Traditional Cautery for Medical Treatment Among the Bedouins of Southern Israel

Y. Elaobda, M. Abu-Hamad, Y. Treister-Goltzman, R. Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Traditional cautery for the cure of disease is an ancient and widespread mode of treatment in various cultures and is a central modality among Israeli Bedouins. To date the use of this treatment has not been assessed systematically. A personal interview was conducted among Muslim Bedouin patients who came to clinics in the Negev region in southern Israel. There were 250 participants including 128 women (51.2 %). The mean age was 45.16 ± 16.2 (range 18–86). Eighty nine (35.7 %) of the participants declared that they had personally undergone curative cautery therapy in the past. Two hundred and five (82 %) were familiar with this mode of therapy. Two thirds of those who underwent the treatment in the past said that it helped them a great deal and another 19 % said that it helped them somewhat. More men underwent the therapy than women (P = 0.034), believed in its effectiveness (P = 0.013), and declared that they were prepared to use it again in the future (P < 0.0001). Elderly patients, over the age of 61, used this therapy more than younger ones (P = 0.001). The majority of the Bedouin population in the Negev is familiar with cautery and a significant part of the population has personally undergone this therapy and believes that it is effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Bedouins
  • Kaiy
  • Muslims
  • Traditional cautery


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