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INA VANDEBROEK: GLOBALIZATION AND LOSS OF PLANT KNOWLEDGE: CHALLENGING THE PARADIGM

Posted in Woodward Avenue by gijs van doorn on June 3, 2012

The erosion of cultural knowledge and traditions as a result of globalization and migration is a commonly reported phenomenon. We compared one type of cultural knowledge about medicinal plants (number of plants reported to treat thirty common health conditions) among Dominican laypersons who self-medicate with plants and live in rural or urban areas of the Dominican Republic (DR), and those who have moved to New York City (NYC). Many plants used as medicines were popular Dominican food plants. These plants were reported significantly more often by Dominicans living in NYC as compared to the DR, and this knowledge was not age-dependent. These results contradict the popular paradigm about loss of cultural plant knowledge and is the first study to report a statistically measurable increase in this type of knowledge associated with migration.

full article here

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