Designing a Framework of Ethnomedicinal Plant Knowledge Integration Using OSS

Designing a Framework of Ethnomedicinal Plant Knowledge Integration Using OSS

Piyali Das (MUC Women's College, Burdwan, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9825-1.ch022

Abstract

Indigenous knowledge refers to the knowledge, innovations, and practices of indigenous communities. Ethnic groups are repository knowledge of herbal medicine. Many indigenous people use several plants for medicinal preparations, and these medicines are known as ethnomedicine. It has developed from experience gained over centuries. Species of ethnomedicinal plants are threatened in most of nations due to overexploitation, habitat loss, destructive harvesting techniques, unsustainable trade, and deforestation. Documented indigenous knowledge on ethnomedicine forms part of the documentary heritage of the nation. The chapter will provide a framework for design an information retrieval system for ethnomedicine or knowledge on medicinal plants that are used to manage human ailments. The framework will be prepared, established on the open source software (OSS), and is appropriate not only for documentation but also beneficial for retrieving domain-specific knowledge. The model provides a framework for resource integration digitally using Greenstone Digital Library (GSDL) software.
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Ethnomedicine Concept

Regardless of the advancement of synthetic chemistry and biotechnology, tribal knowledge and their use for mankind are still useful for community healthcare and drug development in the present and future era as well as for integration of cultural heritage and biodiversity. World Health Organization (WHO), stated that demand of ethnomedicine has increased in all provinces of the developing and less developed world and its use is rapidly expanding in the industrialized countries also. Today nearby 80% of the world’s populace has faith in primarily on plants and plant extracts for healthcare (Modern Ghana, 2013).

Ethnomedicine, in general, the communal medicine which is concerned with the treatment and prevention of health diseases and ailment that are generally consider for play a beneficial role in health care. Ethnomedicine refers to the study of traditional medical practice which is concerned with the health, diseases and illness and also addresses the healthcare seeking process and healing practices (Krippner, 2003). Medical beliefs and practice of indigenous community is called Ethnomedicine. Indigenous community means peoples inhabitant of a specific territory or geographical region having a historical continuity belief in a specific culture that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now existing on those territories (Indigenous Peoples at the UN, n.d.). They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system. The sum-total of innovation, talent and observation based on the theories, way of life and experiences of indigenous community to different cultures, where explainable or not, used in the anticipation, identification, enhancement or treatment of substantial and overall health may called ethnomedicine. Ethnomedical practitioners generally receive their education through a long apprenticeship, and may administer the therapy in a ritual and evoke the help of a deity. Ethnic medical practice is waning in cultures influenced or colonized by Western civilization.

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