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Plants Health And Healing

Author: Elisabeth Hsu
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857456342
Size: 45.52 MB
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Plants have cultural histories, as their applications change over time and with place. Some plant species have affected human cultures in profound ways, such as the stimulants tea and coffee from the Old World, or coca and quinine from South America. Even though medicinal plants have always attracted considerable attention, there is surprisingly little research on the interface of ethnobotany and medical anthropology. This volume, which brings together (ethno-)botanists, medical anthropologists and a clinician, makes an important contribution towards filling this gap. It emphasises that plant knowledge arises situationally as an intrinsic part of social relationships, that herbs need to be enticed if not seduced by the healers who work with them, that herbal remedies are cultural artefacts, and that bioprospecting and medicinal plant discovery can be viewed as the epitome of a long history of borrowing, stealing and exchanging plants.

Ethnobotany In The New Europe

Author: Manuel Pardo-de-Santayana
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1782381252
Size: 40.30 MB
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The study of European wild food plants and herbal medicines is an old discipline that has been invigorated by a new generation of researchers pursuing ethnobotanical studies in fresh contexts. Modern botanical and medical science itself was built on studies of Medieval Europeans’ use of food plants and medicinal herbs. In spite of monumental changes introduced in the Age of Discovery and Mercantile Capitalism, some communities, often of immigrants in foreign lands, continue to hold on to old recipes and traditions, while others have adopted and enculturated exotic plants and remedies into their diets and pharmacopoeia in new and creative ways. Now in the 21st century, in the age of the European Union and Globalization, European folk botany is once again dynamically responding to changing cultural, economic, and political contexts. The authors and studies presented in this book reflect work being conducted across Europe’s many regions. They tell the story of the on-going evolution of human-plant relations in one of the most bioculturally dynamic places on the planet, and explore new approaches that link the re-evaluation of plant-based cultural heritage with the conservation and use of biocultural diversity.

The Body In Balance

Author: Peregrine Horden
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 085745983X
Size: 43.47 MB
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Focusing on practice more than theory, this collection offers new perspectives for studying the so-called "humoral medical traditions," as they have flourished around the globe during the last 2,000 years. Exploring notions of "balance" in medical cultures across Eurasia, Africa and the Americas, from antiquity to the present, the volume revisits "harmony" and "holism" as main characteristics of those traditions. It foregrounds a dynamic notion of balance and asks how balance is defined or conceptualized, by whom, for whom and in what circumstances. Balance need not connoteegalitarianism or equilibrium. Rather, it alludes to morals of self care exercised in place of excessiveness and indulgences after long periods of a life in dearth. As the moral becomes visceral, the question arises: what constitutes the visceral in a body that is in constant flux and flow? How far, and in what ways, are there fundamental properties or constituents in those bodies?

Manufacturing Tibetan Medicine

Author: Martin Saxer
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857457756
Size: 12.10 MB
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Within a mere decade, hospital pharmacies throughout the Tibetan areas of the People's Republic of China have been converted into pharmaceutical companies. Confronted with the logic of capital and profit, these companies now produce commodities for a nationwide market. While these developments are depicted as a big success in China, they have also been met with harsh criticism in Tibet. At stake is a fundamental (re-)manufacturing of Tibetan medicine as a system of knowledge and practice. Being important both to the agenda of the Party State's policies on Tibet and to Tibetan self-understanding, the Tibetan medicine industry has become an arena in which different visions of Tibet's future clash.

Healing Roots

Author: Julie Laplante
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 178238555X
Size: 15.58 MB
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Umhlonyane, also known as Artemisia afra, is one of the oldest and best-documented indigenous medicines in South Africa. This bush, which grows wild throughout the sub-Saharan region, smells and tastes like "medicine," thus easily making its way into people's lives and becoming the choice of everyday healing for Xhosa healer-diviners and Rastafarian herbalists. This "natural" remedy has recently sparked curiosity as scientists search for new molecules against a tuberculosis pandemic while hoping to recognize indigenous medicine. Laplante follows umhlonyane on its trails and trials of becoming a biopharmaceutical - from the "open air" to controlled environments - learning from the plant and from the people who use it with hopes in healing.

Medicine Between Science And Religion

Author: Vincanne Adams
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781845459741
Size: 22.27 MB
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There is a growing interest in studies that document the relationship between science and medicine - as ideas, practices, technologies and outcomes - across cultural, national, geographic terrain. Tibetan medicine is not only known as a scholarly medical tradition among other Asian medical systems, with many centuries of technological, clinical, and pharmacological innovation; it also survives today as a complex medical resource across many Asian nations - from India and Bhutan to Mongolia, Tibet (TAR) and China, Buryatia - as well as in Western Europe and the Americas. The contributions to this volume explore, in equal measure, the impacts of western science and biomedicine on Tibetan grounds - i.e., among Tibetans across China, the Himalaya and exile communities as well as in relation to globalized Tibetan medicine - and the ways that local practices change how such "science" gets done, and how this continually hybridized medical knowledge is transmitted and put into practice. As such, this volume contributes to explorations into the bi-directional flows of medical knowledge and practice.

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Author: Gisa Weszkalnys
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1782383182
Size: 22.94 MB
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A benchmark study in the changing field of urban anthropology, Berlin, Alexanderplatz is an ethnographic examination of the rapid transformation of the unified Berlin. Through a captivating account of the controversy around this symbolic public square in East Berlin, the book raises acute questions about expertise, citizenship, government and belonging. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the city administration bureaus, developers’ offices, citizen groups and in Alexanderplatz itself, the author advances a richly innovative analysis of the multiplicity of place. She reveals how Alexanderplatz is assembled through the encounters between planners, citizen activists, social workers, artists and ordinary Berliners, in processes of popular participation and personal narratives, in plans, timetables, documents and files, and in the distribution of pipes, tram tracks and street lights. Alexanderplatz emerges as a socialist spatial exemplar, a ‘future’ under construction, an object of grievance, and a vision of robust public space. This book is both a critical contribution to the anthropology of contemporary modernity and a radical intervention in current cross-disciplinary debates on the city.

Forests And Human Health

Author: Carol J. Pierce Colfer
Publisher: CIFOR
ISBN: 9792446486
Size: 12.10 MB
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This study has two central concerns: the state of human health in forests, and the causal links between forests and human health. Within this framework, we consider four issues related to tropical forests and human health. First, we discuss forest foods, emphasizing the forest as a food-producing habitat, human dependence on forest foods, the nutritional contributions of such foods, and nutrition-related problems that affect forest peoples. Our second topic is disease and other health problems. In addition to the major problems—HIV/AIDS, malaria, Ebola and mercury poisoning—we address some 20 other tropical diseases and health problems related to forests. The third topic is medicinal products. We review the biophysical properties of medicinal species and consider related indigenous knowledge, human uses of medicinal forest products, the serious threats to forest sustainability, and the roles of traditional healers, with a discussion of the benefits of forest medicines and conflicts over their distribution. Our fourth and final topic is the cultural interpretations of human health found among forest peoples, including holistic world views that impinge on health and indigenous knowledge. The Occasional Paper concludes with some observations about the current state of our knowledge, its utility and shortcomings, and our suggestions for future research.

Evolutionary Ethnobiology

Author: Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331919917X
Size: 14.33 MB
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Ethnobiology is a fascinating science. To understand this vocation it needs to be studied under an evolutionary point of view that is very strong and significant, although this aspect is often poorly approached in the literature. This is the first book to compile and discuss information about evolutionary ethnobiology in English.