Native plants and medicinal use

Discussion in 'Plants: Science and Cultivation' started by kelpin, May 16, 2009.

  1. kelpin

    kelpin Member

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    I would like to plant a native garden in my area (North shore up the mountain). I would to focus on plants that were used by First Nations people for medicinal purposes. Does anyone know of a great resource book or website that I can use for my research?
    thanks
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You'd do better to go to your local band council and ask them to connect you with an elder....
     
  3. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest you walk up Brothers Loop Trail, atop the Poperties above Millstream and view the vegetation 1.5 hours hike.......also consider a xeriscape feature for zero maintenance....
     
  4. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Pojar and MacKinnon's "Plants of Coastal BC" has a fair bit of ethnobotanical info, and any work by Dr. Nancy Turner at UVic will provide you with ample information. You could approach the local band council, but might not get far: plants, preparations and locations are proprietary information, and often the information presented in ethnobotanical accounts is the result of the prior establishment of relationships of trust between the researcher and the community; we're talking intellectual property, after all, and a history of outside interests exploiting these knowledge bases makes folks cautious. Try typing "Salish ethnobotany" into google, or "Capilano ethnobotany" or alternately "Squamish ethnobotany'....between these sources, you should find what you need.
     
  5. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Really, Schmoe? I've always found that the elders are very willing to pass the knowledge along; especially to somebody interested in growing the plants and preserving the heritage (and ignoring ethnicity; I have Crow and Woodland Cree friends who I met by asking questions about medicinal plants.)
     
  6. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I think it's often as you describe Lorax; not enough people pay dues to their expert knowledge of the local, it's laudable to seek it, and it's often shared. However, I think you'll find the average response to an outsider request to a local band office to speak with an elder will most often be politely deferred; there are, after all, legitimate concerns about how the knowledge will be used, and the abundance of current publications on the ethnobotany of SW B.C. already presents much of what various elders have seen fit to share. I agree, however, that a common interest in plants can bridge some fairly large divides, and asking someone who's in the know is never a bad idea.
     
  7. kelpin

    kelpin Member

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    thank you for all of these great suggestions. Looking forward to learning more about these special plants
    kelpin
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Old thread, but I was away when it was posted:

    Moerman's Native American Ethnobotany is an excellent reference -- plants are cross-referenced by function and nation (see the media reviews on that link).

    There's a copy of it available for browsing in the garden's reading room. The room is available for your use during office hours.
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I had no idea. Is that the library in the main office building?
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, that's the one.
     

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