The present study demonstrates the importance, complexity and variability of plant mixtures in Dominican ethnomedicine. Their form of preparation and plant composition varies according to who prepares them , the geographic location where they are used and the health conditions they are used for, whereby similar combinations of plants are used to treat related conditions. These results provide a better insight into the foundations of a particular ethnomedical system, and demonstrate the usefulness of ethnobotanical data in comparing the local classification of diseases with the biomedical system. Results like these are of high relevance to ethnopharmacological follow-up studies because they can inform those studies that focusing solely on individual plants may have little relevance for those health conditions that are preferentially treated with mixtures by local people.
Other types of traditional Dominican mixtures that combine plants in formulas and recipes of varying complexities have also been reported, including teas, bebedizos and aromatic baths (baños) (Avila Suero, 1988; Brendbekken, 1998; Ososki, 2004). A popular method of preparing a mixture involves boiling plant ingredients together in water (i.e. a decoction), a practice commonly referred to as kehli krumme making a tea . A use report was categorized under “tomar” if no further details were mentioned during interviews. Often this referred to either a tea preparation, a juice or a syrup, which leads to some degree of overlap with other categories. A syrup consists of different leafy and bulbous vegetables or other plants that are sliced and mixed together with lemon/lime juice and/or honey.
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FDA expects removing the contraindication will enable health care professionals and patients to make individual decisions about benefit and risk, especially for those at very high risk of heart attack or stroke. This includes patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and those who have previously had a heart attack or stroke. Rapid progression of kidney disease occurred in just nine percent of patients taking sodium bicarbonate, compared to 45 percent of the other group.
In Puerto Rico, a healer reported a recipe for a botella or galón used to treat “spots on the lungs”. It consisted of the fresh juice of several plants, plant oils, syrup from the pharmacy, honey and alcohol. When considering individual plant species in a mixture, multiple plant parts are used for many species, depending on the health condition being treated, or according to the individual who uses that species. One example is the application of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) oil to treat burns, whereas the milk is taken internally for asthma, kidney problems and common cold.
Table 3 lists the different types of mixtures reported by participants when they described the herbal remedies used for particular health conditions, including the terms that they used for each type of preparation. The table also provides an overview of the relative frequency of these mixtures in use reports. The names either refer to the end-product or the form in which the remedies are administered . Percentage of mixtures in plant use reports according to specific health conditions .
The mode of administration could play a role as well because conditions treated with mixtures are often taken internally, whereas skin conditions and sprains are usually treated with topical administration of single plant remedies. Some of the popular Dominican beliefs we recorded in our study as to why plants are combined in mixtures have been discussed in the literature as well. Other explanations for mixtures found in the literature include balancing the bitter taste of individual plants and reducing the toxicity of certain species (Longuefosse and Nossin, 1996; Brendbekken, 1998; García et al., 2000; Hernández Cano and Volpato, 2004). There exist between-group differences in the clustering of individual conditions within reproductive and genitourinary health.
In spite of the variation in plant knowledge that exists in ethnobotanical data, we found that Dominicans’ ethnoclassification of health conditions based on the use of plant mixtures corresponds fairly well with the biomedical taxonomy of these conditions. Two limitations of the current analysis were that only plants used in mixtures were taken into account and that the analysis was limited to ten health conditions that were frequently treated with mixtures. Including single plant remedies and more health conditions is likely to yield a more comprehensive insight into the “emic” classification of health conditions. Further research has to elucidate the reasons behind the transnational and lay-versus-specialist related differences that were observed in the clustering of health conditions within the category of reproductive and genitourinary health. One of the clusters that groups labor, menstrual problems, infertility, sexually transmitted diseases and vaginal infections closely together may be related to the use of plants with the purpose to “cleanse the blood” , a concept that is popular in Dominican ethnomedicine.
Volpato G, Godinez D, Beyra A, Barreto A. Uses of medicinal plants by Haitian immigrants and their descendants in the Province of Camaguey. Allen R, Cushman LF, Morris S, Feldman J, Wade C, McMahon D, Moses M, Kronenberg F. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among Dominican emergency department patients. This application contains more than 50 medicinal juices to treat various health problems such as (diabetes, hypertension, improving eyesight, memory, fighting the flu, cleaning the kidneys and colon, anemia, acne, anxiety and also to prevent cancer. ).
Hernández Cano and Volpato report on the use of herbal mixtures in Cuba, including botellas more commonly referred to as galones. The authors describe a Cuban botella or galón as a decoction of plant parts often including plant oils, animal products, over-the-counter medicines, or alcohol. Cuban participants interviewed in this study were individuals knowledgeable about plants and most of them were traditional healers.