According to a recent study on modernization, medicinal plants may become a key to know different cultures. It can turn out to be a way to understand and transfer cultural knowledge. Nature Plants journal published the scientific article, explaining the study, in its October issue.
A postdoctoral fellow, Irene Teixidor-Toneu, at University of Oslo, Norway analyzed trends of natural remedies and usage of herbal plants. She is an ethnobotanist, who researched for about a year in Moroccan High Atlas on the usage of medicinal plants by people in Amazigh villages. She observed natural remedies utilized by people, coupled with modernization and its effect on the usage of plants.
The usage pattern of these plants is changing, concludes Irene in her study. This is due to the changing preference of people to use doctor prescribed medicines. Moreover, traditional beliefs and knowledge with respect to usage of plants still continues, despite the change in tradition over time.
The study included the preference between traditional medicine and modern medicine. Further, some more topics in Ph.D. dissertation were:
Selection of certain plants for remedial purpose,
Their usage, and
Variation in usage with time.
Phytochemicals become the other Significant Reason to Use Plants
The major reason behind using plants is their content of phytochemicals. These compounds help fight predators, competitors, and pathogens. Moreover, phytochemicals have medicinal effects as well.
The study also involves the lore and faith aspect. It says, a research regarding plant conservation and diversity needs to include its influence on humans. Besides, the research also discusses the process of fumigation. It involves burning and making of smoke from plants. This is used as medicinal or traditional purpose, both. The usage is plants is not just limited to spice, medicine, or food. It also includes usage in making utensils and furniture, dyeing of fabrics, and so on.