|WikiProject Anthropology||(Rated Start-class)|
|WikiProject Plants||(Rated Start-class, Top-importance)|
Request for sources
Hello all. Does anyone here know of the core texts on ethnobotany. Preferably the most up to date? Harristweed 04:04, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
No there is not core text of ethnobotany. You would at least have to know standard botany plant identification.
Agree re: botany, also anthropology. There are many ethnobotany books around but a core textbook is likely to be linked to a particular course, for example there is an MSc in Ethnobotany at Kent / Kew (UK) and other courses around the world, eg. Hawaii. An ethnobotany 'primer' might be "Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual (People and Plants Conservation)" by Gary Martin - it's very good, and there are other books within the series - you can find them on Amazon etc. Have a look at reading lists (Google should help you find them) for some of the graduate programmes in ethnobotany maybe? There are also lots of 'popular science' books on Plants and People and their interactions which are enjoyable. Have you had a look at SEB, the Society for Economic Botany which includes ethnobotany? They have a student email list which might be useful in getting some suggestions although I realise that I'm writing to you almost a year and a half after you posed the question so you might be enrolled on a PhD course in ethnobotan now :) Jo JoBrodie (talk) 21:05, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Does the study of alcohol production from one group to another fall under ethnobotany or would it be something else?
For instance different apples or pears used for cider/cidre, herbs used in liqueurs, fruit used for distillation, etc? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 04:03, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Most certainly the climatic and longitudinal characteristics incorporated with other geographical differences play a crucial part in what a culture will grow. Wine regions in France, the hard cider culture of early America, what ingredients are possibly available is the botany, and discretion or favoritism is mostly cultural. Going further ethnobotany applies directly to all plant substance use of a culture including psychedelics like mushrooms, cannibis, or the poppy flower with varying cultural zeitgeist globally. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alex2morris (talk • contribs) 18:56, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Ethnobotany and drug discovery
Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine are certainly very interesting fields, especially considering the complexity of botanical knowledge "primitive cultures" had or still have (see Claude Levi-Strauss publications). Some of those plants indeed made it into modern pharmacy. However, there are very few effective drugs that were recently discovered through ethnobotanical research. Taxotere (or taxols) for example, one of the most effective natural products in cancer therapy had no ethnobotanical use. Certainly in the area of OTC drugs and dietary supplements many new medicinal plants have been introduced but so far the hit rate for effective drugs through ethnobotanical sources have been lower than expected. One of the major exceptions is maybe artemisinin from Artemisia annua (Qinghao) from TCM, which is now a very effective anti-malaria drug. So the relative failure of modern ethnobotany to find effective drugs is obvious. However, natural products are still important resources for drug discovery programs. The best sources for new drugs came undoubtedly from TCM (including huperzine), but even this acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor did not make into the final stages of drug development, and was abandoned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 13:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)