Pharmacognosy for Health and Culture - the PHC Jungle Connection

Elujoba, A.A (1999-05-11)


The use of medicinal plants dates back to the beginning of creation and the original knowledge came through trial and error by the primitive man who distinguished between food, medicinal and poisonous plants. Some knowledge also came by observation especially by the hunters and housewives on the animals that voluntarily consumed such plant. Traditional medicine is an integral part of the tradition or culture of each country or society and thus has a heritage of community acceptance. Many simple family therapies are practiced in different communities, the knowledge and skill of, which are kept secret within the families, or communities. These have been in use for hundreds of years and must, therefore be effective in many instances otherwise; they would have not survived the test of time. The practices involved vary widely in keeping with the social and cultural heritage of different countries. In many developing communities, it remains the only available and affordable health service for the majority of the population providing a first-line and basic health care system for the people living in those communities.