Medicinal plants used by the villagers of a Sundanese community in West Java, Indonesia
Kusharto, Clara M.
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Aim of the study Based on the authors’ fieldwork in a Sundanese village, Indonesia, this paper aimed to elucidate the roles of herbal medicine in treatment of illnesses and to report medicinal plants and their uses, comparing with those mentioned in the encyclopedic book series of Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). Materials and methods Interview survey was conducted for all of the 19 herbalist healers about their therapies for the past 1-month period, and the medicinal plants used were botanically identified. For 70 non-healer households, treatments for all members’ illness episodes in the past 1-month period were asked. Results Medicinal plants were used in two-thirds of illness cases, either through the villagers’ self-treatment (60.9%) or by the healers (6.5%). The healers made 96 therapies for illnesses (classified into 23 categories), using 117 plant species. There were 257 types of illness–plant pairs, and only 114 of them (44.4%) were judged conformed to those mentioned in the PROSEA. Conclusion Sundanese villagers have depended heavily on herbal medicine, and high proportion of non-conformed illness–plant pairs suggests necessity of further studies about Sundanese medicinal plants, particularly their pharmacological effects. Keywords: Traditional medicine; Herbalist healer; Sundanese; West Java; Indonesia
- Faculty of Human Ecology