Ethnomedicine/Disease Prevention Practices/Disease Prevention Practices K-L

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A plant Hawaiians use is the kalo, or taro leaves, which is known to be the single most important plant in Hawaiian culture. It is mainly used to cure asthma. On the other hand, many Hawaiians use the raw sections of the plant to treat pain and swelling from different insect bites, stop bleeding, and cure indigestion.

Hawaiian society


The Practice of Kampo In Japanese Culture is very widely recognized The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare even allows traditional kampo medicines to be covered by insurance kampo is an adaptation of traditional Chinese medicine. The basic Chinese medicine and practices came over to Japan between the 7th and 9th centuries. The Japanese then took this medical system and refined it and developed it in their own personal way creating a unique herbal medical system of treatment and diagnosis. Kampo is mainly concerned with the study of herbs and their uses in curing and treating diseases and afflictions. But oftentimes it will incorporate acupuncture and moxibustion. There are many different medicines used in kampo of which 148 specific medicinal combinations are approved and used in Japan, many of which have undergone clinical trials and have shown that they are very effective. Some Japanese Pharmaceutical companies have even sponsored American medical studies, which have shown good results. In America, kampo has little popularity in the mainstream, However many naturopath physicians, and holistic healers who practice acupuncture and the like often incorporate kampo or the traditional Chinese medicine and herbalism at its roots. There are many different herbal combinations that can be used to treat and alleviate many illnesses and symptoms.

Kan Ku[edit]

Kan Ku is a highly sacred practice in Mayan healing culture. Until 1993 it was not even given a name because it was thought to be so special and secret. In the Mayan Calender though, 1993 marked a new cycle characterized by the sharing of ancient wisdom, and this practice was called Kan Ku. It is a practice of integrating the four elements of Kiejebkan Ku (the physical body) Vukubkan Ku (the mental body) Oxlajuikan Ku (the emotional body) and Winalkan Ku (the spiritual body. It is believed that by combining and harmonizing all these elements one can reach the level of enlightenment and total health. This synergy is one of the most important elements of Mayan society


Kava was once a sacred Polynesian ceremonial drink. It is believed to contain properties that enhance calming, soothing feelings. The people of Hawaii use it to treat headaches, muscle pains, and is also a way to prevent insomnia.

Hawaiian society

Keeping Dry During Cold Season[edit]

Keeping dry in cold weather is as essential to preventing a cold or virus as washing ones hands. When one is cold and wet, the bodies energy is spent preventing warming the body and takes focus and attention away from stopping the cold virus, leaving the body weak and exposed to the virus. This method of cold prevention falls under the category of prevention of weakness to the immune system, as a healthy immune system will deflect more colds than anything else. To further avoid a cold, make sure to wash your hands, and avoid contact with people who are sick. If you have to make contact with them, make sure to wash your hands before touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.


In a world filled with fast foods, cholesterol, and obese children, Kimchi is quickly becoming a popular dish because of its intense flavor and health benefits. Not only is it rich in many vitamins, because of it has a high concentration of dietary fibers, it helps with digestion. Some say that it may even help fight cancer, although this is just speculation. There are many types of Kimchi, but the standard is a cabbage that has been doused in ground red peppers and allowed to ferment.

Its low amount of calories also makes a favorite food of those who wish to keep or lower their weight while maintaining a healthy body. And everybody knows a healthy body leads to a healthy life. All that is required is to simply eat a small serving of Kimchi a few times every week with anything from rice to meat, while the smell of Kimchi is one that takes getting used to, the taste itself is exquisite and it is quite hard not to order a second helping at a Korean barbecue restaurant. If there are any ill effects besides a burning tongue, nobody has done a good job in reporting it.

If one wants the benefits of kimchi without the smell or the inflammation caused by the red peppers, all one has to do is juice cabbage, mix the juice with the pulp, pack into a ceramic crock pot, put 1 layer of cabbage leaves on top of the mash and place a little dish a little smaller than the size of the inside diameter of the crock pot, and weigh the mash down with a glass sun tea jar filled with water for 3 days. Keep the sauerkraut in glass uncapped (except for a tiny piece of cabbage) jars in the refrigerator. Do not stick a spoon that has been in your mouth into the jars or it will spoil the sauerkraut. A little each day will increase your immune system's strength and replenish your intestinal flora without the dangers of dairy yogurt.

Koah Kchaul[edit]

Koah Kchaul roughly translates to “rub air” in Cambodian. The art of this practice is a very strange one, and may seem to do more harm than healing.

The person being koah kchauled lays on their stomach. The person performing the task takes a special menthol and camphor concoction or lotion and spreads it on the back. They then take a coin and very roughly rub on a single spot, back and forth for a few minutes or until the area turns bright red. This is repeated along both sides of the back, until there are even red streaks spanning the length of the back. This procedure can also be done on the chest.

This procedure is thought to let air into the person’s soul so that they can breathe better, and in turn, be healthier. It is used on people who are already sick as well as those who just don’t want to get sick. It should not be done more than twice a week, as the skin becomes very sensitive.

Knee pads/elbow pads[edit]

Along with helmets which should be worn any time you ride a bike, skaeteboad, rollerblade, scooter, etc., knee pads and elbow pads are another preventative measure. Knee pads are a hard shell attached to a stretchy band that can be wrapped around a person's leg at the knee. In a case of falling down knee pads add an extra hard layer of protections so that the knee does not get skined, cut, bruised, etc. Elbow pads are again a hard shell attached to a stretchy band that is wrapped around the arm at the elbow in case you fall down and potentially damage your elbows. Knee pads and elbow pads should be observed and worn more often than they are now days. Knee pads and elbow pads along with helmets should be worn every single time one is active in riding a bike, skateboarding, etc., and should be worn for the duration of the activity. The preventive practice of wearing knee pads and elbow pads is trypically seen in the U.S. among young kids.


Laughter can be one of the easiest and most effective disease prevention practices. Many studies have shown that not only does laughter reduce stress hormones, but also it boosts your immune system and therefore prevents one from becoming ill. In addition, laughter triggers the release of endorphins in the body, which are your body’s natural painkillers. Many times a large part of feeling ill is psychological, by laughing it also allows your mind to wander elsewhere and forget about all of your illness related symptoms. Some studies have also shown that it even lowers blood pressure. Laughter is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body and one of the most universally used disease prevention practices. Laughter is among nearly all cultures and has been around as long as humans have. If you begin to feel ill sometimes just spending an hour laughing with your friends will make you feel better. Another option would be to play a funny movie, listen to stand up comedians, or read some funny comics for a while.

Lemon Juice[edit]

As a child when others were getting sick my Mom always told me to drink a lot of water with #Lemon juice added. This supposedly helped boost the immune system. The remedy usually consisted of fresh ice water with one or two lemons juiced into the ice water. This was to be consumed once every day during the cold pandemic. Drinking this lemons juice along with regular other cold prevention techniques will help to avoid the cold sickness. I’m not sure where my Mom came up with this remedy. Perhaps she came up with the remedy herself, it doesn’t really matter because it works.

Because lemon decalcifies your bones, it is better to give up the dairy which is what promotes the colds in the first place. It's better not to use citrus because it is part of a family that causes inflammation, intestinal bleeding and ulcers.


An old British naval practice for preventing scurvy is eating half a lime once a day each day for the entire voyage. That is why the British used to be called Limies. Scurvy is brought on by a lack of vitamin C in the body, without sufficient levels an affected person's body cannot correctly produce important collagen proteins, which are necessary for building connective tissues. Scurvy is a terrible disease which can lead to liver spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from the nose, mouth, ears, and even anus. Scurvy also causes paleness, depression, and in severe cases can lead to loss of teeth as well as the opening of scar tissue. It is important to note that almost all fruits, with at least one serving a day, can aid in the prevention of this atrocious disease. Scurvy is not common in all parts of the world as many cultures have some access to the required amount of vitamin C. The most common appearance of this disease is during prolonged travel at sea, as mentioned before, and imprisonment.

The British sailors actually originally used sprouted garbanzo beans. The chlorophyl is the leaves of sprouted baby greens cured the scurvy. We can use wheat grass juice in the 21st Century for the same use. See research in India.


Lip Balm[edit]

Most people at some time have experienced chapped lips. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant. Applying lip balm daily will help prevent the frequency and severity of chapped lips. When using lip balm, there are several factors to pay attention to. It is important to use lip balm with beeswax and/or petroleum based products. Such use will prevent redness and chapping. Lip balm sometimes contains sunscreen to assist in lessening the impacts and damage from sun exposure. One should be aware that lip balm containing flavor ingredients may encourage the subject to lick their lips, which is also a leading cause of chapped lips. Lip balm was created recently by Western culture but is now available in most parts of the world.


To prevent cracking and dry skin it is important to use lotion. Dry skin can crack and become very sensitive and irritated. In more serious deyhdration, dry skin can crack, bleed, and causes an open wound which can lead to infection. Your body creates natural oils to keep your skin moisturized and lubricated, but at times this is not enough. During winter, and times when the body is exposed to the elements, it is easy for the skin to become dehydrated. Most lotions will work to moisturize your skin, as well as baby oils and skin creams. You only need about the size of a dime worth for your hands and should apply about 2 or three times a day because washing your hands causes them to dry out and the lotion to wash off.