Ethnobotanical Treasures of the Dominican Republic

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.

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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About Alun Salt

When he's not the web developer for AoB Blog, Alun Salt researches something that could be mistaken for the archaeology of science. His current research is about whether there's such a thing as scientific heritage and if there is how would you recognise it?