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Nutritional ethnomedicine in Fiji [microform]
Bib ID 3287378
Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook
Author
Weiner, Michael Alan
 
Description 191 p. 
Summary

By isolating various elements of several disciplines--notably medical anthropology, ethnobotany, nutrition and epidemiology--an interdisciplinary approach to nutritional ethnomedicine in the Fiji Islands has been constructed. Beginning with an overview of the physical characteristics of Oceania, especially the geography of island types as they affect ethnobotanical practices, the work proceeds through an overview of the people and their health including vital statistics. Food and nutrition as health-related phenomena are next presented, including a description of a current research project into the causes of infant malnutrition. Infectious diseases, cases and deaths, for the years 1972 through 1975 are presented in tabular form.

Since the "tools" used to gather and order much of these data are largely anthropological, a review of the literature in cognitive anthropology is included, followed by a lexicon of Fijian disease terms including names of islands where local names were recorded. To attempt an understanding of the genesis of herbal remedies in Fiji the materia medica of a celebrated practitioner, including an edited transcript of field interviews, follows. The next section consists of a detailed socio-botanic essay on the single most important plant species from a cultural perspective, kavakava or yangona (Piper methysticum). A chapter on nutritional considerations in the islands is further subdivided into (A) an appraisal of the vitamin and mineral content of edible leaves, (B) a speculative review of the possible relationship between cyanogenetic glycosides and neurological disorders, and (C) the agricultural considerations of a hypothetical migrant Melanesian people.

Finally, the medicinal applications of 188 plant species are enumerated. Included are the plant parts used, Fijian names, the illnesses, and the preparations of the remedies.

Notes

(UnM)AAI8111883

Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 41-12, Section: B, page: 4468.

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Berkeley, 1978.

Reproduction Microfiche. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International. 
Subjects Health Sciences, Nutrition.
Other authors/contributors University of California, Berkeley

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