Hawaii is truly described as the "melting pot." In Hawaii, the traditional
Filipino health practices come from various cultural groups. For example, Native
Hawaiian, Japanese, Spanish, and Europeans. There are many medicinal practices
of healing, for example, the use of Halaman (Herbs) and Herbolaryo
(Witch-Doctors). There are also many childbirth superstitions among
the Filipino culture.
* Subusob leaves are
used to treat complications dealing with the reproductive system.
* Kutsay (Chives) are cuts,
bumps, scrapes, and bruises.
* Laya (Ginger) is used for treating
sprained extremities. It is chopped and applied to areas where extremities are
* Bawang (Garlic) is used to
treat toothaches and hypertension by chewing a single clove three times a day.
* Saba (Green Bananas) are
used to treat fevers. It is cut into very thin slices, then applied on forehead
until banana becomes brown.
It is believed that some illnesses are caused by evil spirits that enter the
body which are cast by "Manga ga mud."
They casts these spells on people if they are jealous or disliked. They take
personal items such as, clothing, a brush (to obtain a piece of hair), pictures,
jewelry, etc. It is also done by food poisoning.
To be cured, these people that are cast seek help from the herbalaryo (Witch-Doctors).
To heal the sickness caused by the "Manga ga mud"
may treat "Manga ga mud"
by gathering unmarried individuals, and a bag of rice.
The treatment involves a night of ritual sprinkling of rice, dining and dancing
to Filipino music. After the night of festivities, everyone will say
a Filipino prayer for the person who has been cursed. This concludes
this treatment and should remove the curse from the affected person.
Filipinos have for many years been accustomed to many childbirth superstitions.
These superstitions may vary from region, religion, and one's inner aspect of
The pregnant woman cannot: Reason(s):
Sit on a staircase or near a doorway. Prevents a c-section delivery.
Wear necklace. Prevents umbilical cord from entangling around fetus's
Cut her hair. Baby will be born hairless.
It is believed that a woman with a high and pointed stomach carries a boy.
Whereas, a low and rounded stomach determines a girl.
When the facial features change of a pregnant woman, it is believed she is
carrying a boy. If her features remain the same, it is believed to be a girl.
Folk Health Beliefs of the Filipinos
When pregnant, do not sit with your legs far apart, it prolongs labor
When pregnant, do not use a necklace, because the baby might have
the umbilical cord wrapped around its' neck.
Sleeping with your hair damp causes blindness.
Cutting nails at night creates hang nails.
Pulling out a single white hair will create 10 more white hairs.
Eating raw foods before puberty will stunt growth.
Walking bare-footed increases the risk of developing varicose veins.
Andres, T. B. & Ilada-Andres, P.B.(1987) Understanding the
Filipino, New Day Publishers,, pg 21-29.
Buchwald, D. & Gany, F. Medicine and Cultures, Patient care,
June 15, 1994 v28 n11 p105 (10).
Hart D.V., Southeast Asian Birth Customs
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Leung, S.O. (June, 1987) The immunosuppressive activities of two aborifacient
proteins isolated from the seeds of bitter melon (Momordica Charantia). Immunopharmacology
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Palafox, N. & Warren, A. (1980) Cross Cultural Caring: A handbook
for health care professionals in Hawaii, Transcultural Health Care Forum,
Wilson, S. & Billones, H. (1994) The filipino elder: implications for
nursing practice. Journal of Gerontological Nursing.
Traditional Health Beliefs index