There’s a misconception that the Amish shy away from medical treatment by a real medical doctor. I’ve heard people cluck their tongues and say the Amish don’t get their kids vaccinated. They are shocked to see Amish in hospitals.
I believe the view that the Amish erect a wall away from Outsiders is the cause of this misunderstanding. The “Little House on the Prairie” syndrome, as I call it, that the Amish live like pioneers is another view that fuels such notions.
The Amish do get their children vaccinated. The study done concerning vaccinations causing autism was blown away because there isn’t a case of autism among the Amish (as of this date). When it was discovered that the Amish do get childhood vaccinations, the fear of vaccinations seemed to decrease. But how could a study be done on an assumption? Why didn’t scientist just ask Amish settlements if their children were vaccinated? Again, that invisible wall people erect that the Amish don’t speak to Outsiders hinders us from getting to know them. Seriously, many love to chat with people not of their faith.
Herbal medicine seems to be something they do try first though. I believe they can teach us a lot. Amish herbalists are always reading, going to seminars if they can, and like everything back to nature. Jethro Kloss’ book written in the late 1800’s, Back to Eden, is found in many Amish homes. A People who are tied to the earth seem to go their first for medicine. Information is handed down from generation to generations. If some tincture or supplement doesn’t work, they don’t run to the doctor. Most likely it’s something simple like…chicken soup and staying in bed.
I have a friend, Mike Yee, who I call Mike Lee in my books. He’s a real EMT who flies out in a helicopter to Amish in Western Pennsylvania. They do call for an emergency ride to Pittsburgh…in cash. I couldn’t believe it. It’s 2K for a flight. The community pays for it, not individual families. This impressed me.
Most Amish ask an English (non-Amish) driver to take them to the doctors. They accept any medical treatments, including blood transfusions and organ transplants. I remember when an Amish crew was working on our house and a call came in for Mose. (Not Moses, just Mose). His father had a stroke and was called into the Indiana Memorial Hospital. I drove him out and family was there to meet him. They had decisions to make, papers to sign, etc. just like any other patient.
I have to say that I’m an avid believer in herbal medicine. It saved my life when I had Lyme Disease. There’s a doctor in Smicksburg, PA who was so knowledgeable on herbs and minerals, it was fun just to watch him. I took many up to ask “Dr. Dan” for help after modern medicine gave them no cure. I went up one time, my wrist and arms in pain. With a skip in his step and a grin, he ran from around the counter, grabbed a bottle and handed it to me. “You’ll be pain free in a few days,” Dan said. And I was.
Herbal doctors can be male or female. A female herbalist gave me a recipe for “brain food.” It’s for teenagers to “feed their brains.” I’m laughing as I write this because how many teens do you know that need something to stabilize hormones or whatnot. ;)
I’m writing a series showing herbal medicine among the Amish to educate and to shed light on misconceptions concerning herbalists. They are not pow-wow doctors. Actually, this insults them. They don’t use voodoo or any such nonsense. They go purely by medicine, are self educated but many do attend medical seminars, and when someone puts their lives in their hands, confident. A woman went to Dr. Dan with incurable cancer and through his many cleanses and regiment of herbs, minerals and vitamins, she was cured.
If you’d like to “see” the inside of an Amish herb shop and how they interact with medical doctors and naturopaths, grab a copy of my new Amish Herb Shop Series. Each 120 some pages book will inform you greatly. I don’t push my writing on people, but I do want to educate people about how intelligent and open to change the Amish really are.