Category Archives: Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine

“Tribal languages are a treasure trove of knowledge about a region’s flora, fauna and medicinal plants. Usually, this information is passed from generation to generation. However, when a language declines, that knowledge system is completely gone.” – Ayesha Kidwai (Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) quoted by Abhijit Mohanty in “Seven decades after independence, many tribal languages in India face extinction threat” (Down to Earth, 26 August 2020)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/governance/seven-decades-after-independence-many-tribal-languages-in-india-face-extinction-threat-73071
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6879

“Convention on Biological Diversity aims to conserve and use biological diversity in a sustainable manner. It mandates that its signatories respect, preserve and maintain knowledge [about lesser-known wild plants for various medicinal uses], innovations and practices of local or indigenous communities and encourage the equitable sharing of benefits.” – Kerala Forest Department in “Medicinal Plants”, 8 January 2010
http://old.forest.kerala.gov.in
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=18372

“Research on ethnomedicinal uses of a given plant can provide suggestive information on possible migrations or contacts and exchange of information between indigenous communities and in the process make valuable contributions to both medicinal as well as anthropological literature.” – Sophia Hossain, Shahnaz Rahman, Md. Tanvir Morshed, Mahbuba Haque, Sharmin Jahan, Rownak Jahan, Mohammed Rahmatullah in “Tribal Cross-Talk as an Effective Way for Ethnobotanical Knowledge Transfer – Inference from Costus specious as a Case Study” (American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 15 February 2014)
https://www.academia.edu/6090970/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2243

“[The Jarawa’s] knowledge of indigenous plants, herbs, diseases, and creatures of the jungle is immense and needs no schooling. No one can really educate them further. It is we, who need to be educated because soon all this knowledge will evaporate, with the immanent danger of the extinction of the tribe.” – Anvita Abbi (Professor of Linguistics, Jawaharlal Nehru University) in “Why Proud, Not Primitive? (Survival International, accessed 21 September 2022)
http://notprimitive.in/not-primitive-info
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22274

“[Let us] use and share resources in a more sustainable and equitable manner” – Distinguished scientist M S Swaminathan in a video message on “Biodiversity”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaugUomFXIQ&feature=emb_logo
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11066

“‘Ethnomedicine’, as defined by George Foster and Barbara Anderson in their 1978 essay Medical Anthropology, is the totality of health, knowledge, values, beliefs, skills and practices of members of a society, including all the clinical and non-clinical activities that relate to their health needs. According to an estimate of the World Health Organization, approximately 88 per cent of people in developing countries rely chiefly on traditional medicines, mostly plant extracts, for their primary health care needs. [A]bout 74 per cent of the 121 biological active plant-derived compounds currently in use worldwide, have been discovered through follow-up research to verify the authenticity of information concerning the folk or ethnomedical uses of the plants.” – Dibyendu Chaudhuri , Parijat Ghosh, Temba Oraon, Vivek Sinha in “How Adivasis of one Jharkhand village are trying to preserve ethnomedicine” (Down to Earth, 22 December 2020)
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/health/how-adivasis-of-one-jharkhand-village-are-trying-to-preserve-ethnomedicine-74747
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16621

“Over all, more than 86 health-related issues are being cured utilizing ethnomedicinally important tree species. It has also been observed that the majority of youth in Tharu tribe are very less aware of their ethnic knowledge and are also not so much interested in such learning. Thus, a precise documentation of these information with traditional knowledge base from the ethnic people has great relevance for the human welfare.” – Omesh Bajpai in “Ethnomedicinal Uses of Tree Species by Tharu Tribes in the Himalayan Terai Region of India”
https://www.academia.edu/19861074
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2267

“Irulas are specialists in traditional herbal medicine and healing practices. Irula vaidyars, mostly women, practice traditional healing systems, which use over 320 medicinal herbs. They treat several new-age diseases with a high success rate. People around the world realize that traditional healing practices must have a place in modern medicine. The Irula Tribal Women’s Welfare Society (ITWWS), established in 1986, focuses on this traditional science. A centre with training facilities and a medicinal garden has been established.” – “Irula’s tribal secrets unraveled” (Times of India, 29 March 2005)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Irulas-tribal-secrets-unraveled/articleshow/1064853.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23336

“Irulas are very knowledgeable about medicinal plants.” – Zai Whitaker quoted by Soma Basu in “The Naturalist” (The Hindu, 21 February 2013)
https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/the-naturalist/article4439332.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16322″

“The plant diversity of western Madhya Pradesh is reducing at the fast rate due to anthropogenic disturbances and environmental degradation. [B]etter management and protection are important for the conservation of plant diversity in the region and also for the benefit of indigenous tribes of the state.” – Inventory of ethnobotanicals and other systematic procedures for regional conservation of medicinal and sacred plants (Article, 2015)
https://www.worldcat.org/title/5790792440
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=19510

Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

IN BRIEF India originally possessed some 110,000 landraces of rice with diverse and valuable properties. These include enrichment in vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations. The Green Revolution covered fields with a few … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Biodiversity, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Success story, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

Audio | Learning about ethnobotany for the sake of food security: Indigenous Food Labs across the United States and beyond

Indigenous foods matter, and maybe now more than ever, said award-winning chef Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota founder of The Sioux Chef. “It’s a necessity for our future to create access and knowledge and skills around Indigenous foods,” explained Sherman. … Continue reading

Posted in Audio resources - external, Colonial policies, Economy and development, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Networking, Quotes, Tips, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity | Comments Off on Audio | Learning about ethnobotany for the sake of food security: Indigenous Food Labs across the United States and beyond

Survey of the living languages of India in present time (PLSI) – carried out by persons who belong to the respective speech communities or have worked closely with them

The People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) is a comprehensive survey of the living languages of India in present time. The first such survey since George Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India carried out between 1894 and 1928, the PLSI is being carried out … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Film, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Networking, Organizations, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Performing arts, Poetry, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Revival of traditions, Santali language and literature, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Survey of the living languages of India in present time (PLSI) – carried out by persons who belong to the respective speech communities or have worked closely with them

Factors for a better life: An analysis of rural poverty and improvements for tribal communities – Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra & Mizoram

The abominable plight of migrant workers in recent weeks has invaded television screens and stirred the nation’s conscience. Alas, this is just the tip of the wave of hardships that is sweeping through the country. The situation looks increasingly alarming … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Bastar, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Commentary, Community facilities, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Gadchiroli, Health and nutrition, Homes and utensils, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Organizations, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Video resources - external, Western region –  Western Zonal Council | Comments Off on Factors for a better life: An analysis of rural poverty and improvements for tribal communities – Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra & Mizoram

Tribal communities of Uttara Kannada district (Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Gokarna & Honnava) – Karnataka

The Uttara Kannada district is home to many indigenous tribal communities among others, including the Sidhis, Goulis, Kunabis, Gondas and the Halakki. The Halakki people are scattered across several Taluks of Uttara Kannada district namely Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Gokarna and … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Names and communities, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Trees, Women | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Tribal communities of Uttara Kannada district (Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Gokarna & Honnava) – Karnataka