Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ethnoplants for Natural Healing

Bottle brush or Weeping Willow. Crude extract
as insect repellent on skin and surroundings
Dell H Grecia
Backyard Ventures, Women's Journal 

With the presence of modern medicines, ethnobotany of the growing of ethnoplants in the backyard has been neglected. This is an unfortunate development because pharmaceutical drugs and medicines are very expensive, often affordable to the common wage earner.

Facts on Ethnobotany

• In the rural areas ethnoplants are commonly grown in the backyard. Its uses as remedies are traced to time-honored ethnic practices and beliefs.

• From the viewpoint of pharmacology, ethnobotany paves the way from the discovery of potent drugs and medicine, validating ethnic practices on one hand, while formulating new drugs based on the active principles of plants, on the other.

• Economic botany is the precocious child of ethnobotany, which, through time resulted in the development of commercial crops. Today’s agriculture, with breakthroughs in science and technology, has expanded into a new field- genetic engineering- while the search goes on for wild genes and species in deep jungles and among ethnic groups.

• Genes can be stored and patented. This was pioneered by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Laguna, which has in each of its vault 100,000 cultivars of cereals, the world’s staple food. The hottest item today are genes coming from native plants, animals, and even human beings, which help ure deadly diseases and prolong human life. Stealing genes or gene piracy clearly undermines the true objective of ethnobotany.

• The current trend shows that more and more people are going for natural medicine and food. Herbal medicine grown food are becoming increasingly popular. People are willing to pay the price for this a long as they are assured of good health and long life. In many ways, ethnobotany helps pave the way toward this direction.

• Superstitions beliefs and ethnobotany are closely associated. On closer examination, such beliefs have greatly enhanced the relationship man has with the masses that shape his life, drawing from it his folklore, songs and prayers. Indirectly, such a relationship has helpd in preservation of his environment. ~

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