Blending Traditional and Western Medicine: Medicinal Plant Use Among Patients at Clinica Anticona in El Porvenir, Peru

Bussmann, R.W.
Sharon, D.
Lopez, A.
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Medicinal plants have been used in Peru for millennia for a variety of uses, but, over the last century, modern technology has deterred the increased growth of this valuable knowledge. The present study attempts to look at a clinic in El Porvenir, on the north coast of Peru to discover what kind of medicines are preferred and the factors determining choices made. Previous studies have shown that medicinal plants still play an important role in treatment. However, the results of our study demonstrate that pharmaceutical medicine plays a larger role when compared to the use of medicinal plants. Thus, while many patients feel pharmaceutical medicine is faster and more effective, there are still a large number of plants that are commonly used by patients. As a result, there is evidence that more research in this area should be done in order to learn what factors determine medical choices and what factors might lead to an increase the use of medicinal plants.
ethnobotany, traditional medicine, herbal medicines, indigenous knowledge, medicinal plants, Peru, Andes Mountain Region, drugs, interviews, questionnaires, Matricaria frigidum, Piper aduncum, Equisetum bogotense, Eucalyptus globulus, Plantago major
Bussmann RW, Sharon D, Lopez A. 2007. Blending traditional and western medicine: medicinal plant use among patients at Clinica Anticona in El Porvenir, Peru. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 5:185-199.
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