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African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines
African Ethnomedicines Network
ISSN: 0189-6016
Vol. 8, No. 5s, 2011, pp. 13-26
Bioline Code: tc11065
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, Vol. 8, No. 5s, 2011, pp. 13-26

 en Dereplications can Amplify the Extent and Worth of Traditional Pharmacopeias
Elvin-Lewis, Memory


As aculturization and globalization continues, there is an urgent need to carefully record and delineate traditional pharmacopeias so that their true worth is understood and protected and any possible benefits related to their commercial development are equitably distributed. In the past most of these endeavors resulted in a list of plants with their associated uses without providing further explanations as to the extent of this knowledge within the traditional group, or if this knowledge was known elsewhere. This practice tended to generate the notion of finite exclusivity without providing proof that this was actually the case. Moreover, since the talents and methods of those conducting these initial studies varied widely, little effort was made to provide adequate information on how selective processes and preferences as well as modes of collection, preparation and use were achieved. Without these data, the potential of their clinical worth, bioreactive capacities or chemical compositions were often compromised. This frequently led to expending much time, effort and treasure on a pharmacopeia’s evaluation without guidance on how these efforts could be optimized to achieve its best possible medicinal potential. This paper will review how types of dereplications and other techniques are helpful in amplifying this process.

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