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**Historical Development of Ethnobotany:**
Ethnobotany first proposed by John William Harshberger
– Richard Evans Schultes popularized ethnobotany in the Amazon
– Greek physician Dioscorides wrote extensively on plants in the 1st century AD
– European botanical knowledge expanded after the discovery of the New World
– French explorer Jacques Cartier learned scurvy cure from the Iroquois tribe
– Ethnobotanical studies linked with monasticism in the medieval period
– Carl Linnaeus conducted research on ethnological plant usage with the Sami people
– Major botanical gardens like Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, started
– Expeditions undertaken with colonial aims like Lewis and Clarke

**Applications and Developments in Modern Ethnobotany:**
– German physician Leopold Glück studied traditional plant uses in Bosnia
– Scholars like Matilda Stevenson and Frank Cushing analyzed indigenous plant uses
– Collaboration between botanists and anthropologists improved in the early 20th century
– Shift towards methodological and conceptual reorientation in ethnobotany in the 20th century
Ethnobotany now requires botanical, anthropological, and linguistic skills
– Researcher Cassandra Quave at Emory University exploring ethnobotany

**Insights and Challenges in Ethnobotany:**
– Native healers reluctant to share knowledge with outsiders
– Schultes apprenticed himself to an Amazonian shaman for in-depth knowledge
– Traditional healers hold sophisticated perspectives on plant medicines
– Understanding cosmological beliefs behind herbal medicines in traditional cultures
– Gender biases exist in ethnobotany
– Anthropologists consulting primarily with men can lead to erroneous conclusions
– Ownership of a resource does not always mean familiarity with it
– Ethical concerns arise when interacting with indigenous populations

**Ethical Considerations and Guidelines in Ethnobotany:**
– International Society of Ethnobiology has a code of ethics
– The ISE Code of Ethics guides researchers in their work
– Importance of considering cultural and ecological variation in research
– The need for a brighter future in addressing gender bias in ethnobotany

**External Resources and Links:**
– Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ethnobotany
– Information on one of the first ethnobotanical mitigation projects in the USA
– BBC 2 program ‘Grow Your Own Drugs’ by ethnobotanist James Wong
– Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases available
– Websites providing information on ethnobotany and plants

Ethnobotany (Wikipedia)

Ethnobotany is the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. An ethnobotanist thus strives to document the local customs involving the practical uses of local flora for many aspects of life, such as plants as medicines, foods, intoxicants and clothing. Richard Evans Schultes, often referred to as the "father of ethnobotany", explained the discipline in this way:

The ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes at work in the Amazon (~1940s)

Ethnobotany simply means investigating plants used by primitive societies in various parts of the world.

Since the time of Schultes, the field of ethnobotany has grown from simply acquiring ethnobotanical knowledge to that of applying it to a modern society, primarily in the form of pharmaceuticals. Intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing arrangements are important issues in ethnobotany.

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