The Folk-Healing Recipes of the Thasian Monk Gymnasios Lavriotis
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In the spring of 1930, a healing monk on the Greek island of Thasos became the center of international attention. The monk, named Gymnasios Lavriotis, had been trained from childhood as an herbalist and practical folk healer. While serving as a priest in the mountain village of Theologos, Gymnasios offered healing recipes to hundreds of sick people who had travelled from other island villages and even the Greek mainland. His medical recipes (293 in number) have survived through accounts in newspapers of Kavala, Thessaloniki, Epirus, and Athens. Since no study of this fascinating healer exists other than several brief Greek entries, this article serves as an introduction to the life and career of this monk, as well as his healing recipes, materia medica, and therapeutic practices.