Fertility and fontanels : women’s knowledge of medicinal plants for reproductive health and childcare in western Africa

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Fertility and fontanels : women’s knowledge of medicinal plants for reproductive health and childcare in western Africa

Title: Fertility and fontanels : women’s knowledge of medicinal plants for reproductive health and childcare in western Africa
Author: Towns, Alexandra Maria
Publisher: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Sector Botany, Faculty of Science, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2014-09-30
Keywords: Conservation
Herbal medicine
NTFPs
Gynecology
Infants
Folk illnesses
Informal economy
Abstract: Women’s knowledge of medicinal plants has largely been understudied in the field of ethnobotany. In addition to this gender bias, most ethnobotanical research has focused on the expert knowledge of traditional healers, overlooking the domestic knowledge of women. This is a particular concern for African women’s knowledge of reproductive health and childcare, since gynecological morbidity and infant mortality are among the most severe health problems in African countries. This dissertation sought to unravel the relationship between women and plants by assessing women’s medicinal plant knowledge and plant use practices for reproductive health and childcare in Bénin, West Africa and Gabon, Central Africa. Through the use of ethnobotanical questionnaires, botanical specimen collection, and herbal market surveys this study assesses (1) which types of vegetation women harvest for medicinal plants, (2) how closely women’s health perspectives, plant knowledge, and plant use practices reflect the statistical causes of maternal mortality (3) which infant illnesses mothers know how to treat with medicinal plants and for which illnesses they seek biomedical care or traditional healers, and (4) which species, volume, and value of medicinal plant products are sold on herbal markets in Gabon
Description: Promotor: E.F. Smets, Co-promotor: T.R. van Andel
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
Citation: Towns, A.M., 2014, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
ISBN: 9789090284934
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/28942
 

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