How far are we? Information from the three decades of ethnomedicinal studies in Thailand
Keywords:Traditional knowledge, ethnobotany, medicinal plants, indigenous people, ethnic groups
Ethnobotany has been an academic discipline for more than a century. In Thailand, it was introduced into academia only 30 years ago, but the study has been carried on extensively. To analyze the number of ethnomedicinal reports based in Thailand and guide the design of future studies. The details include studied villages and ethnic groups from publications appearing during the course of the last 30 years. Ethnomedicinal reports were collected from online databases – Google Scholar, Scopus, PubMed – and university libraries in Thailand. The other literature sources were Thai journals and the website of the Thai Library Integrated System. The period of publications ranges from 1990 to 2019. During this period, a total of 146 publications (student theses, journal articles, scientific reports, and a book) were published from 32 universities and research institutes in Thailand. The publications revealed records of plants used by 223 villages in 25 ethnic groups overall in Thai regions. Although ethnobotany started in Thailand after 70 years of a continuous track record in other parts of the world, the success in Thailand is reflected in the high number of studies and studied villages. However, more studies need to be done in many other villages and ethnic groups in the country before the subject can be considered well broached.
Anderson EF (1986a). Ethnobotany of hill tribes of northern Thailand. I. Medicinal plants of Akha. Economic Botany 40:38-53.
Anderson, E.F., (1986b). Ethnobotany of hill tribes of Northern Thailand. II. Lahu medicinal plants. Economic Botany 40:442-450.
Anderson EF (1993). Plants and people of the Golden Triangle. Ethnobotany of the hill tribes of northern Thailand. Dioscorides Press, Portland.
Bourbonnas-Spear N, Awad R, Maquin P, Cal V, Vindas, PS, Poveda L, Arnason JT (2005) Plant use by the q’eqchi’ maya of belize in ethnopsychiatry and neurological pathology. Economic Botany 59(4): 326-336.
Clément D (1998) The historical foundations of ethnobiology (1860-1899). Journal of Ethnobiology 18(2): 161-187.
Currie TE, Mace R (2012) The evolution of ethnolinguistic diversity. Advances in Complex Systems 15(01n02): 1150006.
Douwes E, Crouch NR, Edwards TJ, Mulholland DA (2008) Regression analyses of southern African ethnomedicinal plants: informing the targeted selection of bioprospecting and pharmacological screening subjects. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 119(3): 356-364.
Fabricant DS, Farnsworth NR (2001). The value of plants used in traditional medicine for drug discovery. Environmental Health Perspectives 109(Suppl 1): 69-75.
Hamilton A, Shengji P, Kessy J, Khan AA, Lagos-Witte S, Shinwari ZK (2003) The purposes and teaching of applied ethnobotany. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Harshberger JW (1896) The purposes of ethno-botany. Botanical gazette 21(3): 146-154.
Hidayati S, Franco FM, Bussman RW (2015) Ready for phase 5 - current state of ethnobiolgoy in Southeast Asia. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 11: 17.
Hunn E (2007) Ethnobiology in four phases. Journal of Ethnobiology 27(1): 1-10
Junsongduang A, Balslev H, Inta A, Jampeetong A, Wangpakapattanawong P (2014) Karen and Lawa medicinal plant use: Uniformity or ethnic divergence? Journal of Ethnopharmacology 151(1): 517-527.
Kew (2017) State of the World's Plants 2017. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London. https://stateoftheworldsplants.com. (Accessed 14-07 2017).
Kurian JC (2012) Ethno-medicinal Plants of India, Thailand and Vietnam. Journal of Biodiversity 3(1): 61-75.
Leonti M, Fernando RR, Sticher O, Heinrich M (2003) Medicinal Flora of the Popoluca, Mexico: A botanical systematical perspective. Economic Botany 57(2): 218-230.
Moerman DE (1996) An analysis of the food plants and drug plants of native North America. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 52(1): 1-22.
Panyadee P, Balslev H, Wangpakapattanawong P, Inta A, (2018) Karen Homegardens: Characteristics, Functions, and Species Diversity. Economic Botany 72(1): 1-19.
Phumthum M, Balslev H (2019) Use of Medicinal Plants Among Thai Ethnic Groups: A Comparison. Economic Botany 73(1): 64-75.
Phumthum M, Balslev H, Barfod AS (2019) Important Medicinal Plant Families in Thailand. Frontiers in Pharmacology 10(1125).
Phumthum M, Srithi K, Inta A, Junsongduang A, Tangjitman K, Pongamornkul W, Trisonthi C, Balslev H (2018) Ethnomedicinal plant diversity in Thailand. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 214: 90-98.
Pooma R, Suddee S (2014) Tem Smitinand’s Thai Plant Names, revised. The Office of the Forest Herbarium, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Bangkok.
Prance GT (1991) What is ethnobotany today? Journal of Ethnopharmacology 32(1): 209-216.
Prance GT (2001) Richard Evans Schultes (12 January 1915–10 April 2001): A tribute. Economic Botany 55(3): 347.
Premsrirat S (2004) Ethnolinguistic maps of Thailand. Ministry of Culture and Mahidol University, Bangkok.
Saslis-Lagoudakis CH, Williamson EM, Savolainen V, Hawkins JA (2011) Cross-cultural comparison of three medicinal floras and implications for bioprospecting strategies. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 135(2): 476-487.
Schippmann U, Leaman DJ, Cunningham A (2002) Impact of cultivation and gathering of medicinal plants on biodiversity: global trends and issues. Biodiversity and the ecosystem approach in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
SDHS (2014) Master plan: Development of ethnic groups in Thailand (2015-2018). Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Bangkok.
Srithi K (2012) Comparative ethnobotany in Nan Province, Thailand. Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai.
Srithi K, Balslev H, Wangpakapattanawong P, Srisanga P, Trisonthi C (2009) Medicinal plant knowledge and its erosion among the Mien (Yao) in northern Thailand. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 123(2): 335-342.
Tangjitman K, Trisonthi C, Wongsawad C, Jitaree S, Svenning J-C (2015) Potential impact of climatic change on medicinal plants used in the Karen women’s health care in northern Thailand. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 37(3): 369-379.
Touwaide A, Pollio A, Aliotta G, Piomelli D, De Santo NG (1997) Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Urogenital Tract Pathologies According to Dioscorides ‘De Materia Medica’. American Journal of Nephrology 17(3-4): 241-247.
Tu Y (2011) The discovery of artemisinin (qinghaosu) and gifts from Chinese medicine. Nature Medicine 17: 1217.
Voeks RA, Leony A (2004) Forgetting the forest: Assessing medicinal plant erosion in Eastern Brazil. Economic Botany 58(1): S294-S306.
WHO (2002) WHO traditional medicine strategy 2002-2005. World Health Organization, Geneva.
Wyndham FS, Lepofsky D, Tiffany S (2011) Taking stock in ethnobiology: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Journal of Ethnobiology 31(1): 110-127, 118.