Katherine Reed (2000)
'Dealing with Difference: Researching Health Beliefs and Behaviours of
Sociological Research Online, vol. 4, no. 4, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/4/4/reed.html>
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Received: 2/8/1999 Accepted: 15/2/2000 Published: 29/2/2000
Sakeena: Because I reckon here in Leicester, in the UK we've got more and better facilities. Although things go wrong here as well I'm not saying they're 100% but if you compare it to India or Pakistan (local facilities are better)
Samina: In Leicester I've seen it (laughs), you can get everything in Leicester. Where I come from in Blackburn, we always had to get them sent down from India, like Tiger balm, don't forget the tiger balm!
Gurinder: My mum has diabetes and she's trying these herbal tablets from India to help with it. The treatment for diabetes is free and you have to take it for 40 days and you have to cut out a lot of things as well. They are herbal tablets; you can only get them from India.
Sita: I always take multi-vitamin tablets out there when I go to India. My family over there they really like them from here. If anybody's going, we take them over.
Shahnaz: He got the tumours removed in India. He was prescribed a dose of chemotherapy there, had some of the treatment there. He came home to Leicester and they wouldn't give him the dose prescribed in India. Within 3 months his symptoms came back.
Shahnaz: I mean, it doesn't matter whether it's a GP here (in Leicester) or a GP there (India), or a religious or herbal healer here or there. Whatever you keep them in conjunction and use them at different times.
Rambha: My brother was diagnosed as diabetic recently then his daughter was as well. She's going to the doctors all the time because she's insulin- dependent. She has to be careful what she eats, you feel sorry for her but yeah it has to be treated by the doctors.
Gurinder: A few years ago I would have thought you need a hospital, a doctor, whatever. Over the years I don't think the same thing. I think I would seek alternative medicine. I would pass that onto my children too. I wouldn't mind trying some of my mum's herbal remedies and stuff you know, what my mum did.
Sakeena: If it's a cough we use a little bit of turmeric powder in milk before we're going to bed and drink that. I do that regularly. Honey is also very good and it's in our religious book as well, there's a cure in honey, if we have bruises.
Sakeena: I took my daughter to a Hakim for her eczema. But what happened was they stopped everyday other things right, the doctor's medication for asthma. If she stops them an asthma attack comes on and she has to be admitted to the doctors, hospital, I couldn't do that.
Kishwar: I mean with coughs and colds we'd use Lemsip. That helps a lot and also for sore throats we use honey and lemon and we use other remedies from the kitchen, you know various herbal powders and Asian balms such as Tiger Balm that you can put on your chest.
Usha: You're different being young and not married or a mother, I suppose you don't have the same family constraints as me.
Musarat: We are going to India at Christmas, would you like to come? We could find you a husband there.
Inder: I mean here now. They'll not say, "oh she's got someone with her" (means us in Inders office). They will still come in wanting to know a) why you are here, b) what you are saying to me (both laugh). But they want to know all the bits and bobs, what's going on. They're nosy, let's give them something to talk about!
Shahnaz: If you have food that is especially hot it will make you bleed more. That's why you're not supposed to have it at an early stage, as you don't want to bleed you might miscarry.The Hindu and Sikh women within the study were less focused on diet in pregnancy and did not talk
Sakeena: When you're nine months, you should start eating foods, which are hot and slippery, like ghee. It helps the baby come quickly.
Sakeena: I have built up quite a social group of women who are Hindu and Sikh. I learn so much from them. They tell me about all sorts of health remedies specific to their religions and I try them. Some I use regularly. My own religion is also very influential on my beliefs and behaviours. There are so many remedies I have learnt from my mum, and yes they are specific to the Muslim faith.
Harpreet: I do try and diet and lose a bit of weight. I go to the gym but my weight just stays where it is, do you know anything that might help?
Sakeena: Ok, so your skin is combination/oily, use a little yoghurt, gram flower, mix it and make a paste and put it on your face. Leave it to dry and upwards, it improves circulation on the face and gets rid of excess oil.
2Hakims are practitioners of the Muslim medical system Unani; Vedas are the practitioners of the Hindu medical system, Ayurveda.
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