Medicinal plants in the Dominican Republic and their possible role in public health care
In the Dominican Republic, one can distinguish two medical systems: the formal medical system and the informal medical system. The formal medical system is based on the western conventional medical system. The informal system can also be called the Traditional Dominican Health System (TDHS). This system is based on ancient concepts and practices in the Dominican culture. For the integration of medicinal plants in the official health system and for the development of a national policy on alternative and complementary health practices, there is a necessity to have a broad knowledge of the uses of the medicinal plants within the TDHS. As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), a country with an active traditional health system must formulate a national health care policy, to have a broad knowledge of traditional health practices. However, there has been no extensive, systematic research on the use of medicinal plants in the Dominican Republic. Therefore a project has been formulated for this purpose: National Study of Medicinal Plants in the Dominican Republic. In 2000, together with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), a questionnaire was developed. With the help of students from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña (UNPHU), we have thus far conducted more than 4000 interviews with about 800 individuals in each of the provinces of the Dominican Republic. This presentation will discuss the role that medicinal plants should play in public health policies and will present the first results of the above mentioned National Study.
Roersch, C. (2016). Medicinal plants in the Dominican Republic and their possible role in public health care. Acta Hortic. 1125, 249-254
African heritage, Dominican Republic, Tainos, traditional medicine