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IJTK Vol.03(2) [April 2004] >


Title: Credibility of traditional knowledge—The criterion of multilocational and multiethnic use
Authors: Jain, S K
Keywords: Folkmedicine
Ethnobotany
Ayurveda
Antifertility
Diabetes
Leprosy
Jaundice
Malaria
Skin diseases
Issue Date: Apr-2004
Publisher: CSIR
IPC CodeInt. Cl.7: A61P 15/00; A61P 5/48; A61P 5/50; A61P 1/16; A61P 17/00; A61P 31/08; A61P 33/06.
Abstract: Traditional knowledge often includes practices based on observations over time, but not substantiated by any technical experiments or statistics. Ethnomedicine or folk medical claims are an important component of this knowledge. The multilocational or multiethnic use, i.e. application of same traditional herbal cures in several distant regions, and among distinct tribal ethnic groups is suggested as a good criterion for credibility of folk claims and practices. Over 400 publications on ethnomedicinal plants were checked and over 100 recipes related to six health conditions namely fertility or conception, diabetes, leprosy, jaundice, malaria and skin diseases were found to be employed in more than one locality or ethnic group. On the basis of frequency of such reports, the plants were given a credibility rank on a scale of 1-5. About half of these recipes, which mostly had high ranking between 3-5 are already employed in codified Ayurvedic system. It is suggested that: 1. high credibility ranking based on frequency of reports of use seems directly related to their utility in health care systems, 2. the remaining recipes with high credibility ranking be given priority for laboratory and clinical research, and 3. more such analyses of frequency of particular medicinal use be undertaken for more plants, more diseases, and in more regions and ethnic groups in India.
Page(s): 137-153
ISSN: 0975-1068 (Online); 0972-5938 (Print)
Source:IJTK Vol.03(2) [April 2004]

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