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Plants Health And Healing

Author: Elisabeth Hsu
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857456334
Size: 30.63 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.

Manufacturing Tibetan Medicine

Author: Martin Saxer
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857457756
Size: 77.88 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: 38.62 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.

The Body In Balance

Author: Peregrine Horden
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 085745983X
Size: 18.35 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?