Traditional Medicine’s Use of Animal Remedies
NODE SMITH, ND
In an analysis of published research, investigators identified 565 mammalian species that have been used to source products used in traditional medicine around the world, especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The analysis, which is published in Mammal Review, also found that 155 of these mammalian species are considered threatened (vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered), and a further 46 are near threatened.
The findings suggesting that overexploitation for medicinal use could be an overlooked source of threat for mammalian species.
“Our study revealed that an impressive mammalian species richness — 9% of the 6,399 known species — is used in traditional medical systems worldwide. We also highlight that closely related species are used to treat similar diseases,” said lead author Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves, PhD, of the Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, in Brazil. “The widespread utilization of mammals in traditional medicine (including threatened species) is evidence of the importance of understanding such uses in the context of mammal conservation. Sanitary aspects of the use of wild mammals by humans, and their implications for public health, are also key aspects to consider.”
1. Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves, Anna Karolina Martins Borges, Raynner Rilke Duarte Barboza, Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto, Thiago Gonçalves‐Souza, Diogo B. Provete, Ulysses Paulino Albuquerque. A global analysis of ecological and evolutionary drivers of the use of wild mammals in traditional medicine. Mammal Review, 2020; DOI: 10.1111/mam.12233
Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and associate editor and continuing education director for NDNR. His mission is serving relationships that support the process of transformation, and that ultimately lead to healthier people, businesses and communities. His primary therapeutic tools include counselling, homeopathy, diet and the use of cold water combined with exercise. Node considers health to be a reflection of the relationships a person or a business has with themselves, with God and with those around them. In order to cure disease and to heal, these relationships must be specifically considered. Node has worked intimately with many groups and organizations within the naturopathic profession, and helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic Revitalization (ANR), which works to promote and facilitate experiential education in vitalism.