Contemporary American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIs/ANs) who live in urban areas today face the daunting task of navigating an urban landscape while maintaining the facets of their respective Native cultures. While AIs/ANs continue to grapple with the intergenerational trauma associated with forced assimilation, relocation movements, and boarding schools, these traumas have manifested themselves in elevated rates of psychopathology. AIs/ANs have elevated rates of domestic abuse, poverty, suicide, and substance misuse. Furthermore, AIs/ANs, like many other minority cultures often face discrimination in their everyday lives. In light of the aversive experiences they face, AI/AN people have followed the tenets of ritual and traditional healing to address imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit. For providers working with AI/AN clients, it is important to understand who is using traditional healing and why they are using alternative services. Secondary data analyses of survey data from 389 urban AIs/ANs were utilized in order to determine the relationship between experiences of discrimination and traditional healing use. Analyses indicated that experiences of discrimination in healthcare settings were significantly associated with participation in traditional healing. Analyses also indicated that nearly a quarter of the sample reported discrimination in a healthcare setting, roughly half of the sample had used traditional healing, and that the majority of those who had used traditional healing were women, and ages 35-44 (27%). This study calls attention to the socio-demographic factors implicated in traditional healing use by urban AI/AN people, in addition to the clinical and demographic characteristics of this sample.
Researchers examining the relationships between traditional medicine and biomedicine have observed two conflicting tendencies. Some suggest that the use of biomedicine and biomedical concepts displaces the use of traditional medicine and medical beliefs. Other scholars have found that traditional medicine and biomedicine can co-exist, complement, and blend with each other. In this paper we use an econometric model and quantitative data to test the association between individual knowledge of pharmaceuticals and individual knowledge of medicinal plants. We use data from a survey among 136 household heads living in a rural indigenous community in Oaxaca, Mexico. Data were collected as a part of long term fieldwork conducted between April 2005 and August 2006 and between December 2006 and April 2007. We found a significant positive association between an individual's knowledge of medicinal plants and the same individual's knowledge of pharmaceuticals, as well as between her use of medicinal plants and her use of pharmaceuticals. We also found a negative association between the use of medicinal plants and schooling. Our results suggest that, in the study site, individual knowledge of medicinal plants and individual knowledge of pharmaceuticals co-exist in a way which might be interpreted as complementary. We conclude that social organization involved in the use of medicines from both traditional medicine and biomedicine is of particular significance, as our findings suggest that the use of pharmaceuticals alone is not associated with a decline in knowledge/use of medicinal plants.
A large number of people in both developing and developed countries rely on medicinal plant products to maintain their health or treat illnesses. Available evidence suggests that medicinal plant consumption will remain stable or increase in the short to medium term. Knowledge on what factors determine medicinal plant consumption is, however, scattered across many disciplines, impeding, for example, systematic consideration of plant-based traditional medicine in national health care systems. The aim of the paper is to develop a conceptual framework for understanding medicinal plant consumption dynamics. Consumption is employed in the economic sense: use of medicinal plants by consumers or in the production of other goods.
PubMed and Web of Knowledge (formerly Web of Science) were searched using a set of medicinal plant key terms (folk/peasant/rural/traditional/ethno/indigenous/CAM/herbal/botanical/phytotherapy); each search terms was combined with terms related to medicinal plant consumption dynamics (medicinal plants/health care/preference/trade/treatment seeking behavior/domestication/sustainability/conservation/urban/migration/climate change/policy/production systems). To eliminate studies not directly focused on medicinal plant consumption, searches were limited by a number of terms (chemistry/clinical/in vitro/antibacterial/dose/molecular/trial/efficacy/antimicrobial/alkaloid/bioactive/inhibit/antibody/purification/antioxidant/DNA/rat/aqueous). A total of 1940 references were identified; manual screening for relevance reduced this to 645 relevant documents. As the conceptual framework emerged inductively, additional targeted literature searches were undertaken on specific factors and link, bringing the final number of references to 737.
The paper first defines the four main groups of medicinal plant users (1. Hunter-gatherers, 2. Farmers and pastoralists, 3. Urban and peri-urban people, 4. Entrepreneurs) and the three main types of benefits (consumer, producer, society-wide) derived from medicinal plants usage. Then a single unified conceptual framework for understanding the factors influencing medicinal plant consumption in the economic sense is proposed; the framework distinguishes four spatial levels of analysis (international, national, local, household) and identifies and describes 15 factors and their relationships.
The framework provides a basis for increasing our conceptual understanding of medicinal plant consumption dynamics, allows a positioning of existing studies, and can serve to guide future research in the area. This would inform the formation of future health and natural resource management policies.
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Indigenous elders have traditionally played an important role in maintaining social cohesion within their communities. Today, part of this role has been taken over by government social and healthcare services, but they are having limited success in addressing social challenges. Increasing elders' social participation and intergenerational solidarity might foster community development and benefit young people, families, communities and the elders themselves. However, knowledge of the contribution of elders' social participation and intergenerational solidarity to wellness is scattered and needs to be synthesised. This protocol presents a scoping review on the social participation of indigenous elders, intergenerational solidarity and their influence on individual and community wellness.
This scoping review protocol is based on an innovative methodological framework designed to gather information from the scientific and grey literature and from indigenous sources. It was developed by an interdisciplinary team including indigenous scholars/researchers, knowledge users and key informants. In addition to searching information databases in fields such as public health and indigenous studies, an advisory committee will ensure that information is gathered from grey literature and indigenous sources.
The protocol was approved by the Ethics Review Board of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission.
The comprehensive synthesis of the scientific and grey literature and indigenous sources proposed in this protocol will not only raise awareness within indigenous communities and among healthcare professionals and community organisations, but will also enable decision-makers to better meet the needs of indigenous people.
The innovative methodological framework proposed in this scoping review protocol will yield richer information on the contribution of elders to community wellness. This work is an essential preliminary step towards developing research involving indigenous communities, drawing on the social participation of elders and intergenerational solidarity.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether including traditional healing methods within mental health services is desirable among users of these services in Sámi areas of northern Norway.
A cross-sectional questionnaire based survey among users of the mental health services in Finnmark and Nord-Troms Norway.
The percentages of participants desiring traditional healing modalities within the health services were calculated, and univariate and multivariate analysis were performed with respect to factors associated with a desire for integration.
A total of 186 users responded to the survey, of which 72 reported some degree of Sámi cultural affiliation. Forty-eight had Sámi-speaking grandparents on both sides of the family. The desire for the integration of traditional healing was high among all with a Sámi cultural background. Eighty-one percent of those with Sámi speaking grandparents on both sides of the family desired such an integration. In a regression analysis, both Sámi affiliation and having used traditional healing forms were significantly associated with a desire for the integration of traditional healing within mental health services.
The integration of traditional healing methods within health services has been suggested both by the World Health Organization and is used in some of the services to Indigenous populations in Western countries. This study shows that such integration is desirable among Sámi users of mental health services in Norway.
Studies show that ethnic minorities continue to use their cultural traditional medicines also after migration to the West. Research in this field is necessary, given that little is known about traditional medicines' impact on health-related problems. This study sheds light on the issue through a qualitative study among ethnic Pakistanis residing in Denmark.
The study addresses perception, knowledge and attitudes regarding the use of medicinal plants among Pakistanis living in Copenhagen. We furthermore document and identify the medicinal plants used in households.
Data were collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with sixteen ethnic Pakistanis aged 30-80 years. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed through Emerson's two-phased analysis method. Medicinal plant products in the interviewees' households were collected, photographed, identified and deposited at Museum of Natural Medicine at University of Copenhagen.
A total number of 121 Pakistani traditional medicines were identified, and found to represent both medicinal plants and foods. The average number of quoted Pakistani Traditional Medicines was 18 (N=16). Interviewees independently reported the same traditions for preparation and consumption of Pakistani traditional medicines. Factors that play a role in choosing to use Pakistani traditional medicines are frequent visits to Pakistan, belief in the healing power of totkas (homemade medicinal preparation), religious knowledge and the occurrence of recent illness within the family. Further, the upkeep of traditional use depends on the availability of Pakistani traditional medicines.
The study enhanced understanding of ethnic Pakistanis' perception and continued use of traditional medicines within the household after migration to the West. In the context of Western biomedicine, little is known of the potential toxicity and side-effects of many of the Pakistani traditional medicines found to be used in households in Copenhagen.