headaches worse. I wonder what would have happened if she tried Palauan traditional medicine to relieve her throbbing and pulsating headaches. Would it have saved my friend's life? This is a question that will never be answered, but we now know that modern medicine may not always be the best choice. There are certainly two methods of medicine that are used in Palau which are modern medicine and traditional medicine. There has always been some debate whether one is better than the other. Due to this devastating life experience of losing a dear friend to the hand of modern medicine, my view towards both methods has changed especially when treating headaches. Even though the use of modern medicine to treat headaches is more accepted and applied today, the use of Palauan traditional medicine to treat headaches is just as effective, inexpensive and readily available in abundance which makes it a better substitute.

There are two methods of medicine in which individuals may use to treat a simple headache are modern medicine and traditional Palauan medicine. According to Selaima Lalabalavu, modern medicine is referred to as the medications or methods of physical healing that we have been introduced by the Western culture within the last century. The most popular modern medications used to treat headaches are Tylenol, Advil (Ibuprofen) and Excedrin. These medications are simply purchased and drunk with water. According to the factsheet created by the World Health Organization (WHO) available from, traditional medicine is referred to as a culture's native medical traditions that are used to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat any physical or mental ailments. Palauan traditional medicine is usually the use of different herbs or combination of herbs. There are several categories of medicine, but those that are used in treating headaches are "dechedechomel" and "rsachel". In applying "rsachel", one must gather the roots of one small papaya plant, 3 roots of a lime plant, young leaves of "ngel", young leaves of a lime plant, a handful of young leaves of soapberry bush, a handful of the young leaves of "chedebsungel" (Crataeva speciosa Volk) and a section of its bark, a handful of flowers of the male papaya plant and a handful of flowers of "bngei"( Polyscias nodosa (Bl.)) then pound them together, pour into container and smell the contents until the headache is relieved. In applying "dechedechomel", one must gather four young leaves of a lemon tree, "chiuetekill" which is a type of vine and "beraber" which is a weed found in swampy areas then wash them clean. After doing so, one should then go to a stream, chew the herbs that were picked, submerge one's head into the stream and then swallow all the medicine along with some water from the stream. Due to the strong odor that is emitted by the combination of the herbs, one must submerge into the stream. (MAT: 4-5, 7)

Today, individuals choose to use modern medicine to treat headaches for several reasons. First and foremost, individuals may choose to use modern medicine such as Tylenol, Advil and Excedrin to treat headaches because they are scientifically proven. Individuals may also choose to use modern medicine because they are recommended by doctors when they consult them about their throbbing headache. Another reason for individuals to choose to use modern medicine is because of its popular recommendation from family and friends.

Despite the several reasons why individuals choose to use modern medicine to treat headaches, there are several disadvantages to using modern medicine. One disadvantage is that modern medications such as Tylenol, Advil and Excedrin are expensive. I called and visited several local stores to find out what the average prices for these medications were. I discovered that the average price for Tylenol was $5.00, for Advil $5.50 and for Excedrin $5.50. Another disadvantage is that modern medications such as those that I have mentioned contain numerous chemicals that may negatively affect an individual. According to an article available from, these chemicals may include acetaminophen, caffeine and aspirin. Another disadvantage to using modern medications such as Tylenol, Advil and Excedrin to treat headaches is the side effects that are accompanied with their usage. According to Selaima Lalabalavu and the article available from, these medications have similar side effects such as loss of appetite, heartburn, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), constipation, formation of ulcers, dizziness, gas, headache, diarrhea, low fever with nausea or stomach pain. If medications such as Tylenol, Advil and Excedrin are constantly used, an individual may experience more severe side effects such as liver damage, kidney damage and damage in the stomach lining.

There are numerous advantages to using Palauan traditional medicine to treat headaches. One of the many advantages is its effectiveness. According to Kedok Meluat and Fermina Eberdong, who are strong practitioners of Palauan traditional medicine, Palauan traditional medicine is just as effective as modern medications and sometimes even more effective and fast-acting. Another advantage to using Palauan traditional medicine is because it is practically free of charge. According to Damiana Kunihiro, who is a former nurse, it is considered free of charge because it can easily be obtained and made without being bought. It is may be the simple task of the sick individual or a relative to gather the herbs and prepare the medicine. Another advantage is the easy access to the medicine and the different herbs used to make the medicine. The herbs that are needed for the medicine are readily available as well. Palau is an abundantly vegetated island and it is the home to an abundant source of medicinal herbs; therefore, one would easily find the herbs needed to prepare this specific medicine and quickly relieve his or her headache. Another advantage is that Palauan traditional medicine is chemical-free and all natural. The fact that Palauan traditional medicine uses only different herbs or plants so that it can take medicinal effect proves that it is all natural. According to Kedok Meluat and Fermina Eberdong, no chemicals are ever added into mixtures of Palauan traditional medications. Another advantage to the use of Palauan traditional medicine to treat headaches is that it does not have any known or reported side effects. According to Damiana Kunihiro, it is confirmed that there are no possible side effects known at the moment which shows that Palauan traditional medicine is indeed safe to use. According to the article available from, these traditional medicines are the only source of medical treatment that an individual has to survive because he or she cannot afford to go to the hospital or buy medications at the store.

Both modern medicine and traditional medicine are two methods used to treat a simple headache, but traditional medicine is evidently a better substitute because of its availability in large quantities, inexpensiveness and its effectiveness being similar to that of modern medicine. Modern medications may be widely used today for several reasons, but they do have disadvantages such as their cost being expensive, numerous side effects that accompanies their usage and the fact that they contain several chemicals that may affect an individual. If you want to relieve your throbbing headache fast and easy without losing a lot of money, I recommend you use traditional medicine.

Work Cited

Advil (Ibuprofen). Jan. 2011. 1 March 2011 <>.

Advil's Side Effects. Jan. 2011. 10 Feb. 2011 < effects.html>.

Alters, Sandra and Wendy Schiff. Essential Concepts for Healthy Living. 5th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009.

Apia Action Plan on Traditional Medicine in the Pacific Island Countries. March 2001. 7 Feb.

2011 <>.

Calixto, J. B. "Efficacy, Safety, Quality Control, Marketing and Regulatory Guidelines for

Herbal Medicines (phytotherapeutic agents)." Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 33(2) (Feb. 2000): 179-189.Web. 10 Feb. 2011 <>.

Eberdong, Fermina. Personal Interview. 7 Feb. 2011.

Excedrin. Jan. 2011. 1 March 2011 <>.

Giddens, Anthony, Mitchell Duneier, and Richard Appelbaum. Introduction to Sociology. 6th ed.

New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2007.

Kar Ma Ukeruul. Palau Society of Historians. 6. Koror, Palau: Division of Cultural Affairs,


Kunihiro, Damiana. Personal Interview. 11 March 2011.

Lalabalavu, Selaima. Personal Interview. 14 Feb. 2011.

Medicine and Therapy. Palau Society of Historians. 6. Koror, Palau: Division of Cultural

Affairs, 2000.

Meluat, Kedok. Personal Interview. 7 Feb. 2011.

Side Effects of Tylenol - for the Consumer. Jan. 2011. 10 Feb. 2011 <>.

Traditional Medicine. Dec. 2008. 10 Feb. 2011


Traditional Medicine. Jan. 2011. 10 Feb. 2011


Use of Traditional Medicine in the Region. Jan. 2011. 10 Feb. 2011


What is Tylenol?. Jan. 2011. 1 March 2011 <>.

Research Evaluation

Thoroughness of Research: 4 - Extremely thorough, strong thesis supported by research, paper has purpose and not just facts, variety of sources 3 - research good overall but some areas need additional research, thesis and research mostly support each other, purpose to research (not just facts) three types of sources 2 - Basic research is good, paper has thesis but weak, more facts than purpose, additional research to support thesis needed throughout, two sources used 1 - Research is insufficient throughout, very weak or missing thesis, paper mostly facts, insufficient sources

Structure and Organization: 4 - Information is extremely well organized and easy to understand, correct person used throughout the paper, appropriate transitions used so paragraphs blend together 3 - Organization is generally good but some information is misplaced, some error in person, some use of transitions so paragraphs somewhat blend 2 - Organization falls apart in several areas but the basic structure of the paper is good, multiple errors in person, few transitions so paper reads fairly choppy 1 - Overall structure of the paper is not well thought out causing paper to be unorganized, many errors in person, insufficient or no transitions results in paragraphs not connecting causing choppy reading

Development: 4 - Excellent introduction with proper thesis placement, each point is clearly identified and explained, strong conclusion which restates purpose, points and has closure

3 - Good introduction with proper thesis placement, most points are clearly identified and explained, good conclusion which summarizes and has closure 2 - fair introduction which contains thesis, some points are thoroughly explained, while others need development, fair conclusion 1 - Weak introduction, most or all points still need a lot of development, poor conclusion causing paper to end abruptly

Originality of Voice: 4 - Research material has been thoroughly incorporated into the writer's own words 3 - Most of the paper reflects the tone of the writer 2 - A great part of the research material still reflects the tone and style of the original source 1 - The research paper reads as if most of it were simply copied from original texts (PLAGIARISM)

Citations: 4 - Writer has made citations in all areas where they quoted, paraphrased or summarized and effectively sandwiched in 3 - Citations were made and sandwiched in effectively for most quotations, paraphrases and summaries, 2 - Some citations were made and some attempt to sandwich in 1 - No citations were made at all or citations do not fit into original writing

Grammar, Mechanics and Spelling: 4 - Writer showed care in proofreading; only occasional errors occur 3 - Errors are common 2 - Paper has multiple errors in every paragraph; sometimes the errors make the paper hard to understand 1 - Paper has many errors, making it very difficult to read and understand

Works Cited page: title, alphabetized, correct indentation, resources correctly formatted, sufficient number of resources listed, correctly punctuated (4 to 1 points)

Look carefully at the title and also correct space for one.

Format: Format: font size and style correct, 1 inch margins, right side ragged (no justification), title page correctly formatted, paper double spaced, paragraphs indented, reference page correctly titled and formatted, header with last name and page number on top right. (4 to 1 points)

Overall Total: *32-29 (A range) Excellent work; well written

*28-21 (B range) good; yet additional polish is needed

32=A *20-13 (C range) Fair; effort still needs to be done to finish the

24=B research paper

16=C *12-05 (D range) Poor; all areas of the research paper still need a

8=D lot of work;

4=F *04- 0 (F range) unacceptable; poor attention to rough draft

comments, still lacking sufficient research

Go to the paragraph format and change the spacing after paragraphs to 0. It's set at 10 point.