KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14, (KUNA): Tough living conditions Kuwaitis endured in the old times put citizens with limited options as to medical treatment, however patients at these times managed to receive such treatment by a countable number of practitioners of popular medicines, using herbal mixtures. The so called “Al-Hawway” or “Al- Attar” was considered as the second reference for treating illnesses after the doctor — that is in Kuwait modern history, not the very old past.
The practitioner collects special kinds of herbs and plants, besides scented oils, and mix them at special rates to present them as popular medicines. In the old times, some elderly, midwives and barbers used to practice the role of doctors to cure some of the known sicknesses which were widely spread by then.
Um-Saud, one of the practitioners of popular medicine in Kuwait, said in remarks to KUNA that she gained the experience of traditional medicine from her mother, believing that her herbal mixtures could cure a lot of sicknesses like fever, hemorrhoids and some common infections. “Al-Hawway” purchases plants, herbs available in the wild; beside drugs prescription from wholesalers who bring them from various parts of the world.
Local herbs are picked by the “Hawway,” personally, from the wild and the Kuwaiti desert. Among the famous practitioners of popular medicines was Ahmad Al- Ghanim, who used to bring curing herbs and plants from abroad, and treated fractured bones, as he was the first Kuwaiti splinting therapist — on record.