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Request for sources[edit]

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.


Dec 11, 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

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)

Alcohol Production[edit]

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 (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 (talkcontribs) 18:56, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Ethnobotany and drug discovery[edit]

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 (talk) 13:38, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

ethics[edit] could add some ethics here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:37, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Agreed - added --Michael Goodyear (talk) 04:25, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Better titled "History of Ethnobotany"?[edit]

Article does not give me an impression of what the field is currently, what sorts of significant findings are made, and how these affect people. M. A. Broussard (talk) 03:41, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Concerns about citation[edit]

Hello everyone, After reading this article, I became concerned about the lack of citation throughout much of the historical discussion of ethnobotany, specifically that which discusses ethnobotany in medieval monastic life. I am aware that monasteries regularly maintained and interacted with gardens but have never heard of ethnobotany taking place within a monastic community. Does anyone have any source material to back up the claims made by the wiki entry?

Also, I would like to draw attention to some cases of very close paraphrasing or direct plagiarism from this page. Phrases such as "Though the term "ethnobotany" was not coined until 1895 by the US botanist John William Harshberger, the history of the field begins long before that," "In AD 77, the Greek surgeon Dioscorides published "De Materia Medica", which was a catalog of about 600 plants in the Mediterranean," and "It also included information on how the Greeks used the plants, especially for medicinal purposes," are lifted straight from the encylopedia without a citation. I will be editing the phrases to eliminate the plagiarism and cite the source properly in a few hours.

Thanks, and if anyone can find a source for that original information, that would be wonderful.

Constantine III (talk) 22:34, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

Explaining Significant Changes[edit]

For anyone who is watching this page, I would like to explain the significant changes I have recently made to this article. As previously explained in my last post, many many many facts about the history of ethnobotany were directly copy and pasted from this source without any citation what so ever. I have removed every instance of plagiarism that I caught, but there could obviously be more so please keep your eyes open. Second, I have entirely re-written the "roots" section and re-named it "The History of Ethnobotony." It is by no means extensive, all inclusive, or in-depth, but it does give readers a brief and instanced-based history of the science. I have also re-written the introduction to eliminate another source of plagiarism from this source and give, what I believe, is a more accurate description of ethnobotany. The original definition described the science as a sort of ambiguous relationship between plants and humans; I believe my new definition enforces the nuance in that ethnobotany is one culture learning from another culture about its particular and unique local fauna and the practical application of that fauna. Finally, I added a host of new sources, added links to sources which previous did not have them, and eliminated some frivolous / dead link sources.

Thank you for your reading. If you have anything else you would like to discuss about the edits, I'd be happy to. Constantine III (talk) 08:41, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

@Constantine III:. appears to be copying Wikipedia. Their article is dated 2012, but the text that is identical there and on Wikipedia was present in Wikipedia in 2011. Both articles had (until your recent edits) an extensive description of the journal Latin American and Caribbean Bulletin of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Wikipedia tends to accumulate overly detailed descriptions of subtopics of minor relevance; the shared text on this journal further indicates that Wikipedia is the source of the text on eplantscience. Thanks for your work on this article, but don't worry about plagiarism; Wikipedia is being plagiarized, not doing the plagiarism. Plantdrew (talk) 15:49, 12 December 2016 (UTC)


The references in the article seem to be from unbiased, reliable sources and the article itself is neutral in tone. However, the lack of citations in the middle and end of the article is concerning. Additionally, I think that some ideas are underrepresented and should be elaborated on, including but not limited to the "Issues" section. The link for the #4 reference is dead, and this citation is used for a quote early in the article.

Keldanie (talk) 17:28, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Relevance of content[edit]

A strangely large portion of this page is dedicated to explaining the backgrounds of the cited authors, in particular Mark Plotkin (who, it might be noted, has more citations in this article than the "Medieval and Renaissance" and "The Age of Reason" sections combined. I'm also concerned about the usage of a YouTube video as a source in this article (the current source 19, "Howard, P. gender bias in ethnobotany" leads to a 2013 YouTube video).

Crenton (talk) 22:59, 12 December 2016 (UTC)