Eating and Healing: Traditional Food as Medicine / Edition 1

Eating and Healing: Traditional Food as Medicine / Edition 1

by Andrea Pieroni, Lisa Price
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis


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Eating and Healing: Traditional Food as Medicine / Edition 1

Discover neglected wild food sources—that can also be used as medicine!

The long-standing notion of "food as medicine, medicine as food," can be traced back to Hippocrates. Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As Medicine is a global overview of wild and semi-domesticated foods and their use as medicine in traditional societies. Important cultural information, along with extensive case studies, provides a clear, authoritative look at the many neglected food sources still being used around the world today. This book bridges the scientific disciplines of medicine, food science, human ecology, and environmental sciences with their ethno-scientific counterparts of ethnobotany, ethnoecology, and ethnomedicine to provide a valuable multidisciplinary resource for education and instruction.

Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As Medicine presents respected researchers’ in-depth case studies on foods different cultures use as medicines and as remedies for nutritional deficiencies in diet. Comparisons of living conditions in different geographic areas as well as differences in diet and medicines are thoroughly discussed and empirically evaluated to provide scientific evidence of the many uses of these traditional foods as medicine and as functional foods. The case studies focus on the uses of plants, seaweed, mushrooms, and fish within their cultural contexts while showing the dietary and medical importance of these foods. The book provides comprehensive tables, extensive references, useful photographs, and helpful illustrations to provide clear scientific support as well as opportunities for further thought and study.

Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As Medicine explores the ethnobiology of:

  • Tibet—antioxidants as mediators of high-altitude nutritional physiology
  • Northeast Thailand—"wild" food plant gathering
  • Southern Italy—the consumption of wild plants by Albanians and Italians
  • Northern Spain—medicinal digestive beverages
  • United States—medicinal herb quality
  • Commonwealth of Dominica—humoral medicine and food
  • Cuba—promoting health through medicinal foods
  • Brazil—medicinal uses of specific fishes
  • Brazil—plants from the Amazon and Atlantic Forest
  • Bolivian Andes—traditional food medicines
  • New Patagonia—gathering of wild plant foods with medicinal uses
  • Western Kenya—uses of traditional herbs among the Luo people
  • South Cameroon—ethnomycology in Africa
  • Morocco—food medicine and ethnopharmacology

Eating and Healing: Traditional Food As Medicine is an essential research guide and educational text about food and medicine in traditional societies for educators, students from undergraduate through graduate levels, botanists, and research specialists in nutrition and food science, anthropology, agriculture, ethnoecology, ethnobotany, and ethnobiology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781560229827
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/01/2005
Series: Crop Science Ser.
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

  • About the Editors
  • Contributors
  • Copyright Acknowledgments
  • Introduction (Andrea Pieroni and Lisa Leimar Price)
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • North America
  • The Caribbean
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Chapter 1. Edible Wild Plants As Food and As Medicine: Reflections on Thirty Years of Fieldwork (Louis E. Grivetti)
  • Introduction
  • Genesis
  • Three Decades of Ethnobotanical Research
  • Reflections and Potential Research Areas
  • Coda
  • Chapter 2. Tibetan Foods and Medicines: Antioxidants As Mediators of High-Altitude Nutritional Physiology (Patrick L. Owen)
  • Introduction
  • Adaptations to Altitude
  • Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants
  • Tibetan High-Altitude Food Systems
  • Tibetan Medicine
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Wild Food Plants in Farming Environments with Special Reference to Northeast Thailand, Food As Function and Medicinal, and Social Roles of Women (Lisa Leimar Price)
  • Introduction
  • Wild Plant Foods in the Farming Environment
  • Women’s Roles, Women’s Work, and Women’s Knowledge
  • Consumption and Nutrition
  • Overlaps: Medicinal and Functional Food
  • Medicinal and Functional Food Wild Plants of Northeast Thailand
  • Gathered Food Plants of Northeast Thailand with Medicinal Value
  • Investigations of Wild Plant Foods As Functional/Medicinal Foods in Thailand
  • Multiple Use Value, Rarity, and Privatization
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 4. Functional Foods or Food Medicines? On the Consumption of Wild Plants Among Albanians and Southern Italians in Lucania (Andrea Pieroni and Cassandra L. Quave)
  • Introduction
  • Ethnographic Background
  • Field Methods
  • Wild Food and Medicinal Plants in Lucania
  • Pharmacology of Wild Functional Foods Consumed in Southern Italy
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5. Digestive Beverages As a Medicinal Food in a Cattle-Farming Community in Northern Spain (Campoo, Cantabria) (Manuel Pardo de Santayana, Elia San Miguel, and Ramón Morales)
  • Introduction
  • Changes in Food and Health Habits and Conditions
  • Medicinal Food: Digestive Beverages
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 6. "The Forest and the Seaweed": Gitga’at Seaweed, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Community Survival (Nancy J. Turner and Helen Clifton)
  • Introduction
  • Seaweed Use Worldwide
  • Gitga’at Seaweed Use
  • The Forest and the Seaweed
  • Back Home in Hartley Bay
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7. Medicinal Herb Quality in the United States: Bridging Perspectives with Chinese Medical Theory (Craig A. Hassel, Christopher A. Hafner, Renne Soberg, and Jeff Adelmann)
  • Context from a Biomedical Perspective
  • Context from a Chinese Medical Theory Perspective
  • Dilemma of "Integrating" Two Divergent Epistemologies
  • Founding a Medicinal Herb Network
  • Chapter 8. Balancing the System: Humoral Medicine and Food in the Commonwealth of Dominica (Marsha B. Quinlan and Robert J. Quinlan)
  • Introduction
  • Setting
  • Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 9. Medicinal Foods in Cuba: Promoting Health in the Household (Gabriele Volpato and Daimy Godinez)
  • Introduction
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 10. Healthy Fish: Medicinal and Recommended Species in the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest Coast (Brazil) (Alpina Begossi, Natalia Hanazaki, and Rossano M. Ramos)
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Chapter 11. Edible and Healing Plants in the Ethnobotany of Native Inhabitants of the Amazon and Atlantic Forest Areas of Brazil (Natalia Hanazaki, Nivaldo Peroni, and Alpina Begossi)
  • Introduction
  • Study Site and Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix
  • Chapter 12. Food Medicines in the Bolivian Andes (Apillapampa, Cochabamba Department) (Ina Vandebroek and Sabino Sanca)
  • Introduction
  • Study Area
  • Ethnographic Data
  • Methodology
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 13. Gathering of Wild Plant Foods with Medicinal Use in a Mapuche Community of Northwest Patagonia (Ana H. Ladio)
  • Introduction
  • Study Area
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Chapter 14. Dietary and Medicinal Use of Traditional Herbs Among the Luo of Western Kenya (Charles Ogoye-Ndegwa and Jens Aagaard-Hansen)
  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 15. Ethnomycology in Africa, with Particular Reference to the Rain Forest Zone of South Cameroon (Thomas W. Kuyper)
  • Introduction
  • Mycophilia versus Mycophobia
  • Overview of Mushroom Use in Africa
  • Mushroom Knowledge and Utilization by Bantu and Bagyeli in South Cameroon
  • Mushrooms: Meat of the Poor
  • Chapter 16. Aspects of Food Medicine and Ethnopharmacology in Morocco (Mohamed Eddouks)
  • Introduction
  • Food Medicine
  • Phytotherapy
  • Conclusions
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

What People are Saying About This

Nina L. Etkin PhD

Nina L. Etkin, PhD, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaii
THIS IMPORTANT VOLUME showcases the convergence of medicinal and culinary practices. Scholars as well as popular consumers of food knowledge will be nourished by the insights they gain from this book. Its publication coincides with a growing interest in the West regarding the healthful qualities of foods, among both the scientific and lay communities. The research findings of the contributors represent various disciplinary perspectives and illustrate the rich diversity of cultural constructions and social negotiations of foods and medicines in traditional populations from all continents. Several contributors cast their work in the frame of ethnopharmacology by linking medical ethnography to the biology of therapeutic action. Others emphasize the importance of wild food sin traditional pharmacopoeias and diets, and link the erosion of that knowledge to problems of diminished biodiversity in the modern era. A minor but important theme illustrates the gendered nature of botanical knowledge as reflected in asymmetrical use patterns of certain plants. Issues of globalization are apparent as well in discussions of sourcing for the contemporary, primarily Western, nutraceutical and herbal products industry.

Timothy Johns PhD

Timothy Johns, PhD, Professor of Human Nutrition, McGill University
In drawing on current research and methodologies at the interface between the biological and social sciences, THE AUTHORS OFFER EXCITING NEW INSIGHTS into an under-explored theme in the ethnobotanical literature, and provide a timely focus of theoretical and practical importance linking human health the conservation and use of biodiversity. The fact that traditional systems, once lost, are hard to recreate underlines the imperative for the kind of documentation, compilation, and dissemination of eroding knowledge of biocultural diversity represented by this book.

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