2006 - Volume 4 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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    Ethnobotany of the genus Piper (Piperaceae) in Thailand
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Chaveerach, Arunrat ; Mokkamul, Piya ; Sudmoon, Runglawan ; Tanee, Tawatchai
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    Ethnobotanical Study of Rice Growing Process in Northeastern Thailand
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Mokkamul, Piya
    Thailand is a developing country that relies heavily on rice agriculture. Photographic techniques are an easy and efficient method for studying human activities, culture, traditions, ethnobotany, and ethnoeconomy. In this paper, photos are used to provide an ethnobotanical description of the rice growing process of rice farmers in Northeast Thailand, from preparing the rice fields to harvesting the rice. “One picture can speak a thousand words.”
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    Conservation Status of Maianthemum Species in the Hengduan Mountains: A Case Study Analyzing the Impact of New Policies on Wild Collected Plant Species
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Ying, Meng ; Yongping, Yang ; Weckerle, Caroline S.
    Maianthemum G. Weber ex Wigg. (Liliaceae) is a popular wild vegetable in Southwest P.R. China, the consumption and trade of which has recently been stimulated by local government polices and increasing tourism. We interviewed 68 stakeholders in Northwest Yunnan to document uses, harvest methods and amounts, and locally perceived conservation status of the species. Mainly M. atropurpureum (Franch.) LaFrankie, an endemic of the region, is consumed and collected for trade. Harvest methods and amounts differ significantly between different regions. Major regional markets in Northwest Yunnan are supplied with plants collected around Fugong, Nujiang Prefecture, where the intensive harvest is facilitated by trucks. In Zhongdian, Diqing Prefecture, all harvest is transported by men and sold locally. Only collectors in the latter area perceive a decrease of population sizes in recent years. In that area Maianthemum is decreasing due to several factors, such as relative scarcity of the species, habitat destruction, harvest methods, and increasing demand by tourists. Thus, local harvest strategies, which allow a sustainable use of the populations, need to be developed.
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    Traditional Thai Medicines Inhibit Helicobacter pylori in vitro and in vivo: Support for Ethnomedical Use
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Mahady, Gail B. ; Bhamarapravati, Sutatip ; Adeniyi, Bolanle A. ; Doyle, Brian ; Locklear, Tracie ; Slover, Christine ; Pendland, Susan L.
    In Thailand, traditional plant-based medicines have always been used to treat gastrointestinal ailments, including gastritis, peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and diarrhea. Since Helicobacter pylori (HP) is an etiological agent of PUD, we have used an ethnomedical approach for screening plant extracts as potential treatments for HP infections, including over 20 species from Thailand. International Memoranda of Agreement were established between UIC and Mahidol University in Thailand. Medicinal plants were collected, identified and extracted. Susceptibility testing was performed with 15 HP strains using the agar dilution procedure guidelines of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. In vivo studies included evaluating bacterial load, as well as acute and chronic inflammation in HP-infected Mongolian gerbils. Extracts of Curcuma longa L. and Boesenbergia rotunda (L.) Mansf. significantly reduced HP-induced gastric lesions, as assessed both macroscopically and microscopically in Mongolian gerbils. The treatments reduced acute and/or chronic inflammation in a prevention model of HP-induced gastritis.
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    Insertions and Deletions: Evolution in the Assemblage of Vietnamese Food Plants
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Nguyen, My Lien Thi
    An analysis of taxa used and that are salient to Vietnamese in Hawai‘i compared with southern Vietnam reflects an evolution of the assemblage of food plants demonstrated by substitutions, insertions, and deletions of plant taxa. Replications occur as the Vietnamese in Hawai‘i have access to many similar plant taxa as those in Vietnam, possibly due to the location of Hawai‘i as a place where similar food plants can grow and due to a large Asian population. Food plant taxa were elicited from interviews and recorded during participant observations. The current scientific botanical nomenclature and taxonomic groupings, plant life form or part utilized, the southern and many northern Vietnamese vernacular names with diacritical markings, and the English and French translations are provided for over 200 food plants. An introduction to Vietnamese diacritical writing and vernacular botanical nomenclature is included.
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    Naming Consistency for Forest Plants in Some Rural Communities of Northeast Thailand
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Wester, Lyndon ; Yongvanit, Sekson
    Consistency of naming forest plants was subjected to a field test in a rural community of Northeastern Thailand. Local experts supplied names for a set of trees and vines in a surveyed plot. Results showed a high level of agreement among the informants for more than half of the plants and less than 10% of the plants were not named consistently by the majority of informants. Disagreement on names largely took the form of non-responses or degrees of specificity. In general, vines and immature understory plants produced the greatest diversity of opinion. Of the names collected, 53% were recorded in standard botanical references but about half were linked with more than one Latin binomial, often in different families. Many false links could be quickly resolved if voucher specimens of the plants were compared with herbarium specimens.
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    Diversity and Cultural Use of Enset (Enset ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman) in Bonga in situ Conservation Site, Ethiopia
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Tsehaye, Yemane ; Kebebew, Fassil
    Enset plant diversity and maintenance were investigated through interviews, quantitative and qualitative plant morphological analysis, nutritional analysis and field observations. Forty-two enset varieties were identified and grouped into 6 clusters, where the wild variety was an outlier. Principal components analysis also revealed the distinctiveness of the enset varieties. The study showed that, farmers in the Kaffa zone maintain many varieties along with associated myths, beliefs, songs/poems, and medicinal and ritual significance. A multidimensional preference analysis suggested the existence of a reasonable degree of consistency among farmers in naming the varieties and utilization aspects. Diversity within and between enset varieties was found to be high, and ‘perceptual distinctiveness’ of enset varieties of which farmers were minutely cognizant was significant in the recognition of variation and therefore plays a role in selection and maintenance of the existing diversity.
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    When Inter-ethnic Botanical Borrowing Does Not Rely on Obvious Efficacy: Some Questions from Western Amazonia
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Lenaerts, Marc
    Inter-ethnic botanical borrowing is usually deemed to be based on pragmatic efficiency. However, in the regional system we discovered between several indigenous groups from the Peruvian rainforest, the transfer of ethnomedicinal knowledge relies much more on relational factors than on any kind of strictly therapeutic efficacy. This is clearly substantiated by a detailed comparison between objective ethnobotanical measurements and indigenous self-assessments recorded by anthropologists. Such alternative motivations for ethnobotanical borrowing are probably not so exceptional. They raise some questions about the representation of plant efficiency from an indigenous point of view, and probably in some Western contexts too. They also entail direct implications for development and cooperation policies.
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    Questionnaires Do Not Work! A Comparison of Methods Used to Evaluate the Structure of Buildings and Wood Used in Rural Households, South Africa
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Gaugris, J.Y. ; van Rooyen, M.W.
    The level of hardwood utilisation for house building was evaluated in a rural community of Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A full inventory of 42 households in that community was conducted, followed by a questionnaire survey coupled with a partial inventory of the same households. It was expected that the questionnaire design would be greatly improved by the prior survey, and that similar quantitative results could be obtained. The results show that despite a careful design, the questionnaires and coupled partial inventories provided significantly different results, thus placing considerable doubts on any research solely based on questionnaire results without proper ground proofing. The reasons for such differences are unclear. The main advantage of the questionnaire survey resided in the qualitative insight it offered for the analysis of the data.
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    The Skill Acquisition Process Relative to Ethnobotanical Methods
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2006) Lau, Y. Han ; Bridges, K.W.