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Conceptualising 'Core' Medicinal Floras: A Comparative and Methodological Study of Phytomedical

Ellen, Roy, Puri, Rajindra (2016) Conceptualising 'Core' Medicinal Floras: A Comparative and Methodological Study of Phytomedical. Conservation and Society, 14 (4). pp. 345-358. ISSN 0972-4923. (doi:10.4103/0972-4923.197608)


Although there have been comparative studies of the botanical content and patterning of ethnopharmacopoeias across different ecological zones, there are few attempts to compare these systematically within the same ethnographic and ecological areas in Southeast Asia. This paper undertakes a simple quantitative survey of the medicinal plant resources of three populations on the island of Seram in the Moluccas, and then compares the results with those from five populations on Borneo. The comparison reveals some surprising omissions and patterns; given what is known about the medicinal use of plants in islands of Southeast Asia from other sources. The paper discusses ecological, cultural, and methodological reasons for the lack of expected congruence. A model of medicinal plant resource pools is developed to aid comparison, and it is suggested that we need to examine carefully what might be understood by a ‘core’ medicinal flora. While biodiversity loss is evident in the areas where the studies have been conducted, and this may impact some actual and more potential medicinal plants, it is less likely to erode core ethno pharmacopoeias.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.4103/0972-4923.197608
Uncontrolled keywords: Indonesia, Borneo, Moluccas, medicinal plants, core ethnopharmacopoeias, resource pools, biodiversity loss
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology
Depositing User: Roy Ellen
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 18:45 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 13:42 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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