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Ethnobotany is the study of how indigenous (native) plants are used by people of a specific culture and area. Meat, medicine, shelter, dyes, fibers, oils, resins, gums, soaps, waxes, latex, tannins are produced by plants and they also contribute to the air we breathe. Plants are still used by many indigenous people in ceremonial or spiritual practices. Studying ethnobotany is a difficult field to deal with because of the multidisciplinary nature of the domain and the historical-cultural aspect. When it comes to writing assignments, students most likely seek professional assistance. They surf online for reliable ethnobotany homework help in the USA and sometimes are scammed. Therefore, My Assignment Services is here to provide you with the best experts to assist you and provide you with ethnobotany homework help online. 

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All You Need To Know About Ethnobotany As A Discipline 

Ethnobotany is the study of human-plant interactions, although the current use of the term means the study of indigenous or traditional plant knowledge. Indigenous knowledge of the classification, cultivation, and use of plants as food, medicine, and shelter is included. While plants used in cultures other than their own were studied by most early ethnobotanists, the term ethnobotany does not generally mean the study of how 'other' individuals use plants. It is also not limited to indigenous communities studying medicinal plants. In-plant selection, the use of ethnobotany implies thorough documentation of the relationship between indigenous peoples and plants. It is a very complex undertaking, frequently involving specialists from different fields, such as anthropology, botany, ecology, pharmacy, linguistics, medicine and ethnography, to work together. Ethnobotany has now arisen as a discipline that explores all forms of human-plant interactions on its own.

History 

For their primary needs and survival, humans have relied on plants since our earliest beginnings. Over time, the plants that were helpful were studied and continued to be used by individuals and cultures. Our cultures have evolved from generation to generation by passing on ever more nuanced knowledge of plants and their usefulness. To explore human life on earth, the role of plants in historical and current cultures needs to be understood.

Modern Ethnobotany

Starting in the twentieth century, the field of ethnobotany underwent a transition from raw data collection to more methodological and conceptual reorientation. Nowadays, the discipline of ethnobotany includes a range of skills: 

  • Botanical instruction in the identification and conservation of plant specimens

Anthropological training to understand cultural values relevant to the understanding of plants 

  • Language instruction to transcribe local words and understand native morphology, syntax and semantics. 

Ethnobotanists participate in a wide variety of research questions and activities that do not lend themselves to simple categorization. However, the following headings are intended to identify some of the main areas of modern research.

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What Does Ethnobotanists Examine And The Methods Used By Them

Ethnobotany is not simply the study of the human "use" of plants; rather, in specific cultures, ethnobotany locates plants within their cultural context and positions people within their ecological contexts.

 Ethnobotanists examine the following:

  • The culturally specific ways in which humans interpret and identify various plant types 
  • People do things with plant species, such as killing "weeds" or "domesticating" and planting unique food and medicinal plant forms. 
  • The manners in which different representatives of the world of plants affect human cultures.

The Methods Used By Ethnobotanists To Investigate Are As Follows:

Ethnobotany is an integrated, multidisciplinary field of learning. The methods of ethnobotanical investigations are many: botany, taxonomy, anthropology, pharmacy, ethnography, mycology, comparative mythology, religious studies, chemistry, archaeology, pharmacology (uses and effects of chemicals in plants), and more. Some of the psychoactive species and their lore take us deep into the realms of ritual, mythology and cosmology. Often, in the ethnobotanical study, scholars call upon ancient history, or colonial socio-economic history, or even explore the origins of our current social movements. Field ethnobotany is the observation of human-plant relationship in areas where it is visible and can be observed and/or recorded in stories and photographs.

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Wondering How Does Learning Ethnobotany Will Help The Scholars? Know The Answer

Studying ethnobotany will result in a greater understanding of human reliance on plants. The cultural factor associated with the use of plants and the methods used to conserve the environment. The following are the learning outcomes that students can achieve from studying ethnobotany:

  • Students will be able to compare and distinguish the cultural values associated with plants in terms of medicinal properties, shelter, clothes, etc. 
  • Cultural assessment of plants 
  • The importance of cultural activities for the protection and conservation of these resources and ecosystems 
  • Learn about the major human use of plants

Three Important Applications Arise From The Changing Position Of Ethnobotany

Three important applications arise from the changing position of ethnobotany. 

  • To use ethnobotany as a way of understanding the important role of culture as a conveyor of relevant experience (Ford, 1978). Direct reliance on natural systems and conventional medicines is still a way of life for a large part of the world's population.
  • Indigenous approaches to ecosystem management focused on a thorough knowledge of plant uses and biology, may provide invaluable long-term sustainable use models (Redford and Padoch, 1992). 
  • Conventional resource management, established in this cultural context, reinforces a complex structure that retains and exploits biological diversity (Alcorn, 1994).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the importance of ethnobotany?

The analysis of ethnobotany is of considerable significance for the support it provides to a real understanding of the interrelationships of all the different characteristics and of a people's entire material and intellectual community.

  • Are botanists in demand?

In the future, the requirement for botanists and others educated in botany will keep increasing. The title of a recent Nature news report was, "U.S. universities find that competition for botanists outstrips supply." Botanists are now being pursued by companies, manufacturing, and research centers.

  • Is Botany a hard major?

Botany is an interesting topic and depends, like any other topic, on whether or not you are really interested in the topic, whether it is challenging (hard) or not to understand. Since it's a topic that I'm involved in, it seems to be very easy for me to understand.

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