“Horchata” drink in Southern Ecuador: medicinal plants and people’s wellbeing

Background The “horchata” is a herbal mixture infusion consumed in Southern Ecuador. It remains unknown how vendors group the plant species to sell them at traditional markets. This research documented the following: 1) a list of medicinal plant species sold for the drink; 2) the culturally important medicinal plant species; 3) the agreement among vendors regarding the medicinal plants species and their therapeutic use; and 4) the groups of medicinal plants sold for the preparation of “horchata.” (more…)

Culture, History and Applications of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Japan

Aromatic and medicinal plants fill a significant role in human societies that have helped improve the lives of people since ancient times. Ancient people became aware of the value and attractiveness of aromatic and medicinal plants, and the significance of historical books is a guide for the use of the plant material. Initial books on use on medicinal and aromatic plants were sourced in various parts of the world, such as the Middle East, Greece, China, and India, indicating that these ancient civilizations used indigenous aromatic and medicinal plants to improve lives in their own separate ways before ideas were shared. Japan is no exception; names of some local aromatic and medicinal plants were recorded in the oldest Japanese history book “Kojiki” written in 712 A.D. Aromatic and medicinal plants, however, continue to influence human life, culture, and history. Currently, an estimated 70,000 plant species are used in traditional medicine. (more…)