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A Frog Under the TongueJewish Folk Medicine in Eastern Europe$
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Marek Tuszewicki

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764982

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764982.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

In the Family Circle

In the Family Circle

(p.55) Chapter Three In the Family Circle
A Frog Under the Tongue

Marek Tuszewicki

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the role that family and community played when it came to health and medicine. People were rarely left alone to struggle with physical afflictions. They were surrounded by both immediate and more distant relations as well as neighbours, among whom there was usually no shortage of home-grown specialists or concerned advisers. They had the choice to seek relief from practices based on folk beliefs or those founded upon conventional medicine. Early modern medicine prioritized the decisions taken by the patients themselves. Doctors subordinated their judgement to their patients' narratives, and were expected to pay more attention to the sick person's interpretation of their own illness. There are four basic 'grades' of action in case of ailments: ignoring them; taking a home-made remedy or tried and trusted medication; treatment by a healer; and, if all else failed, consultation with a medical professional. The choice of treatment procedure depended on a range of factors: the severity of the illness, the patient's personality, their familiarity with treatment methods and the range of remedies stocked in the medicine cupboard at home, the availability of official and unofficial medical or paramedical services, and the financial standing of the patient and those in his or her immediate circle.

Keywords:   Jewish family, Jewish community, Jewish medical specialists, Jewish advisers, folk beliefs, conventional medicine, ailments, treatments, home-made medicine

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