folk medicine


Definition of folk medicine

: traditional medicine as practiced nonprofessionally especially by people isolated from modern medical services and usually involving the use of plant-derived remedies on an empirical basis

Examples of folk medicine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Born in Milwaukee and raised by Slovenian parents, Rachel Budde grew up around folk medicine. New York Times, "From Northern California, Farm-Fresh Skin Care," 31 Dec. 2020 After receiving a certification in reiki, Rodriguez later discovered that curanderas and healers ran in her lineage, including her abuelo, who has practiced folk medicine in the Dominican Republic for years. Johanna Ferreira,, "Latinas Are Leaning on Ancestral Knowledge To Reclaim Wellness In 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 Throughout human history and across cultures, fossils were prized as amulets or used in folk medicine. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why This 18th-Century Naturalist Believed He’d Discovered an Eyewitness to the Biblical Flood," 16 Jan. 2020 The fact-checking website Snopes — which investigated this claim nearly a decade ago — found a medical journal in the 1840s that said flour could prevent scarring, but its advice appears to be nothing more than folk medicine. Devan Patel, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Experts say flour is not a natural treatment for burns," 1 Apr. 2011 Women who were not physicians, but [practitioners of] folk medicine. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Alice Hoffman spells out how she conjured up origin story Magic Lessons," 17 Sep. 2020 One of the folkloric genres that is especially relevant at this time is folk medicine, which includes folk remedies and cures to combat illnesses, especially when more conventional medicine has been ineffective. James Deutsch, Smithsonian Magazine, "How to Detect the Age-Old Traditions of Folklore in Today’s COVID-19 Misinformation," 14 Apr. 2020 Trump thinks the coverings are unflattering and López Obrador has joked that folk medicine amulets are enough to protect him from Covid-19. Stephen Collinson, Caitlin Hu And Shelby Rose, CNN, "Why US schools can't follow the example of Germany and Denmark, in charts," 9 July 2020 For years, many of them relied on folk medicine passed down through families for generations. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Herbal remedies, alternative medicines are keeping Detroit store busier than ever," 31 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'folk medicine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of folk medicine

1878, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for folk medicine

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The first known use of folk medicine was in 1878

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Statistics for folk medicine

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Folk medicine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for folk medicine

folk medicine

\ ˈfōk- How to pronounce folk medicine (audio) \

Medical Definition of folk medicine

: traditional medicine as practiced especially by people isolated from modern medical services and usually involving the use of plant-derived remedies on an empirical basis — compare home remedy

More from Merriam-Webster on folk medicine

Britannica English: Translation of folk medicine for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about folk medicine

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