Chewa Medical Botany (Monographs from the International African Institute)

Morris, Brian. 1997. Chewa Medical Botany (Monographs from the International African Institute). Hamburg: Lit Verlag. ISBN 978-3825826376 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Although it rarely receives the attention it deserves from anthropologists, medical herbalism is perhaps the most widespread and most ancient form of therapy. This book describes in detail one such herbalist tradition, that found in southern Malawi. Offering the first comprehensive examination of medical herbalism in Malawi, this study combines anthropological and botanical insights into medical herbalism. The book is divided into two parts: the first outlines the ethnographic context of the herbalist tradition with discussion of Chewa ethnobotany and local classification of plants; the various categories of medicine that are expressed in the local culture; the nature and scope of folk herbalism, its practitioners and its relation to biomedicine, local conceptions of disease; and beliefs relating to witchcraft and divination. The second part, which incorporates the researches of a Malawian chemist, Dr Jerome Msonthis, contains detailed information on over 500 Malawian plants with notes on their local names, distribution, botanical descriptions and various medicinal uses.

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Date Deposited:

22 Jun 2015 14:31

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2017 12:32


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