Ancient Hawaiian Healing

The Hawaiians always believed that a person could not have health without life and neither could have had life without health. The Hawaiian health system of ancient times was well developed. They had medicines, treatments, a medical profession, an apprenticeship program for medical specialists and also training facilities which were located in special healing ‘heiau' also known as temples. Coconut island was a designated place for healing at Hilo which was the big island of Hawaii and also known for its curative spring waters.

The medical specialists also specialize in inducing love and the witch doctors of Hawaii both healed and prayed people to death. During ancient times in Hawaii a spiritual power had great influence to be known as a very successful practitioner. Education was considered sacred as knowledge was considered a way of achieving such power. If at all the parents would sense a healing spirit within their child they would send the children away at the age of 5 to learn the ways of Hawaiian healing for the next 15 to 20 years by a medical specialist himself/herself. In this duration the child would learn the ways of anatomy, diagnosing diseases, choosing the right cures and medicines for certain illnesses and also sacred prayers. Simple surgical procedures, setting the bones right and autopsies were also taught during this time.

Most of the remedies in Hawaii were from plants. It is not so different in today's world as maximum modern pharmaceuticals are based on medicines which were derived from plants.

Leaves from a hop seed bush were used to treat rashes, itches and also other skin diseases. Kava was used to treat headaches, muscle pain and also to induce sleep. It also treated general disability, chills and lung problems like asthma. A shampoo ginger when burnt produced ashes which would treat cuts and sores. The root of the plant was used for ring worms, sprains and bruises. Tooth ache and stomach ache was also cured with this plant. Taro is one the most important plants for the Hawaiian culture. The raw root stock is rubbed on wounds in order to stop the bleeding and also to relieve the pain and prevent swelling of insect bites and stings. The leaves are used to treat and reduce the threat of asthma. Sugarcane sap is used to sweeten herbal preparations and the juice from the shot is used to treat lacerations. Mamaki is another fruit whose inner part is used to treat thrush and also cure general disability. Leaves are generally sold as tea in Hawaii.

Indian mulberry leaves and their bark are prepared as a tonic. It treats urinary disorders. And also pain in the joints. The ripe fruit or even the leaves can be used as a poultice for boils, wounds and fractures. Ohia Lehua is a flower which is used during child birth to ease the pain and the bud of the leaves is used to treat colds. Polynesian Arrowroot and its raw starch is used with water to treat diarrhea and when it is mixed with red clay for dysentery. The starch is also very helpful when applied on wounds to stop the bleeding.