Cultural Factors and Their Influence on Medication

Cultural Factors and Their Influence on Medication

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Native American culture is based on natural healing and spiritual healing. They have customs and ceremonies and use a healer to heal. It is well known that the healer has a spiritual connection with animals, supernatural beings and all elements of nature. The healer uses words, songs and herbs to protect men and women from evil spirits. The healer also wears a medical pocket around his neck, containing elements of animal, plant, mineral, and human life. It is a sacred bag and menstruating women should not be near the bag. Someone other than the healer should at least be touched in the bag. (Paths of War, 2017).

When medicines are given to an aboriginal patient, they believe that everything must be developed on time and that there is time to make decisions. For this reason, a patient may take some time to decide to take the medicine. You may also decide that your healer should treat you instead of taking medication. Due to the time required to make a decision to take a medicine, it may be difficult to administer it due to time constraints.

Indians are usually treated by their healer, which may include treatment with natural herbs. These herbs may be contraindicated with medications given in a traditional clinic. Ask the patient what kind of herbs you have used or use the healer or women to treat them and explain why this is important as there may be side effects. Tobacco is one of the most widely used plants. It is purely smoked and does not mix with a chemical. Another use is sage, which helps the stomach, intestines, liver, kidneys and lungs. Other herbs may include; Ginkgo biloba, black cohosh, mint, senna, grapefruit, lavender, kava kava, valerian root, fennel and wild leek. (LegendsOfAmerica, 2017). Kava kava should be avoided when taking other medicines such as diazepam or lorazepam. Side effects of these medications increase sedation. Fennel may interact with ciprofloxacin consumption, which may reduce the amount of antibiotics absorbed by the body. Taking fennel with birth control pills may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. (WebMD, ND)

One reason for the lack of medication adherence in American culture is often the need for medications when symptoms are obvious and some medications may be exposed as antibiotics and antidepressants. (ismp, 2017). Another reason for noncompliance is that they may share medications with other clans and extended family groups.

In short, Native American culture consists of a body, a spirit and a soul. Your belief is that the whole body must be healed. It takes time to make decisions and don’t rush to make them. When preparing the medicine, keep in mind that medications are acceptable if they are very uncomfortable unless they change their moods. We also know that adherence to a therapeutic diet cannot be respected because Native American culture is shared by the group of clans and extended family members. If you still know what natural remedies are and how you treat them, you and your professional will know how to best treat your patients because many herbs interact with western medicines.


Legends of America. (2017). Retrieved from on December 3, 2017

Warpaths., (2017). Retrieved from on December 3, 2017

Hub Pages., (2014). Retrieved from on December 3, 2017

ISMP., (2017). Retrieved from on December 3, 2017

WebMD., (ND). Retrieved from on December 3, 2017