Edible Medicines: An Ethnopharmacology of Food

Edible Medicines: An Ethnopharmacology of Food

by Nina L. Etkin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0816520933

ISBN-13: 9780816520930

Pub. Date: 09/15/2006

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

Chile pepper is used today as a flavoring, but Aztecs also applied it for toothache, sore throat, and asthma. The tonic properties of coffee have been recorded in Islamic pharmacopoeia since the eleventh century, and many peoples have used it to protect against Parkinson’s disease. Although much has been documented regarding the nutritional values of foods,

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Overview

Chile pepper is used today as a flavoring, but Aztecs also applied it for toothache, sore throat, and asthma. The tonic properties of coffee have been recorded in Islamic pharmacopoeia since the eleventh century, and many peoples have used it to protect against Parkinson’s disease. Although much has been documented regarding the nutritional values of foods, until recently little attention has been paid to the pharmacologic potential of diet. This book investigates the health implications of foods from the cuisines of peoples around the world to describe the place of food in health maintenance. In this wide-ranging book, Nina Etkin reveals the pharmacologic potential of foods in the specific cultural contexts in which they are used. Incorporating co-evolution with a biocultural perspective, she addresses some of the physiological effects of foods across cultures and through history while taking into account both the complex dynamics of food choice and the blurred distinctions between food and medicine. Showing that food choice is more closely linked to health than is commonly thought, she helps us to understand the health implications of people’s food-centered actions in the context of real-life circumstances. Drawing on an extensive literature that transects food and culture, the history of medicine, ethnopharmacology, food history, nutrition, and human evolution, Edible Medicines demonstrates the intricate relationship between culture and nature. It will appeal to a wide range of scholars and professionals, from anthropologists to nutritionists, as well as general readers seeking a greater understanding of the medicinal aspects of food.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816520930
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
09/15/2006
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1Introduction3
Ch. 2Food in the history of biomedicine44
Ch. 3Spices : the pharmacology of the exotic83
Ch. 4Fermented foods and beverages107
Ch. 5The lives of social plants134
Ch. 6Medicinal qualities of animal foods173
Ch. 7Health in the marketplace : complementary and alternative medicine, functional foods, and more204
AppSome common spices229

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