Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 387–407 | Cite as

Swapnaushadhi: The Embedded Logic of Dreams and Medical Innovation in Bengal

Original Paper

Abstract

Numerous medicines in South Asia have their origins in dreams. Deities, saints and other supernatural beings frequently appear in dreams to instruct dreamers about specific remedies, therapeutic techniques, modes of care etc. These therapies challenge available models of historicising dreams. Once we overcome these challenges and unearth the embedded logic of these dreams, we begin to discern in them a dynamic institution that enabled and sustained therapeutic change within a ‘traditional’ medical milieu.

Keywords

Folk medicine Habitus Oneiromancy Dream-land Subaltern therapeutics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of the History and Sociology of ScienceUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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