2010 - Volume 8 : Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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    Uses and Commercial Prospects for the Wine Palm, Attalea butyracea, in Colombia
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Bernal, Rodrigo ; Galeano, Gloria ; García, Néstor ; Olivares, Ingrid Lorena ; Cocomá, Carolina
    Attalea butyracea (Mutis ex L.f.) Wess. Boer is a massive and abundant palm that grows in dry areas of northern, central and eastern Colombia, where it ranks as one of the most useful plants. Thirty-six uses in eight use categories are recorded for this species in Colombia, including food, animal feed, medicine, construction, and technological and cultural uses. Most uses have only minor, local relevance, but some of them have potential that is worth exploring. The potential of the palm as a source of sugar, oil, palm heart, fiber, animal feed, and activated charcoal is discussed. Sugar production seems particularly promising; if the palm can be tapped through the inflorescence in the same way that other palms are tapped in Asia, sugar production in an integrated agrosilvopastoral system could be comparable to that of sugarcane planted for jaggery production. We suggest that this palm also has potential as a source of biofuel.
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    The North American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea Willd.); Sacred food of the Osage People
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Swan, Daniel C.
    The North American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea Willd.) is well documented as an important food plant among the Native people of North America. This paper presents ethnographic and historic evidence of its past veneration by the Osage Indians of Oklahoma as a sacred food and a symbol of their desire for health and long life, particularly for their children. Today N. lutea has become a prominent traditional food among the Osage and an important culinary element in contemporary Osage cultural identity.
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    Arundo donax L. (Giant reed) Use by Turkish Cypriots
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Gücel, Salih
    A survey about the traditional uses of Arundo donax L. (Giant reed) by Turkish Cypriots was carried out. Sixty inhabitants from 25 areas were interviewed about the vernacular names, plant part used and forms of usage. Twenty-seven ways of utilizing this plant were recorded. The ethnobotanical importance of Arundo should be considered in the management of this plant.
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    Ethnobotanical Uses of Plants among the Bhotiya Tribal Communities of Niti Valley in Central Himalaya, India
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Phondani, P.C. ; Maikhuri, R.K. ; Rawat, L.S. ; Farooquee, N.A. ; Kala, C.P. ; Vishvakarma, SCR ; Rao, K.S. ; Saxena, K.G.
    A study of the medicinal plants and knowledge of diseases was conducted in Bhotiya tribal communities in the Niti valley of Alaknanda catchment in Central Himalaya. Indigenous knowledge of local traditional healers about plants used for medicinal purposes was collected through questionnaire and interviews. Eighty-six plant species were identified as being used for treatment of 37 common ailments. The methods and application of uses of these plants varies and was based on the nature of disease.
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    Ethnobotanical Study of the Rural Population of the West of the Pampa Plain (Argentina)
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Muiño, Walter Alejandro
    This paper is an ethnobotanical study of cattle farming in the western Pampa region of Argentina, an arid region with very scarce rainfall and a population consisting mainly of Criollo farmers. A total of 68 rural settlers were interviewed, providing information on 69 specific and infraspecific taxa. Plants were classified into the following categories according to use: forage, toxic species or species with adverse effects on animals, use in rural constructions, tools, and those with veterinary applications. Data include native, naturalized and cultivated species. They revealed a diverse group of forage plants, according to the type of livestock, and very few toxic plants. Veterinary applications were related to first aid cases. In rural construction, plants were mostly used for fencing paddocks and corrals. The results of this study show the acute level of perception and detailed knowledge of the plant environment held by this farming community in relation to their main economic activity.
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    A Comparative Analysis of Medicinal Plants Used by Folk Medicinal Healers in Three Districts of Bangladesh and Inquiry as to Mode of Selection of Medicinal Plants
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Haque Mollik, Ariful ; Hossan, Shahdat ; Kumar Paul, Alok ; Taufiq-Ur-Rahman, M. ; Jahan, Rownak ; Rahmatullah, Mohammed
    An ethnomedicinal survey conducted in two sub-districts (upazillas) each of three districts of Bangladesh revealed that there is both inter- and intra-district variation between the choices of medicinal plants selected by folk medicinal healers (kavirajes) to treat any specific ailment. The variations cannot be accounted for by differences in climate or plant availability for most of the plants used by the kavirajes are available in all six upazillas where the survey was conducted. Most kavirajes claimed that they obtained information on medicinal plants either from ‘gurus’ or from elderly members of their family. However, it was also revealed by the kavirajes that further modes for acquiring medicinal plant knowledge were through initial experiments conducted on animals and poultry, dreams, and a perceived similarity between plants or plant parts and human body features. It is concluded that such selections are, and were, primarily made through initial experiments by traditional healers on animals and birds. Dreams and perceived similarities between plant parts and human body parts may also play an important role in such selection.
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    Ethnobotany and Conservation of Plant Resources of Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Amusa, T.O. ; Jimoh, S.O. ; Aridanzi, P. ; Haruna, M.
    The study was conducted to generate baseline data for the conservation and sustainable use of woody resources in Kainji Lake National Park. The study objectives were to document local knowledge on uses, status and sustainable management of selected woody species. Using both ethnobotanical and quantitative ecological methods, the study was carried out in the Borgu sector of the park. A total of 37 plants species belonging to 18 families were selected using a ranking and prioritization scale. Family-Fabaceae was the dominant family in terms of number of species represented. The species are multipurpose and are exploited to satisfy different subsistence needs. Among the plant-use categories, medicinal uses ranked highest (38%) followed by edible plants (25%), miscellaneous purposes (24%), and construction (13%). In terms of species status, Detarium microcarpum Guill. & Perr. has the highest mean frequency of 68.9% and a population density of 3.036 + 1.7 individuals/ha. This is followed by Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn. with 55.6% mean frequency and a population density of 2.143 + 1.7 individuals/ ha. There was no significant relationship between the useful value of a species and its density rank (R= 0.047; R2 = 0.002; F= 0.783) in the study area. Thus, the study recommends a holistic approach that includes the involvement of the local people in the management of woody species.
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    Ethnomedicinal Analysis of Toxic Plants from Five Ethnic Groups in China
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Huyin Huai ; Qinqin Dong ; Aizhong Liu
    Toxic plants are important elements of ethnomedicine. Ethnomedicinal knowledge on toxic plants recorded from five indigenous people, Dai, Lahu, Miao, Tujia, and Wa in south and southwestern China, was summarized and analyzed based on available literature. A formula has been developed to evaluate toxic plants in the ethnomedicine of different ethnic groups using the Average Use Values (AUVs) of them. In total, 118 toxic plants often used as ethnomedicines were found from the five ethnic groups. These toxic plants were mainly distributed in 21 families, i.e., 75.4% of species and 68.1% of genera were concentrated in the 21 families. Araceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, and Fabaceae are 4 important families which contain rich toxic plants. Eleven toxic plants were thought to be deadly toxic. These toxic plants were often used medicinally to treat injuries from falls, broken bones, and skin problems. Most toxic plants were medicinally used for multiple purposes in the five ethnic groups. The medicinal role of toxic plants was ascertained by comparing the AUVs or UVs in these ethnomedicines. The culture and the resources available were two main factors affecting ethnic healers selecting and using toxic plants.
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    The Geography of the Chios Mastic Trade from the 17th through to the 19th Century
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Ierapetritis, Dimitrios G.
    Chios, one of the largest islands in the Eastern Mediterranean, became internationally known during the 13th century due to the production of the Chios mastic in twenty one villages on the south, the resin of the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus L. var. chia (Desf. ex Poiret) DC.), to which many beneficial properties and uses had already been attributed in the antiquity. The international demand for mastic led the various conquerors of Chios to prohibit free trade and lay down a system for monopoly distribution. After the island was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1566, following a period of almost two centuries of Genoan rule (1346 to 1566), the valuable product of Chios Mastic constitutes one of the monopolies of the Ottoman State. The present article aims firstly to present the botanical aspect of Chios Mastic, the mastic tree (P. lentiscus var chia), as well as the cultivation and harvesting methods of the produce. Secondly, by investigating the historical sources it aims to present the geography of the mastic trade in the East and West from the 17th through to the 19th century, while at the same time analyzing the monopoly trade system established by the Ottoman State. Thirdly, it analyzes the international demand for the Chios mastic during this same period in the international markets, focussing on the beneficial qualities attributed to it. Finally, it examines the validity of the information published in geographical and traveller’s journals during the period in question, evaluating the conclusions of the relevant modern scientific research. This article is based mainly on studying sources such as geographical and traveller’s manuscripts dated back from the 17th until the 19th century, which are kept in the “Korais” Central Public Historical Library, as well as other historical sources examining the period in question.
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    Ethnomedicine of Ogiek of River Njoro Watershed, Nakuru- Kenya
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010) Ngari, Eunice W. ; Chiuri, L.W. ; Kariuki, S.T. ; Huckett, S.
    Medicinal plants play a major role in meeting the medical and health needs of people, especially in developing countries. However, destruction of habitat through deforestation, over exploitation for commercial purposes, and changes in cultural behaviors threatens to drive many of these species into extinction. This broad study focused on documenting most of the medicinal plants used by the Ogiek community in Mau Forest Complex to facilitate conservation efforts. Stratified random and snowball sampling methods were used to identify 60 men and 60 women living in the community to participate in this research. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered and data were analyzed using the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). 94 traditionally recognized plants were identified and correlated with their medicinal uses as indicated by informants. These were found mainly in open fields, riparian zones and in the forest. Men identified relatively more medicinal plants and their medicinal values than women did. In contrast, women had more knowledge of techniques for preparation and administration of herbal drugs for domestic uses. There was a positive correlation between the number of plants known to respondents and the age of respondents.