Ethnobotanical Treasures of the Dominican Republic

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A quick post to highlight a new video up from Ina Vandebroek of New York Botanical Garden. This is about how a botella, a mix of herbs is made for healthcare. If you don’t speak Spanish there are English captions for the video.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3sC4F8F_II]

One of the things I was thinking as the video went on was that some of these plants could be analysed for their effect. What I hadn’t thought about were the consequences of that. There’s a line in the write up: No scientific plant names were added to protect the Intellectual Property Rights of local communities. It’s a problem that I hadn’t thought of. As an ethnobotanist you’re working to record and possibly protect a community’s use of plants, but that knowledge itself could be used to deprive them.


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Alun is the Producer for Botany One. It's his job to keep the server running. He's not a botanist, but started running into them on a regular basis while working on writing modules for an Interdiscplinary Science course and, later, helping teach mathematics to Biologists. His degrees are in archaeology and ancient history.