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Published on May 16, 2012
Video 28 in the Introduction to Ethnobotany series. Presented by Will McClatchey.
Medicinal traditions involving usage of plants may not recognize the plants as having specific powers to heal. When pharmacological actions are recognized, they may still be secondary to spiritual, social, dietary, and other experiential actions carried out by healers, patients, and others involved. Polynesian herbalists represent the most culturally conservative elements of their societies. They are most likely to be bastions of traditional knowledge of many kinds including plant based remedies. A hallmark of Polynesian herbalists is their genuine concern for other people and their willingness to share and give of all that they have. This episode presents observations about Polynesian herbal healers from the Island of Rotuma where traditional practices persist as the dominant form of healthcare.