Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Ancient Art of Romani Healing

After years spent among partisans and other people on the run during
World War II, my mother collapsed, mentally and physically. She could no
longer manage daily life. As soon as some kind of order was
re-established in post-war Germany, doctors and hospital started to
experiment with various injections and drugs to get my mother back on
her feet. After the first injection of something I believe was called
Strophantin, my mother turned blind for several days. She regained her
eyesight, but slowly the other attempts at conventional healing made her
drug dependent. Desperate, I was a girl of nine, my mother lay dying, I
threw all of her drugs into the toilet, flushed and, alone with her, I
witnessed the horrible effects of drug withdrawal. That's when I ran for
my godmother, who knew a lot about herbs. She in turn sought the help of
a Gypsy herbalist healer, a partragria.

Never leaving my mother's side, my aunt started brewing the herbal teas
of the Gypsy woman. My emaciated mother not only survived the withdrawal
symptoms, but within a matter of a few weeks started to rejuvenate. Her
emotional trauma from the war would never heal completely, but her
physical being returned to normal, and she was able to live, reasonably
happily, to the age of eighty-six.

That experience is now over sixty years ago. It was brought back home to
me when, very recently, I watched a close friends suffer non-stop pain
with Shingles. Traditional medicine gave very little improvement. Again
I sought the advice of a Roma herbalist healer. When I told her the
story of my mother, she told me "a real Rromani healer would never just
cut out pharmaceutical medication. Today's partragria would first work
with teas compatible with traditional medication, and then slowly wean
her off, before starting the actual healing." I reminded her that in
fact, I had thrown out the medication, before seeking the help of an
herbal healer.

Herbal medicine is an ancient art among Gypsy/Roma and other people of
ancient cultures. When Roma were still purely nomadic, they enjoyed
great health and longevity. The art of herbal healing in many tribes has
been handed down through the generations to those with talent. In a
world where many suffer from the side effects of powerful synthetic
drugs, this ancient art, practiced within many other ancient cultures
should be brought to the attention of and made more readily available to
those whom 'traditional' medicine failed.

No comments:

Post a Comment