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Ethnomedicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for reproductive problems

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Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine

BioMed Central

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      Abstract

      Background

      Throughout history women have tried to control or enhance their fertility using herbal remedies, with various levels of societal support. Caribbean folk medicine has been influenced by European folk medicine, either through the early Spanish and French settlers or through the continuous immigration of Spanish-speaking peoples from Venezuela. Some folk uses are ancient and were documented by Galen and Pliny the Elder.

      Methods

      Thirty respondents, ten of whom were male were interviewed from September 1996 to September 2000. The respondents were obtained by snowball sampling, and were found in thirteen different sites, 12 in Trinidad (Paramin, Talparo, Sangre Grande, Mayaro, Carapichaima, Kernahan, Newlands, Todd's Road, Arima, Guayaguayare, Santa Cruz, Port of Spain and Siparia) and one in Tobago (Mason Hall). Snowball sampling was used because there was no other means of identifying respondents and to cover the entire islands. The validation of the remedies was conducted with a non-experimental method.

      Results

      Plants are used for specific problems of both genders. Clusea rosea, Urena sinuata and Catharanthus roseus are used for unspecified male problems. Richeria grandis and Parinari campestris are used for erectile dysfunction.

      Ageratum conyzoides, Scoparia dulcis, Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Gomphrena globosa and Justicia pectoralis are used for prostate problems.

      The following plants are used for childbirth and infertility: Mimosa pudica, Ruta graveolens,

      Abelmoschus moschatus, Chamaesyce hirta, Cola nitida, Ambrosia cumanenesis, Pilea microphylla, Eryngium foetidum, Aristolochia rugosa, Aristolochia trilobata, Coleus aromaticus, Laportea aestuans and Vetiveria zizanioides.

      The following plants are used for menstrual pain and unspecified female complaints:

      Achyranthes indica, Artemisia absinthium, Brownea latifolia, Eleutherine bulbosa, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Eupatorium macrophyllum, Justicia secunda, Parthenium hysterophorus, Wedelia trilobata, Abelmoschus moschatus, Capraria biflora, Cordia curassavica, Croton gossypifolius, Entada polystachya, Leonotis nepetaefolia, Eryngium foetidum, Aristolochia rugosa, Aristolochia trilobata and Ambrosia cumanenesis.

      Conclusion

      Native Caribbean plants have been less studied that those from Africa, India and Europe. Chamaesyce hirta has scientific support but as a diuretic. Other plants with level 3 validity for reproductive issues are: Achyranthes indica, Coleus aromaticus, Hibiscus rosa-sinesis, Parthenium hysterophorus and Ruta graveolens. The non-experimental validation method can be used to advise the public on which plants are safe, effective and useful, and which are not; pending clinical trials. This is especially important since so few clinical trials are conducted on Caribbean plants.

      Related collections

      Most cited references 88

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      WHO analysis of causes of maternal death: a systematic review.

      The reduction of maternal deaths is a key international development goal. Evidence-based health policies and programmes aiming to reduce maternal deaths need reliable and valid information. We undertook a systematic review to determine the distribution of causes of maternal deaths. We selected datasets using prespecified criteria, and recorded dataset characteristics, methodological features, and causes of maternal deaths. All analyses were restricted to datasets representative of populations. We analysed joint causes of maternal deaths from datasets reporting at least four major causes (haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, sepsis, abortion, obstructed labour, ectopic pregnancy, embolism). We examined datasets reporting individual causes of death to investigate the heterogeneity due to methodological features and geographical region and the contribution of haemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, abortion, and sepsis as causes of maternal death at the country level. 34 datasets (35,197 maternal deaths) were included in the primary analysis. We recorded wide regional variation in the causes of maternal deaths. Haemorrhage was the leading cause of death in Africa (point estimate 33.9%, range 13.3-43.6; eight datasets, 4508 deaths) and in Asia (30.8%, 5.9-48.5; 11,16 089). In Latin America and the Caribbean, hypertensive disorders were responsible for the most deaths (25.7%, 7.9-52.4; ten, 11,777). Abortion deaths were the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean (12%), which can be as high as 30% of all deaths in some countries in this region. Deaths due to sepsis were higher in Africa (odds ratio 2.71), Asia (1.91), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2.06) than in developed countries. Haemorrhage and hypertensive disorders are major contributors to maternal deaths in developing countries. These data should inform evidence-based reproductive health-care policies and programmes at regional and national levels. Capacity-strengthening efforts to improve the quality of burden-of-disease studies will further validate future estimates.
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        Herbal mixtures in the traditional medicine of eastern Cuba.

        Herbal mixtures in the traditional medicine of Eastern Cuba. Traditional herbal mixtures in Eastern Cuba are investigated through interviews with 130 knowledgeable people and traditional healers of the provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo. One hundred seventy plant species and other products are used in 199 formulas, galones being the more complex. Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae), Bidens pilosa L. (Asteraceae), Cissus sicyoides L. (Vitaceae), Erythroxylum havanense Jacq. (Erythroxylaceae) and Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl. (Verbenaceae) are the species most frequently cited. The ecological distribution of the taxa and cultural and anthropological aspects of mixtures are highlighted; particularly American and African influences that have shaped local knowledge about plant combinations are discussed.
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          Medicinal plants: historical and cross-cultural usage patterns.

          An attempt is made to review the prevalence of medicinal herb use in different societies and the various lines of evidence for its effectiveness for particular health needs and the alleviation of disease conditions. Published scientifically collected data and anecdotal reports representing numerous populations are compiled and evaluated. Original research findings from Caribbean, American, and Caribbean-American samples are included in the comparisons. Medicinal plant products have been successfully administered both externally and internally in several different forms for a wide range of health problems cross-culturally since prehistoric times. Certain toxic effects and contraindications have also been recorded. Many botanical medications contain curative bioactive chemical ingredients which have proven to be valuable as primary or supplemental therapies when carefully applied. Further research will ultimately clarify their appropriate roles in the treatment of diseases and injuries as well as in preventive health maintenance.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]BCICS, University of Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 2Y2, Canada
            Contributors
            Journal
            J Ethnobiol Ethnomedicine
            Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
            BioMed Central (London )
            1746-4269
            2007
            15 March 2007
            : 3
            : 13
            1838898
            1746-4269-3-13
            17362507
            10.1186/1746-4269-3-13
            Copyright © 2007 Lans; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Research

            Medicine

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