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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's


Q. What are some suggested readings or books for students concerning Ethnomedicine?

A. Today, students interested in the subject of Ethnomedicine have a wide variety of literature available to introduce themselves to the subject. In recent years, several well written scientific books and personal accounts have been published by some of the leading researchers in this expanding field of science. These include;

Also visit the Richard Evans Schultes Digital Library

1. Alexiades, Miguel N. 1996. Selected Guidelines for Ethnobotanical Research: A Field Manual. Bronx, N.Y. New York Botanical Garden. 306 pp.  

2. Cotton, C.M. 1996. Ethnobotany: Principles and Applications. John Wiley & Sons. New York. 424 p.  

3. Cox, Paul A. and Balick, Michael J. 1996. Plants, Peoples and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany. Scientific American Library. New York. 228 p.  

4. Kreig, Margaret B. 1964. Green Medicine: The Search for Plants that Heal. New York, Rand McNally. 462 p. (Out-of-print)

5. Martin, Gary J. 1995. Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual. Chapman & Hall. New York. 268 p.  

6. Newall, C.A., Anderson, L.A. and J.D. Phillipson. 1996. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals

7. Schultes, R.E. and Siri von Reis. 1995. Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline. Dioscorides Press. Portland, Oregon. 414 p.  

8. Schultes, R.E. and Albert Hoffmann. 1992. Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers. Healing Arts Press. Rochester, Vermont. 192 p.  

9. Spradley, James P. 1979. The Ethnographic Interview. New York. Holt Rinehart and Winston. 247 p.  

10. Spradley, James P. 1980. Participant Observation. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

11. Lewis, W. H. and P.F. Elvin- Lewis. 1982. Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Man's Health. John Wiley & Sons. 544 p.


Davis, Wade. 1997. One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest. New York: Simon and Schuster. 537 p.  

Joyce, Christopher. 1996. Earthly Goods: Medicine-hunting in the Rainforest. Little, Brown & Company. New York. 304 p.  

Plotkin, Mark. 1993. Tales of a Shaman Apprentice. Viking Press. New York. 318 p.  

Nabhan, Gary Paul. 1985. Gathering the Desert. Tucson. University of Arizona Press.
209 p.  

In addition there are also several magazines such as the American Botanical Council's publication HerbalGram which provides excellent up-to date information on herbal medicine. Scientific journals available include the Journal of Economic Botany published by the Society of Economic Botany, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published by the Society of Ethnopharmacology, the Journal of Ethnobiology published by the Society of Ethnobiology and Curare published by the Society for Ethnomedicine. These journals provide a forum for the presentation of scientific research and as an individual interested in this field you are encouraged to join and participate in the annual meetings.  

For the undergraduate or graduate student serious on pursuing an education and career in ethnomedicine the following publications are considered essential;  

Mabberley, D. J. 1997. The Plant Book. Cambridge University Press. London. 800 p.  

Spradley, James P. 1979. The Ethnographic Interview. New York. Holt Rinehart and Winston. 247 p.  

Martin, Gary J. 1995. Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual. Chapman & Hall. New York.
268 p.

Michael B. Thomas

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Scientific Societies

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Society for Ethnobiology

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Educational Resources

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Medicinal Plants
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Plantas Medicinais

Mayan Ethnomedical Encylopedia

Herbal Remedies

Rainforest Researchers

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