Ethnobotany mines ancient knowledge

Posted by Christine, January 19, 2011

Coconut Grove, FL (January 14, 2011) – A symposium on Ethnobotany: a 17th-Century Vision of our 21st-Century World, will be held Saturday, February 5 at the Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) , 4013 S. Douglas Road, Coconut Grove, Florida.

The information contained in the encyclopedic Herbarium Amboinense, is considered a gold mine for medical research. It has been obscured because it few could read it in the original colonial Dutch. A translation was undertaken by E.M. Beekman, supported by the NTBG, will be published soon under the name The Ambonese Herbal. The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine is already bioprospecting the text for promising medicinal compounds.

Dr. Peter Raven, internationally known botanist and environmentalist, is one of the keynote speakers and prominent British botanist and ecologist Professor Sir Ghillean Prance will moderate the symposium.