Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by people in Zegie Peninsula, Northwestern Ethiopia
An ethnobotanical study was conducted from October 2005 to June 2006 to investigate the uses of medicinal plants by people in Zegie Peninsula, northwestern Ethiopia. Information was gathered from 200 people: 70 female and 130 males, using semistructured questionnaire. Of which, six were male local healers. The informants, except the healers, were selected randomly and no appointment was made prior to the visits. Informant consensus factor (ICF) for category of aliments and the fidelity level (FL) of the medicinal plants were determined. Sixty-seven medicinal plants used as a cure for 52 aliments were documented. They are distributed across 42 families and 64 genera. The most frequently utilized plant part was the underground part (root/rhizome/bulb) (42%). The largest number of remedies was used to treat gastrointestinal disorder and parasites infections (22.8%) followed by external injuries and parasites infections (22.1%). The administration routes are oral (51.4%), external (38.6%), nasal (7.9%), and ear (2.1%). The medicinal plants that were presumed to be effective in treating a certain category of disease, such as 'mich' and febrile diseases (0.80) had higher ICF values. This probably indicates a high incidence of these types of diseases in the region, possibly due to the poor socio-economic and sanitary conditions of this people. The medicinal plants that are widely used by the local people or used as a remedy for a specific aliment have higher FL values (Carissa spinarum, Clausena anisata, Acokanthera schimperi, Calpurnia aurea, Ficus thonningii, and Cyphostemma junceum) than those that are less popular or used to treat more than one type of aliments (Plumbago zeylanicum, Dorstenia barnimiana).
Ethnobotanical study of indigenous knowledge on medicinal plant use by traditional healers in Oshikoto region, Namibia
The objective of this study was to establish a regional profile of the indigenous knowledge system (IKS) for medicinal plant use and cultural practices associated with the healing process of these plants by traditional healers in the Oshikoto region, Namibia.
An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken to collect information from traditional healers during September and October 2008. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and personal interviews during field trips in the ten constituencies of the Oshikoto region. A total of 47 respondents were interviewed with most of them aged 66 and above.
The traditional healers in Oshikoto region use 61 medicinal plant species that belong to 25 families for the treatment of various diseases and disorders with the highest number of species being used for mental diseases followed by skin infection and external injuries. Trees (28 species) were found to be the most used plants followed by herbs (15 species), shrubs (10 species) and climbers (4 species). The average of the informant consensus factor (FIC) value for all ailment categories was 0.75. High FIC values were obtained for Pergularia daemia, and Tragia okanyua, which were reported to treat weakness and dizziness problems, snake bite, swelling and cardiovascular problems indicating that these species traditionally used to treat these ailments are worth examining for bioactive compounds.
The traditional healers in Oshikoto possess rich ethno-pharmacological knowledge. This study allows for identifying many high value medicinal plant species, indicating high potential for economic development through sustainable collection of these medicinal plants.
Use of Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies among Racial and Ethnic Minority Adults:
Results from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey
Understanding Immigrants' Reluctance to Use Mental Health Services: A Qualitative Study from Montreal
Objective: Studies suggest that non-European immigrants to Canada tend to under use mental health services, compared with Canadian-born people. Social, cultural, religious, linguistic, geographic, and economic variables may contribute to this underuse. This paper explores the reasons for underuse of conventional mental health services in a community sample of immigrants with identified emotional and somatic symptoms.
Method: Fifteen West Indian immigrants in Montreal with somatic symptoms and (or) emotional distress, not currently using mental health services, participated in a face-to-face in-depth interview exploring health care use. Interviews were analyzed thematically to discern common factors explaining reluctance to use services.
Results: Across participants' narratives, we identified 3 significant factors explaining their reluctance to use mental health services. First, there was a perceived overwillingness of doctors to rely on pharmaceutical medications as interventions. Second, participants perceived a dismissive attitude and lack of time from physicians in previous encounters that deterred their use of current health service. Third, many participants reported a belief in the curative power of nonmedical interventions, most notably God and to a lesser extent, traditional folk medicine.
Conclusion: The above factors may highlight important areas for intervention to reduce disparities in immigrant use of mental health care. We present our framework as a model, grounded in empirical data, that further research can explore.
Use of Traditional Medicine by Immigrant Chinese Patients
Chinese immigrants constitute the largest group of foreign-born Asians living in the United
States. Knowledge of their use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is limited. A survey was conducted
to determine their TCM use and to evaluate physician awareness of these practices.
interviews were conducted with 198 Chinese immigrant patients, and a survey was administered to 17
physicians in two federally funded community health clinics.
Nearly 100% of the patients had
used TCM during the previous year, mostly for musculoskeletal or abdominal pain, fatigue, and health
maintenance. Self-medication with herbal products was the most common (93% at least once, 43% weekly).
A smaller number (23%) had used herbs prescribed by a TCM provider. Use of acupuncture was less
common (14%), although higher than the national average. Most patients indicated a preference to consult
Western physicians for acute infections. Only 5% reported that their physicians had ever asked about their
use of TCM. By contrast, 77% of physicians reported that they “usually or sometimes” asked about TCM
Results suggest that these patients used TCM, primarily self-prescribed over-the-counter
herbal preparations, for many health problems. Information about use was not shared with their physi
cians, nor did patients perceive their doctors as soliciting sufficient information on TCM use. Physician
education in this area may be warranted