Interview With A Bedouin Doctor In Wadi Rum
 
 
Salem Zae’er talke about traditional bedouin medicine in Wadi Rum Video

Salem Zae'er is a traditional doctor who lives in Wadi Rum. His family renowned for its ability to exercise the Djin from any person who is possessed. The Djin would be expelled from the interface between the flesh and the fingernail.

Salem became a practitioner when he was afflicted by a disease which many thought was cancer, whereupon he undertook to cure himself. He followed a strict diet in which he ate nothing but a few herbs, and he started experimenting with assorted recipes of animals and plants which taught him the correct cures for various ailments. In doing so Salem broke the tradition of his ancestors by distancing himself from the spiritual in favour of the material.

Among the medications which he discussed is a green powder called moani which he uses as an anaesthetic when his patients need it, since the treatment often consists of branding with a hot iron or bleeding.
Salem frequently uses snakes in his medicine, and he is renowned for it. One of his recipes includes three snakes and a python ground together into a pulp. This medicament is prescribed along with abstinence from certain foods specified by Salem, and the patient is advised to keep warm.

This practice involves hunting snakes, which are found wherever they can find their food. The best hunting ground is under the Harjala (also known as Harmala) tree in the valleys. There they fed on birds, mice, and other animals of similar size, taking a week or two to digest each meal.

The python, for his part, feeds on snakes. When he sees a snake he stiffens and strikes it with his body as if with a sick. This dazes the snake which gives him the time to swallow it whole and digest it at leisure.

Snakes also play a part in Bedouin magic, since it is believed that, in the days of the Romans, people used to cast a spell to guard buried treasure, which was accompanied by a sacrifice of a human being, or a snake. The spirit of the sacrifice would then stay as guardian to the treasure. This spell can be broken in order retrieve the treasure, but that would require the expertise of a person versed in "the science of the inner world."

Another animal that is used extensively in Salem's practice is the wolf, of which he uses the intestines, the jawbone, and in one prescription the whole body. The entire wolf is placed in a pit full of burning coal and it is buried for three days, at the end of which it is reduced to powder as fine as flour. This powder is mixed with honey into a pomade and smeared on the skin, which makes it soft and bright as that of a new-born baby.

Of the plant kingdom, Salem uses the seeds of the Qesum tree, olive twigs, and pomegranate blossoms. These are ground and cooked in olive oil, and ground rock sugar is added to this mixture, to prepare a medication against fever.

Another all round medicine that is widely used consists of ground harjal(harmala) plant, to which is added a dried dead lizard, the resin of the butom tree and some incense. The mixture is roasted on hot coals and it needs to be used on the last day of the month.

When someone catches a chill, Salem brands parts of his body, particularly the torso. This ailment is called the sickness of the night (probably because temperature drops considerably in the desert during the night). Coughs are treated by a medication consisting of ground ginger and cloves, which are then either swallowed with boiled water, or inhaled through the nose.

The most peculiar prescription known to Salem is for the use of vengeful women against their husbands. According to him if a woman adds some of her menstrual blood to his food she "destroys him completely". 

Salem Zae'er showing his tools. Traditional medicine also known as indigenous or folk medicine, comprises medical knowledge systems that developed over generations within the tribes or earlier cultures.. Practices known as traditional medicines include herbal, hot cups, acupuncture, animal and mineral-based medicines, and other medical knowledge or techniques and practices that have been handed down for generations by the shepherds tribe. Lower: A  belt made of Snake skin, used to be wear on the body for cold ailments. This belt is made by Salem Zae'er.

This Bull horn is used like hot cups treatment (Bedouin: Hejamah). Fire cupping is a form of traditional medicine found in many cultures worldwide. It involves placing cups containing reduced air pressure (suction) on the skin after letting blood.  Although there is reason to believe the practice dates from as early as 3000 B.C., the earliest record of cupping is in Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world. It describes in 1,550 B.C. Egyptians used cupping. 

The therapy is used to dispel stagnant blood and lymph — to treat respiratory diseases such as the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis. Cupping is used on the back only. In the desert every body relies on what is called “Arabic indigenous medicine” for their primary health care needs. Arabic Indigenous medicine is generally transmitted orally through the tribe shaman or midwife. Three factors legitimize the role of the healer – their own beliefs, the success of their actions and the beliefs of the tribe. 

Cotton like from the “moxa plant” (Bedouin: Qurai’h, Greai’h),  used in bedouin’s heat acupuncture. Bedouin acupuncture (Bedouin: Kawi) is a technique in which the practitioner burn the skin with hot metal rod into specific points on the patient's body. The intended effect is to increase circulation and balance energy within the body. It is a procedure of manipulating the fire element into various points on the body to relieve nausea and pain or for therapeutic purposes.The slow burning of the moxa cotton on the skin technique is used in some cases instead of the heated  rod. Lower: Although it has long been known cotton lavender by some early travelars, but Greai’h is not a lavender but a member of the daisy family. A kind of desert Afsenteen (absinthium) plant.

Desert watermelon “Citrulus colocythis” (Bedouin: Handal), also known as bitter apple, bitter cucumber, egusi, or vine of Sodom, is a viny plant native to the desert. Its fruit, which is orange-sized, yellowish, green-mottled, spongy, and extremely bitter. It is used as a strong laxative. In overdoses, the fruit can cause violent, sharp pains in the bowels, with dangerous inflammation. It is seldom used alone, but in combination with other cathartics has been a standard remedy.  Bedouins are said to make a type of bread from the ground seeds in the time of famine. It can be very dangerous plant for those who do not have experience in dealing with this substance. 



Talking about Baby Camels and Perfum




Talking about his Snake Skit belt, he use for healing colds

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