Botany

A Guide to Ethnobotany



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Ethnobotany is perhaps more interesting than botany itself in that it not only looks at plants, but the way that each geographical zone of the world uses those plants, though uses vary from country to country.

Housing

Here in Europe, ethnobotany comes into play in that Europeans are becoming aware of the need to use natural elements in the building of homes, reverting to such uses as straw for its insulation qualities, bio brick made from natural plant content, reeds for environmentally friendly drainage, and many more adaptations of plant species into the way that they build their homes. Plants don't cause the same long term pollution effects that other man made products do, and by developing their understanding of ethnobotany, Europeans are becoming more aware of how those natural elements can enhance lifestyle, not only in the short term, but giving value to the future.

Medicines

For centuries, the medicinal use of plants in medicines has been well known, though here Europeans are using techniques that are becoming more and more well known and popular, reverting back to nature. Ethnobotany is the exploration of plants and the uses they can be put to for the help of mankind, and covers all parts of the world, each producing their own remedies and sharing, so that the world understanding of what these plants can do to help health is increased and the reliance upon chemically produced man-made drugs is lessened.

Agriculture

Here ethnobotany plays a huge part in that all over the world, people are beginning to realize the advantages of plant feed for cattle that is untreated by chemical elements and the studies have increased crops that are grown using natural feeds to diminish the likelihood of changes that affect both mankind and it's animals.

Those countries that are under developed and poor are learning that by looking at ethnobotany studies, comparing soil types and different plants from those grown traditionally, they are able to feed their families and villages, as well as providing the kind of foods that grow in their regions for export.

Food chain

Here, ethnobotany touches each individual geographically all over the world, as more and more plants are introduced into the cooking process, and studies show the benefits to health of plants used in cooking to replace those foods that have taken over the food chain and contain chemicals and additives that are not natural.

Personal hygiene

People in the world today are more conscious of the effects of chemicals. They are tired of being plagued with allergies and are looking again to nature for the answers and here ethnobotany varies all over the world, in the production of hygiene products, perfumes and body care, based on plants. Third world countries are learning to use their produce for exports and indeed are finding the value in plants that grow naturally in their regions, thus balancing the scales a little between rich and poor countries.

Overview

Ethnobotany really is making a difference in the world. Studying those plants that enhance lifestyles in all areas of the world are bringing people closer, making people aware of their environment, and helping the world to become more self sufficient, careful and caring, knowing that those natural elements around them are not just to look at and admire, but to use to sustain lifestyle and quality for everyone.

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More about this author: Rachelle de Bretagne

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