There is a growing appreciation of traditional medical systems as a source of considerable knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants. Traditional medicines have the potential to offer leads to identifying potentially valuable chemicals that can be developed into new and more effective drugs, including safer contraceptives. The island Pacific is an excellent arena in which to search for such chemicals:
the area contains plant species not found elsewhere
there is every indication that many of the plants used more generally in traditional Pacific medicine may be efficacious – of 74 plants surveyed in one study 86% showed pharmacological activity
in many Pacific traditions, knowledge of medicinal use is transmitted between generations as part of an inherited body of ethnomedical knowledge.
This book documents all the available information on plants that have been used traditionally for anti-fertility and fertility purposes in the Pacific region, and indicates which of these plants hold the most promise for providing new anti-fertility agents. It also records instances in which the plant has been used outside the region.
This is the first such comprehensive study of its kind in the Pacific region and will be of interest to anthropologists, botanists, chemists, family planning researchers and Pacific scholars.
An important reference for bio-prospectors.
“Every page has its gems of information, so leafing through the book is not an onerous task.”
Neil A. Harriman, Biology Department, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Economic Botany 53(2) 1999)