Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
of the University of Florida in
Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
AN ANALYSIS OF THE PATAXË PHARMACOPEIA OF BAHIA, BRAZIL, USING AN
OBJECT ORIENTED DATABASE MODEL
Michael B. Thomas
J. Thomas Mullins
Major Department: Botany
|This study describes details of a well-defined healing system
and describes Pataxˇ plant use including scientific name, common
name, plant parts used, and diseases treated. The Pataxˇ pharmacopoeia
comprises at least 92 plants, which are employed to treat a
variety of aliments. Pataxˇ practitioners of traditional medicine
use these plants to heal and promote general health care. Their
curative powers are culturally recognized and therefore they
are regarded as specialists. Four individuals were interviewed
to record their knowledge of medicinal plants presently in use.
These individuals represent a rapidly disappearing tradition,
one which is no longer being passed to the younger generation.
Ninety-two plant species were identified, including 31 respective
ailments, encompassing 49 families of flowering plants. Six
angiosperm families (Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Malvaceae, Leguminosae,
Myrtaceae, and Rutaceae) contributed nearly half the total species.
The ethnobotanical data were recorded using a new database model
that provides a standardized environment for online data submission,
storage, and retrieval. The model is based on object-oriented
database technology. The database can store data, digital images,
sound, video and can be used to model knowledge associated with
plant-based medicine. The model incorporates both linguistic
and semantic elements. Vocabulary terms are mapped to database
objects that represent knowledge in various ethnomedicinal domains.
Examples of several integrated domain models are presented which
combine medical terminology with taxonomic, ecological, and
pharmacological data. The distributed object infrastructure
permits integration with taxonomic databases and includes an
interface capable of supporting existing and emerging data standards.
The model provides a foundation for a globally current dynamic
data resource that encourages comparative ethnomedicinal research
through direct contributions by members of the research community.