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/eth·no·bot·a·ny/ (-bot´ah-ne) the systematic study of the interactions between a culture and the plants in its environment, particularly the knowledge about and use of such plants.


Herbal medicine
The field of alternative healthcare that formally studies the relationship between plants and a population, in particular the medicinal use of plants by an ethnic group. The ethonobotanical approach to drug discovery is more efficient than random searches for plant-derived agents of therapeutic interest; drugs so discovered include aspirin (Filipendula ulmaria), codeine (Papaver somniferum), ipecac (Psychotria ipecacuanha), pilocarpine (Pilocarpus jaborandi), reserpin (Rauvolfia serpentina), theophylline (Camelia sinensis) and vinblastine (Cantharanthus roseus).


(ethnō-botă-nē )
A study of the role of plants in the life of early humankind.

ethnobotany (ethˈ·nō·bˑ·t·nē),

n study of how societies perceive and categorize plants and use them for food, medicine, and ritual.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Many companies hire ethnobotanists to help initiate and coordinate the search for new products.
Tales of Shaman's Apprentice: an ethnobotanist searches for new medicines in the Amazon rain forest.
Contrary to most current and recent ethnobotanists such as Balick, Cox, Schultes, and others, who take a Eurocentric view and therefore define ethnobotany as plant uses by "traditional" peoples (read "primitive"), Austin includes uses by all local peoples including Europeans.
The fact that Shaman Pharmaceuticals failed as a company, however, has not dampened the enthusiasm of ethnobotanists who believe that somewhere in the plant world there are dozens, if not hundreds of major plant medicines waiting to be found.
As a result of this research, ethnobotanists have recently found treatments for Hodgkin's disease and childhood leukaemia lurking in the chemistry of the rosy periwinkle, a small forest-floor plant from Madagascar.
Unlike many well-known ethnobotanists who evolved into de-facto ethnobotanists while doing fieldwork, Hinojosa set out to be an ethnobotanist while studying at the Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz.
100), according to which scientists from transnational drug companies, inspired by the earlier work of ethnobotanists, are allowed to search indigenous space on public land for medical compounds in exchange for compensation paid to local governments.
This is what ethnobotanists do: We dream of eating our way through one ripened, locally abundant morsel after another.
Ethnobotanists studying indigenous usage of plants promote the value of exploring and preserving indigenous knowledge of natural resources--medicinal plants, in particular--and hope to utilize them in scientific communities.
Since about half of the 25 top-selling prescription drugs in the United States derive from natural sources, ethnobotanists can be vital conduits of information.
To really examine the use, mis-use, and/or conservation of plant resources by indigenous populations, ethnobotanists need to broaden the focus of the questions they are asking (e.
He worked with local anthropologists and ethnobotanists to plant 250,000 seedlings that have grown into a cash crop for the tribe.