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Traditional Medicine: Central America

Traditional medicine includes a wide range of health and medicinal practices commonly used prior to the rise of modern Western medication. These methods vary considerably from those used in current times, as did the beliefs of those who practiced them. An appreciation of the health needs of the particular population, as well as their ideals and the available resources, is essential in understanding the traditional medicine of an area. For the purposes of this entry, Central America consists of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Although this area is relatively confined, the populations that inhabited this land area were diverse and lived in small communities with unique traditions. As a result, the health beliefs and treatment of diseases were not always ...

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