What Does The Study Of Ethnomedicine Focus On?


What Does The Study Of Ethnomedicine Focus On
3.2. Ethnomedicinal Wisdom of Diverse Communities – Ethnomedicine broadly refers to the traditional medical practices concerned with the cultural interpretation of health, diseases, and illness that addresses the healthcare process and healing practices ( Krippner and Staples, 2003 ).

  • It is a vast interdisciplinary science that includes the knowledge about the use of natural pharmaceuticals and the ethnic group from which the same pharmacologically active ingredients belong as well.
  • From Indian Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) of China, from Muti of Africa to Unani medicine of Mughal India, it has been widely practiced in diverse ancient civilizations.

The practitioners of traditional medicines follow their traditions, observations, and belief but unaware about the modern theory of treatment. However, their “proof of concept” was based on the end result of using such therapy for generations. The main theme of their treatment was to provide relief to the sufferer, and then find the real cause of the suffering with the belief of “healing from within.” Those traditional practitioners did have a great knowledge about herbalism and ethnobotany as well as about human nature which may not be based on modern anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics.

  • Species of Hydnocarpus were used by the ancient people of China for the treatment of Leprosy between 3000 and 2730 BC.
  • Finding of opium poppy and castor bean from Egypt tombs revealed the use of phytomedicine in Africa as far back as 1500 BC.
  • The Old Testament also mentions the use of medicinal herb and their cultivation.

On the other hand, Ayurveda, the oldest surviving medical system of India about 5000 BC, uses nearly 750 plants like Aconitum, Clitoria, Cosinium, Shorea, and many more. Ayurveda is not only the rational use of medicinal plants but the central tenant of Ayur Bijnan (Science of life) is to maintain the harmony of human body and mind with all the elements of the universe, which can help in the management of life-style or microbial diseases including viral fever, meningitis, genital lesions, Amoebiasis, Leishmaniasis, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, and even cancer ( Jiang et al., 2013 ).

  • Like Ayurveda and African Traditional Medicine, ancient Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) also relies on harmony or balance between the body and soul in addition to uses of herbs.
  • Traditional Chinese healers use herbs as well as other practices like acupuncture, tai-chi, and ai-gong for the treatment and/or prevention of diseases.

Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific nerve points on the body, while tai-chi and ai-gong involve gentle dance-like body movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. Interestingly, Yoga, practiced by Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5000 years ago, mentioned in the Rig Veda, served as mainstream medical practice to maintain health and longevity.
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What is the scope of ethnomedicine?

Abstract – The subject matter of the field of ethnomedicine is outlined in this paper. Basic concepts and problem concerns are described. The linkages which ethnomedicine has with the other social and biologic disciplines are discussed. Ethnomedicine deals with information pertaining to social adaptation, deviant behavior, illness, disease, medical taxonomy, folk medical knowledge, and systems of medical care.
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What are the early research focuses of ethnomedicine?

Early research on ethnomedicine focused primarily on non-Western health systems, but today medical anthropologists use the concept of ethnomedicine to refer to local health systems everywhere.
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What is an example of ethnomedicine?

Some examples of ethnomedical healers are midwives, doulas, herbalists, bonesetters, surgeons, and shamans, whose ethnomedicine existed in cultural traditions around the world prior to biomedicine.
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What is the main focus of medical anthropology?

Introduction – Medical anthropology operates as a focal area within anthropology that draws on all five of the discipline’s major subfields: biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology, archeology, and applied or engaged anthropology. Medical anthropologists study health and illness as biosocial states of being in the lifeworlds of different populations, are attentive to links and flows between macro- and microenvironments, and pay close attention to the distribution (and maldistribution) of diseases and resources promoting health.

They are invested in several lines of research, of which five are highlighted. The first is the biocultural examination of health and illness across the life course given changing social, cultural, material, and environmental conditions that affect biological processes. The second is the study of how cultural values and social institutions, socioeconomic processes, and power relations inform regarding the way illness and risk of illness is experienced, represented, and responded to by different groups and (ethno)medical systems.

The third is an examination of health care provision and exclusion, disease surveillance, and control as a means of understanding the politics of responsibility locally, nationally, and globally. The fourth involves the critical assessment of interventions developed in the name of health and development, and the ways they have been implemented, monitored, and evaluated.
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What is the importance of Ethnomedicinal?

Background – In traditional health care system, botanical or herbal medicines are based on plant extracts or use of plant parts that may be ingested or applied externally. Herbal drugs are prepared as powders, decoctions, infusions, or as poultice, and are operated in a variety of methods,

Herbal medicine is very popular around the globe, with particular reference to South Asia, e.g., Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The main reasons for the popularity of herbal medicines are (i) the belief that plants are close to nature, hence safer than modern synthetic drugs; (ii) easy accessibility; (iii) plants providing a cheaper method of treatment; and (iv) the idea that plants show less side effects or antagonistic reactions as compared to modern drugs,

Still today, the majority of the world population, especially rural people in developing countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, or Nepal, partially or entirely rely on herbal medicine, Ethnobotanical studies are important for the discovery of novel medicines from plant species, which are indigenous heritage of global importance,

  • Medicinal plants help in relieving human distress and are widely used as cosmetics, flavors, oil, bitters, spices, sweeteners, insecticides, and dying agents.
  • About 50 thousands angiospermic plants are used as medicinal purpose, out of the total 422 thousands angiospermic plants reported around the globe,

An estimated 60% of total population in world, including 80% of the population in underdeveloped countries, use traditional phytomedicine to cure several ailments, In Pakistan, about 2000 plant species have been documented to have biochemical properties.

About 600 species are used in different Tibb-e Islami dawakhana (herbal drug markets) by general practitioners (GPs). Besides this, about 50,000 tabibs (GPs of Unani medicine), Ayurveda (GPs of folk medicine), and a number of unlicensed health practitioners spread in remote hilly and rural areas are using more than 200 plant species in herbal drugs,

Over the last few decades, there has been a considerable interest worldwide in traditional medicine, specifically in herbal medicines. The World Health Organization (WHO) also described the main role of herbal medicines in preventive, promotive, and curative healthcare system, especially in underdeveloped countries,

National Center of Complementary and Alternative medicine (NCCAM), U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), classifies complementary and traditional therapies into five major catagories such as whole body system (Unani, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine); body-mind medicine (mental healing, mediation, prayers); bio-based practices (vitamins, herbs, food); therapeutic and alternative body massages (osteopathy, chiropractic); and bio-field therapies,

In Pakistan, herbal drugs have been a strong part of our traditional culture and could have played an important role in providing health care to a large part of the population. In the last few years, mainly three categories, i.e., Ayurveda, Tibb-e-Unani, and homeopathy, are in vogue, whereas Chinese traditional medicine (CTM), aromatherapy, and acupuncture have been introduced in different areas of Pakistan,

Chenab River is one of the largest rivers of the Indus basin, spanning a length of 960 km. It is an important wetland of the Punjab, with a flora characteristic of tropical thorn forest, This wetland is rich in biodiversity of vegetables, fodder species, fruits, and medicinal plants. In the Chenab revirine area, the caste system is hundreds of years old and still dominates the social structure of the local communities.

For a long time, the people of the Hinjra and Aheer castes have settled in the research area. However, before the partition of Pakistan and India, Bhatti, Kharal, and Tarar were the major castes. Though Muslims always were in the majority, Hindus (Barhaman, Khatri, Kapur, Arorah, Khama, and Chopra), Sikh, and Jatt were also common inhabitants and had great influence on the socio-economic setup.

  1. The majority of Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India after partition.
  2. Presently, the Chenab riverine area is mainly populated with Muslims, which are divided into Awan, Syyeds, Chattha, Tarar, Kharal, Lodhi, and Hinjrah casts.
  3. The majority of the population speaks the Punjabi language, while Siraiki and Urdu are also spoken.

Although the young generation is fond of modern culture, the majority of the population prefers Islamic traditions due to strong religious bonds. The local inhabitants of this area possess significant traditional knowledge and are well aware of plant species used with the aim to treat various diseases.

Though, Umair et al., Umair et al., and Mahmood et al. reported ethnobotany of neighboring areas, i.e., Hafizabad, Head Khanki, and Gujranwala districts, but these studies were restricted to these three areas only. The local healers of the Chenab wetland hold knowledge about the utilization of native plant species, particularly to treat health disorders.

Therefore, the present study was designed with the aim (i) to compile an inventory of the plant species with medicinal scopes; (ii) to document the traditional knowledge of local communities about medicinal plants along with methods of preparation, dosage, and applications; (iii) to compare the ethnobotanic uses for medicinal scopes with previous reports conducted in neighboring areas; and (iv) to compute importance and fidelity indices of ethnomedicinal uses, which could be helpful to evaluate species or preparations for further evidence-based pharmacological screenings.
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What is the advantage of Ethnomedicine?

Introduction – One of the important characteristics of human life is health which depends on various other socio-cultural and physical aspects. Health is defined as state of physical, mental and social well-being and if any of these states are not well or body is not functioning properly due to some factors then the condition is called as disease and sometimes illness.

  • This is what we know according to scientific facts.
  • But there is found conceptual variations among the villagers, or tribal communities in context of health, disease or illness.
  • Their ideology and viewpoint are somewhat different form scientific approach.
  • They often think that it is God or supernatural powers or magic that controls and causes illness and disease.
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A medical practitioner cannot solve their problems just by prescribing some medicines. Here is the role of medical anthropologist who studies the causes and treatment of ill health and disease on the basis of native’s viewpoint, which may differ among different tribal communities,

Anthropologist tries to know what community members feels the reason behind disease, good or bad health, how do they treat such conditions on their own, what medicine or therapy they use to cure a person’s physical, mental ailments, what are the misconceptions they have about modern medicine or is there any taboos or fear they have regarding disease or modern medical system.

On the basis of the collected data, medical anthropologist prescribes a solution which often fits to whole community member’s mindset and culture. In this way, a medical anthropologist works as a social doctor who is different from medical practitioner.

  • Since time immemorial, tribal communities have preserved and maintained their traditional and indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants and animals.
  • Every tribal group has a unique and specific knowledge of ethnomedicinal practices that differs from other tribal groups.
  • Ethnomedicine is a kind of medical system among the tribal communities in which the community members utilize the medicinal plants and animals to cure different diseases.

There are certain similarities and differences in between Ayurveda, Ethnomedicie and Biomedicine. Ayurveda share one thing common with Ethnomedicine is the traditional knowledge and use of herbal plant and some animal products like milk, ghee, honey, cow urine, cow dung etc.

The difference lies in the fact that Ayurveda is in written form, is global, and universal and there is neither any use of meat or flesh of animals nor any performance of religio-magical rites for the treatment of diseases. Ayurvedic system prevents and cures the disease by yoga, meditation, philosophy of nature, and by use of herbal drugs.

Opposite is the case of ethnomedicine where knowledge is oral not written and is limited to few, local, specialized, tribal medical practitioners called Baiga or shaman. Ethnomedicine is more ethnic, more magical and less scientific, It is study of healing practices of cultural groups and individual experiences about disease and illness.

Ethnomedicine allows use of medicinal plant and animal products and magical practices for curing the disease. Biomedicine is the modern medicine system which utilizes the bio-products for treatment of general fever, cold-cough, Gastro-intestinal problems as well as severe chronic diseases with the help of various modern electromagnetic therapies and instruments.

It is based on pure scientific knowledge and techniques. Ethno medicine has its limitations that it cannot be effective for deadly diseases like cancer, diabetes, blood pressure. It can only be used for general cold-cough, gastric or liver problems, Joint pain etc.
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What are the aspects of Ethnomedicine?

Ethnomedicine is defined as a field of anthropology that studies cultural interpretation, beliefs, and notions related to illness and health by the ethnic or indigenous communities around the world over centuries. It also involves understanding the healing practices for different diseases.
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Is Ethnomedicine a biomedicine?

Biomedicine is understood to refer to the historically Western, scientific, hospital-based, technology oriented system. Ethnomedicine refers to the practices of traditional healers who rely on indige- nous medicines and/or ritual to treat the sick.
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What is one important aspect of ethnopharmacological practice?

Abstract – There are 119 drugs of known structure that are still extracted from higher plants and used globally in allopathic medicine. About 74% of these were discovered by chemists who were attempting to identify the chemical substances in the plants that were responsible for their medical uses by humans.

  • These 119 plant-derived drugs are produced commercially from less than 90 species of higher plants.
  • Since there are at least 250,000 species of higher plants on earth, it is logical to presume that many more useful drugs will be found in the plant kingdom if the search for these entities is carried out in a logical and systematic manner.

The first and most important stage in a drug development programme using plants as the starting material should be the collection and analysis of information on the use(s) of the plant(s) by various indigenous cultures. Ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, folk medicine and traditional medicine can provide information that is useful as a ‘pre-screen’ to select plants for experimental pharmacological studies.

Examples are given to illustrate how data from ethnomedicine can be analysed with the aim of selecting a reasonable number of plants to be tested in bioassay systems that are believed to predict the action of these drugs in humans. The ultimate goal of ethnopharmacology should be to identify drugs to alleviate human illness via a thorough analysis of plants alleged to be useful in human cultures throughout the world.

Problems and prospects involved in attaining this goal are discussed.
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What is the meaning of ethomedical?

: the comparative study of how different cultures view disease and how they treat or prevent it also : the medical beliefs and practices of indigenous cultures
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What is the difference between ethnomedicine and ethnobotany?

Introduction – Ethnicity refers to shared cultural practices, perceptions, and distinctions that differentiate one group of people from another. The most common distinctive features of several ethnic groups include heritage, a sense of history, language, religion, and dressing norms.

Ethnic differences are not inherited; they are learned, The underlying truth of ethnicity is that it is a product of self and group identity that is formed in extrinsic/intrinsic contexts and social interaction. It is not equal to culture but it is in part the symbolic representation of an individual or a group that is produced, reproduced, and transformed over time.

Likewise, an ethnic group refers to a group of people who are set apart from others on the basis of their perceptions of cultural diversity and/or common heritage, In the present study, the Kunama ethnic group was approached to collect ethnobotanical data.

  • The Kunama ethnic group consist of Nilotic people living in Eritrea and Tigray regional state of Ethiopia.
  • They live in remote and isolated areas both in Eritrea and Ethiopia.
  • They are rich in medicinal plant species and the associated indigenous knowledge and are well known for treating human and livestock diseases using herbal medicines In Tigray, the Kunamas live in two main districts near the border with Eritrea,

They represent a minority ethnic community with a distinctive language, culture, and tradition including ethnic custom–based food preparations and traditional healthcare practices. Among others, food is a powerful ethnic and cultural signifier of a given society.

Food not only is a nutritional and physiological necessity but also has cultural and symbolic meaning. Multiethnic societies appreciate their food diversity and flag it as a marker of inclusiveness, Some traditional foods are claimed to represent an extraordinary food heritage of certain ethnic groups while others have widespread use among different cultures and countries,

Besides their nutritional attributes, many ethnic and traditional foods from plants are thought to contribute to the health and wellbeing of humans. For example, the emergence of diet-related non-communicable diseases has been linked, at least partly, to dietary changes from traditional diets to “westernized” diets implying that encouraging ethnic foods can help to promote human health and wellbeing.

  • Equally, the traditional African diet was largely plant-based, containing different grain cereals, mainly millet and sorghum; leafy vegetables; fruits; legumes; starchy stems; and root tubers.
  • However, the general pattern seems to be shifting towards a more “westernized” diet at the expense of traditional diets and common staples.

Such changes in diets are related to a rise in chronic diet-related non-communicable diseases, which many developing countries are already experiencing, Indeed, the Mediterranean diet has long been promoted for its health benefits, especially in the prevention of chronic diseases,

  1. Nowadays, the crucial health attribute of traditional foods is well recognized.
  2. While advances in the understanding of the relationship between nutrition and health have led to the concept of functional foods, the advent of non-communicable diseases tempted the shift from conventional medicines to functional foods,

Indeed, early human inhabitants were dependent mainly on plants and plant parts to satisfy their hunger. Many medicinal plants known today constitute our major part of food, and the majority of them are loaded with ingredients of nutritional and medicinal values.

  • Consequently, the healthy food concept has been evolved, maintained, and transferred over hundreds of generations.
  • Today, it is well established that phytochemicals (chemicals from food and medicinal plants) have a wide range of pharmacological applications.
  • Most of these phytochemicals have the properties of preventing and curing various diseases,

In this regard, wild edible plants are given special emphasis owing to their high content of nutritional and bioactive ingredients compared to domesticated counterparts. Thus, domestication of wild species seems to be a promising approach for exploiting them as new functional foods,

The present report is in line with such scientific notion which attempts to describe the potential food and medicinal applications of wild edible plants based on their traditional/ethnic uses. Plants are irreplaceable food resources for humans and virtually all human foods are plants or organisms that eat plants,

Ethnobotany is the study of the interrelations of man and plants while ethnomedicine is especially concerned with the cultural interpretations of health and disease, which also addresses the traditional health care–seeking process and healing practices,

In traditional medicines, mainly wild gathered food plants are often reported in different ethnic societies of local and popular traditions to have pharmacologic activities and are often associated with beneficial effects, Wild food plants refer to all plant resources outside of agricultural areas that are harvested or collected from the wild for the purpose of human consumption,

Wild edible plants (WEPs) represent a category of foods that are virtually unexplored and usually consumed in times of famine and scarcity, have neglected role as foodstuffs for regular intake during times of sufficiency, and are often categorized as emergency or famine foods,

  1. WEPs, though underutilized, are still consumed by different societies and are gaining keen scientific interest owing to their nutritional and medicinal values that may broaden the diversity of the human diet and the connection between food and health,
  2. WEPs remain an ignored facet of food supply, which may improve food security and promote health since many of them possess rich nutritional composition and higher levels of health-promoting components,

Thus, it was suggested that some of these “neglected” species, sometimes considered as weeds in extensive major crop cultivation, may potentially become “new functional crops”, WEPs are an integral part of the cultural and genetic heritage of different regions of the world,

  • Chiefly, indigenous dwellers in the rain forests of Africa and South America utilize WEPs as a food source, who gather and consume WEPs as snacks and at times of food scarcity.
  • Likewise, the rural populations in Ethiopia have a rich knowledge of WEPs and consumption of such plants is still an integral part of the diverse cultures in the country,

Many WEPs in Africa are highly adapted to harsh growing conditions and are available when other sources of food fail or are out of season. They are often rich in macro and micro nutrients and health-promoting components. They may provide vital options to promote food security and wellness owing to their availability and affordability, higher nutritional values, and health-promoting properties,

However, the current research and agricultural development agenda, especially in Africa, still appear to focus on the popular and commonly used food crops, ignoring these important WEPs, Thus, despite their high biodiversity, rural populations in developing countries often face food insecurity and malnutrition,

WEPs may contribute a great role in meeting global attention on addressing malnutrition in all its forms: undernutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies; overweight; and obesity, Indeed, epidemiological and clinical studies advocate the use of plant-based diets, including WEPs, as a viable option for the treatment and prevention of overweight and obesity,

  1. Typical examples of health-promoting components that have been reported to have reduced levels in cultivated crops while higher levels in wild counterparts include glucosinolates (GLs),
  2. Also, despite their potential health benefits, GLs impart poor palatability to the plants containing them and are thought to be responsible for some nutrient-rich wild crops to remain wild.
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Likewise, certain species in the Capparidaceae/Capparaceae (the caper family) that are adapted to harsh dry climate including Boscia, Cadaba, Crateva, and Maerua, which form part of a long and deep food tradition in some Sahara regions and which may afford nutritious food, have remained wild as they contain bitter tasting GLs,

Such plants may play a vital role in improving food security and promoting health. Plants of the caper family are tropical relatives of the Cruciferae of temperate regions, both families being characterized by GLs, The caper family is a tropical and subtropical family, which is well represented by woody species in Africa plus a high number of wild edible and medicinal species in Ethiopia.

The genus Maerua comprises about 80 species distributed in the tropical and subtropical areas confined to shrubby savanna and semi-desert regions, embracing species of trees or shrubs bearing edible, larger fleshy fruits, Maerua subcordata (Gilg) DeWolf, a wild food and medicinal plant with a large tuber adapted to low-input agriculture and occurring in the dry parts of East Africa, belongs to the caper family,
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What is ethnomedicine in history and scope?

Abstract – The subject matter of the field of ethnomedicine is outlined in this paper. Basic concepts and problem concerns are described. The linkages which ethnomedicine has with the other social and biologic disciplines are discussed. Ethnomedicine deals with information pertaining to social adaptation, deviant behavior, illness, disease, medical taxonomy, folk medical knowledge, and systems of medical care.
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What is the difference between anthropology and medical science?

Opening to anthropology medical science – Anthropology deals with the study of humanity in terms of behaviour, cultural, social, economic, and health of both past and present humans as it deals with a variety of problems. Social anthropology talks about the behaviour of humans and cultural anthropology talks about the norms and values of humans, whereas medical science deals with the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, control and curation of disease and disorders.
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What is ethnomedicine anthropology?

Ethnomedicine is the area of anthropology that studies different societies’ notions of health and illness, including how people think and how people act about well-being and healing.
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What is the impact factor of ethnomedicine?

Journal Key Metrics

Journal Title Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Lowest Journal’s Impact IF (2011 – 2023) 0.693
Total Journal’s Impact IF Growth Rate (2011 – 2023) 228.3%
Avarage Journal’s Impact IF Growth Rate (2011 – 2023) 22.8%
Annual Journal’s Impact IF Growth Rate (2022 – 2023) 360.3 %

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What is ethnomedicinal value?

Ethnomedicinal, Phytochemical and Ethnopharmacological Aspects of Four Medicinal Plants of Malvaceae Used in Indian Traditional Medicines: A Review – PubMed Display options Format Abstract PubMed PMID The ethnomedicinal values of plants form the basis of the herbal drug industry.

  • India has contributed its knowledge of traditional system medicines (Ayurveda and Siddha) to develop herbal medicines with negligible side effects.
  • The World Health Organization has also recognized the benefits of drugs developed from natural products.
  • Abutilon indicum, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Sida acuta and Sida rhombifolia are ethnomedicinal plants of Malvaceae, commonly used in Indian traditional system of medicines.

Traditionally these plants were used in the form of extracts/powder/paste by tribal populations of India for treating common ailments like cough and cold, fever, stomach, kidney and liver disorders, pains, inflammations, wounds, etc. The present review is an overview of phytochemistry and ethnopharmacological studies that support many of the traditional ethnomedicinal uses of these plants.

Many phytoconstituents have been isolated from the four ethnomedicinal plants and some of them have shown pharmacological activities that have been demonstrated by in vivo and/or in vitro experiments. Ethnomedicinal uses, supported by scientific evidences is essential for ensuring safe and effective utilization of herbal medicines.

Keywords: Abutilon indicum; Hibiscus sabdariffa; Malvaceae; Sida acuta; Sida rhombifolia; ethnopharmacological; phytoconstituents. The authors declare no conflict of interest. Figure 1 Common and unique classes of Figure 1 Common and unique classes of major phytoconstituents reported in Abutilon indicum, Hibiscus Figure 1 Common and unique classes of major phytoconstituents reported in Abutilon indicum, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Sida acuta.

  • And Sida rhombifolia,
  • Numbers 1–18 represent the class of phytochemicals, (1—Acid, 2—Alcohol, 3—Aliphatics, 4—Alkaloids, 5—Alkane hydrocarbon, 6—Aromatic ketone, 7—Coumarins, 8—Flavonoids, 9—Peptide, 10—Phenolics, 11—Steroids, 12—Tocopherols, 13—Polysaccharides, 14—Ecdysteroids, 15—Lignans, 16—Phalate, 17—Terpenoids, 18—Phaeophytins).

‘0′ represents no phytochemical class is exclusively common between any two or three plants.

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: Ethnomedicinal, Phytochemical and Ethnopharmacological Aspects of Four Medicinal Plants of Malvaceae Used in Indian Traditional Medicines: A Review – PubMed
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Is ethnobotany important?

Vital roles for ethnobotany in conservation and sustainable development The scientific discipline of ethnobotany – the study of human interactions with plants – has applications in many fields of current global concern, including food security, climate change, biodiversity conservation and human health.

  • Ethnobotanical studies can provide insights into the ways that societies interact locally with their environmental resources.
  • Ethnobotanical studies have the potential to bring together and integrate local and scientific knowledge to advance the cause of achieving biocultural conservation (; ).
  • This Special Issue of Plant Diversity contains recent ethnobotanical studies that aim to contribute to determining the most useful ways ethnobotany can be used to confront human problems in the future.

Specifically, this issue shows ways in which ethnobotany can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity, especially with regards to documentation and maintenance of indigenous and local knowledge of plants. The research in this issue also describes innovative practices communities have adopted to maintain their plant resources.

  1. People have collected medicinal plants to treat various ailments since ancient times.
  2. The medicinal plants used by various ethno-linguistic groups have attracted much interest from scientists and the general public alike, and their study has become one of the most pressing topics in ethnobotany.
  3. Indigenous healers and traditional healthcare practitioners throughout the world have developed rich stores of knowledge about how to collect and use medicinal plants when providing services to communities.

In this Special Issue, provide a case study of a Buyi community in Lubuge Township, Luoping County, eastern Yunnan. They document 121 plant species used locally for medicinal purposes, a large proportion of which, surprisingly, has not previously been documented in the scientific literature as being of medicinal value (56 species, 46%).

For a number of reasons, the ethnomedicinal knowledge of the Buyi people is at risk of disappearing and the authors advance some proposals for how this knowledge and associated plants can be better conserved. Herbal markets play an important role in both supplying medicinal plants and in transmitting related knowledge.

describe an investigation into the traditional uses of medicinal plants traded in herbal markets in Kahramanmaraş, Turkey. They found 62 taxa of plants that are traded, 26 of which are to some degree globally threatened. Commercialization often increases demand for medicinal plants, which consequently increases both threats to these medicinal plant species and their improper utilization.

  • Consumers of medicinal plants should be informed of correct medicinal usages and that medicinal plants are not inexhaustible.
  • Investigated medicinal plant usage at Dragon Boat Festival herbal markets in Xingren and Zhenfeng counties of Qianxinan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Guizhou Province.

This study confirmed that folk herbal markets in southwest China accurately reflect the practices of these ethnic minorities, following healthcare customs that may have existed for thousands of years. These markets are also a good reflection of local plant diversity.

  • Qianxinan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture has extensive karst landscapes, which are being increasingly impacted by soil erosion and more exposure of bare rock.
  • Information from this survey will be useful in supporting strategies that attempt to halt the process of rocky desertification and that protect biodiversity.

Cistanche deserticola is an important medicinal plant in traditional medicine, especially in the traditional medical systems of East Asia. It is used as a tonic and for other purposes in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Tibetan Medicine, and Mongolian Medicine.

Working with a combined team of Chinese and Mongolian scientists, report on the uses of C. deserticola -associated plant communities in Umnugobi, the southern Gobi Desert, Mongolia. They have documented the folk nomenclature based on 96 plant species in the Cistanche community, creating a valuable resource that will be useful for devising strategies for the conservation of plant biodiversity in Mongolia.

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A desire to protect the rich store of traditional knowledge associated with medicinal plants that provide foods and drinks lies behind the ethnobotanical research of in Qingtian, Zhejiang Province, China. They report 129 species of plants belonging to 113 genera and 75 families that are used as herbal teas for treating no fewer than 31 named categories of ailments.

They have discovered that the use of herbal teas is gradually declining and, along with it, the loss of the associated knowledge. They hope that their research will stimulate the interest of local people to protect local herbal tea plants. The ways that plant resources are utilized depend on the availability of the resources and the level of knowledge of the people.

conducted an ethnobotanical study in Tharaka-Nithi County in Kenya, where they succeeded in documenting a total of 214 plant species known to the people, distributed in 73 families and 169 genera. As with the Qingtian case described above, Vivian and colleagues hope that their research will lead to a greater appreciation of the value of local plant resources among local people.

The authors highlight the needs to conserve and utilize these resources sustainably. The daily lives of people following traditional lifestyles are closely connected to local plant life. present the results of an investigation into the knowledge of plants held by 12 Naxi communities in northwest Yunnan.

Health & Illness in Cultural Anthropology 2020

They found that 161 species of plants belonging to 61 families are used for treating skin conditions. Through the use of quantitative methods, Zhao and colleagues show that this knowledge is related to the people’s lifestyles, natural environment, and the meanings of the plants to the people.

The study went on to show that the plants identified in Naxi communities contain chemical compounds previously reported as active agents in skin treatments. Hematophagous invertebrates, such as mosquitoes, leeches, mites, ticks, lice and bugs, cause various health problems for humans. Nowadays, there is an urgent need to develop new insecticides and repellents to replace the synthetic chemicals that are currently in use and which can be toxic, non-degradable and have become increasingly ineffective due to mounting genetic resistance on the parts of pathogens and invertebrates.

conducted field surveys in villages of the Bulang, Jinuo and Lahu people in Xishuangbanna Prefecture in southwest Yunnan to investigate traditional knowledge of hematophagous invertebrate control. They recorded a total of 709 use-reports, altogether mentioning a total of 32 plant species used in 71 different ways.

  1. These three ethnic groups, all living in the same area, share a degree of common understanding about the uses of plants, although each group also possesses unique knowledge.
  2. The researchers have screened the species to determine priorities for follow-up laboratory research, among which Artemisia indica, Nicotiana tabacum and Clausena excavata, have been selected as the most promising.

Wild fodder plants provide important livestock feed globally, especially for smallholder farmers. How fodder plants are managed can have an important influence for determining whether this resource is used sustainably, at the same time helping to find ways to conserve associated threatened herbivores.

The gayal (also known as mithun) is a large semi-domesticated bovine found in Yunnan and neighboring areas of Southeast Asia. have assessed the nutrient values of various species found in systems of agroforestry in the Dulongjiang area of northwest Yunnan where the gayal is found. Their aim is to provide information that will be useful for achieving more sustainable use of resources of wild fodder.

The concept of biodiversity can be viewed from many perspectives, some of which are rather mysterious to the general public. It is urgent to find practical ways of gaining wider public support for the conservation of biodiversity for it to become widely achieved in practice.

  1. Have established a quantitative scoring system to identify good candidates for flagship species, which, it is thought, will help rally local support for conservation initiatives.
  2. They propose using six criteria for identifying the best flagship species: three criteria that refer to conservation science, namely the endangered, endemic and rarity statuses of the species; and three criteria that relate to local ecosystem functioning and socio-economic and cultural values.

We are faced today with a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of this disease is connected to both ecological and human systems, demonstrating the importance of paying attention to the connections between the two in dealing with issues of human survival.

  1. Similarly, humans face other crises at present that relate to both ecological and human systems, including additional serious diseases and food security.
  2. At the same time, there are benefits derived from the ways that biodiversity regulates ecosystems, such as the assuredness of water supplies.
  3. Humanity must now quickly develop a science of survival.

In the words of the Declaration of Kaua’i (): ” Ethnobotany can strengthen our links to the natural world. It makes it possible for us to learn from the past and from the diverse approaches to plants represented by the different human cultures that exist today.

Gaoue O.G., Coe M.A., Bond M. Theories and major hypotheses in ethnobotany. Econ. Bot.2017; 71 :269–287. doi: 10.1007/s12231-017-9389-8. Geng Y., Ranjitkar S., Yanet Q. Nutrient value of wild fodder species and the implications for improving the diet of mithun ( Bos frontalis ) in Dulongjiang area, Yunnan Province, China. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :455–463. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.09.007. Gou Y., Li Z., Fan R. Ethnobotanical survey of plants traditionally used against hematophagous invertebrates by ethnic groups in the mountainous area of Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :415–427. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.07.009. Gu W., Hao X., Wang Z. Ethnobotanical study on medicinal plants from the Dragon Boat Festival herbal markets of Qianxinan, southwestern Guizhou, China. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :428–434. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.12.010. Kathambi V., Mutie F.M., Rono P.C. Traditional knowledge, use and conservation of plants by the communities of Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :479–487. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.12.004. Liu Y., Hu R., Shen S. Plant diversity on herbal tea and its traditional knowledge in Qingtian County, Zhejiang Province, China. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :464–472. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.12.002. Mandakh U., Battseren M., Ganbat D. Folk nomenclature of plants in Cistanche deserticola -associated community in South Gobi, Mongolia. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :435–442. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.09.008. Palabas Uzun S., Koca C. Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants traded in herbal markets of Kahramanmaraş Plant Divers.2020; 42 :443–454. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.12.003. Prance G.T. Ethnobotany, the science of survival: a declaration from Kaua’i. Econ. Bot.2007; 61 :1–2. doi: 10.1007/BF02862367. Qian J., Zhuang H., Yang W. Selection of flagship species to solve a biodiversity conservation conundrum. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :488–491. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2021.01.004. Xiong Y., Sui X., Ahmedet S. Ethnobotany and diversity of medicinal plants used by the Buyi in eastern Yunnan, China. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :401–414. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.09.004. Zhao Y., Yang Z., Lang B. Skincare plants of the Naxi of NW Yunnan, China. Plant Divers.2020; 42 :473–478. doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2020.12.005.

: Vital roles for ethnobotany in conservation and sustainable development
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What is the importance of Ethnopharmacological?

Ethnopharmacology links natural sciences research on medicinal, aromatic and toxic plants with sociocultural studies and has often been associated with the development of new drugs.
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Why herbal medicine is better than drugs?

Herbal medicine Herbal medicine is the use of plants and plant extracts to treat disease. Many modern drugs were originally extracted from plant sources, even if they’re now made synthetically. Whereas conventional medicine now tries to use only the active ingredient of a plant, herbal remedies use the whole plant.

(made from a plant which grows in Namibia) Boswellia (from the frankincense tree),

These herbal medicines can be found in health food shops and chemists, but if you consult a medical herbal practitioner you’ll probably be prescribed a mixture of herbs, often in liquid form, tailored to your needs. This may include herbs which have anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties, and others to improve energy or aid relaxation and sleep, or even just to make the mixture taste better! Generally speaking, herbal remedies are safe but sometimes they cause side-effects.

  • These can include stomach upsets, sleeplessness and pains in your muscles or joints.
  • Some herbal remedies may also interact with your prescribed medication.
  • If you’re thinking of using these remedies, always buy them from a trusted manufacturer to make sure they’re a quality product, and discuss their use with your doctor first.

A new system for regulation of traditional herbal medicines was introduced in May 2014. This is administered by a government agency, the MHRA. It requires that herbal medicines marketed in the UK have a history of traditional use, are of good quality and are safe.
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What is ethnomedicine in history and scope?

Ethnomedicine is defined as a field of anthropology that studies cultural interpretation, beliefs, and notions related to illness and health by the ethnic or indigenous communities around the world over centuries. It also involves understanding the healing practices for different diseases.
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What are the scopes of ethnobiology?

AIMS AND SCOPE Ethnobiology and Conservation (EC) is an open access and peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original contributions in all fields of ethnobiology and conservation of nature. The scope of EC includes traditional ecological knowledge, human ecology, ethnoecology, ethnopharmacology, ecological anthropology, and history and philosophy of science.

Contributions in the area of conservation of nature can involve studies that are normally in the field of traditional ecological studies, as well as in animal and plant biology, ethology, biogeography, management of fauna and flora, and ethical and legal aspects about the conservation of biodiversity.

However, all papers should focus explicitly on their contribution to the conservation of nature. Merely descriptive papers without a theoretical discussion contextualized from the findings, although possibly being accepted, will not be given priority for publication.
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What is the scope and importance of ethnobiology?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ethnobiology is the scientific study of the way living things are treated or used by different human cultures. It studies the dynamic relationships between people, biota, and environments, from the distant past to the immediate present. “People-biota-environment” interactions around the world are documented and studied through time, across cultures, and across disciplines in a search for valid, reliable answers to two ‘defining’ questions: “How and in what ways do human societies use nature, and how and in what ways do human societies view nature?”
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What is ethnobotany and its scope?

I.B. Ethnobotanical approach – Ethnobotany is the study of interrelations between humans and plants; however, current use of the term implies the study of indigenous or traditional knowledge of plants. It involves the indigenous knowledge of plant classification, cultivation, and use as food, medicine and shelter.

  1. Although most of the early ethnobotanists studied plant used in cultures other than their own, the term ethnobotany does not necessarily mean the study of how ‘other’ people use plants.
  2. It is also not restricted to the study of medicinal plants by indigenous cultures.
  3. The use of ethnobotany in plant selection entails a careful recording of the relationship between indigenous communities and plants.

It is a very complex undertaking that often requires collaboration of experts drawn from various disciplines such as anthropology, botany, ecology, pharmacy, linguistics, medicine and ethnography. Ethnobotany has now emerged as a discipline by itself that studies all types of interrelations between people and plants.
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