To defend the knowledge of traditional medicine

To defend the knowledge of traditional medicine

• University student Jocelyn Hernandez Hernandez is conducting research to preserve information on plants used to treat diabetes
He warned that recent generations have no interest in learning about herbalism.

Joseline Hernández Hernández, student of Industrial Chemistry from the Faculty of Higher Studies (FES) of UNAM Cuautitlán, develops a project of biochemical study of plant resources used in traditional medicine, especially by healers of the municipality of Benito Juarez, Veracruz. Are. For treatment of diabetes.

My job is to save the valuable knowledge that those who practice this practice have regarding the use, preparation and administration of medicinal plants, he highlighted in an interview.

Advised by the academic of the University Unit, Brigida del Carmen Camacho Enriquez, she went to the towns of Huicuatitla, La Reforma and Tlatlapango Grande in the municipality of Benito Juárez, Veracruz, where with the help of 11 local healers – 10 women and one man Collected 21 medicinal plants which are used to treat disease in those places.

Joseline Hernandez, who received the Gustavo Baz Prada 2022 Social Service Award in recognition of her outstanding work and commitment to society for this project, recalled that it is a chronic non-communicable disease, a health problem that affects the population. Affects significantly.

It is one of the three leading causes of death in Mexico. According to the people interviewed from the above mentioned population, it is increasing in that region due to the rapid transition of eating habits from rural to urban areas, sedentary lifestyle and difficulties in accessing health. “This is known as sugar in the urine or blood, and according to traditional medicine it is associated with fear or muina.”

Hernández Hernández also commented that the physicians or healers he interviewed indicated that they had gained their knowledge of the herb, its uses, collection, and possible contraindications through dreams; Others inherited them from their mothers or grandmothers who also practiced it.

In the case of his study, he said, most of the people carrying out this activity are over 70 years of age, a significant number have been in this work for more than 50 years and many youths from the above communities do not want to continue the tradition. to keep.

The university student noticed that his work has decreased, as has the understanding of plants, as doctors go into those communities and, above all, because recent generations have no interest in learning about herbs. No, because it is easier to go to a doctor or health center to receive care.

Previously, the work of herbalists was important, as well as that of midwives; He said that in the latter case, some women do not want to give birth at home and do not want to go to the hospital.

Joseline Hernández, in collaboration with her interviewees, collected 21 plants, and many of whose common names remain in the Nahuatl language without translation into Spanish, they are: carta de serena, chichikxohuitl, cosolmecatl, ozoxijtli, pemuch, guasima, chichiajatli, mango. , palo of blue, pionchi, three little leaves, horsetail, mozotl, viper stick, pig’s trunk, chicijtli, soursop, nopal, cow’s leg, yuca and small zapote.

It is important to note that plants do not contain the same active ingredients throughout the year and cannot be harvested all the time; Traditional healers face a difficult task when collecting these.

He explained that the results of the research were, in theory, left in a bilingual catalogue, which documented the information collected and the importance of preserving the Nahuatl language; However, it is also important to know the side effects of the plants.

In that sense, he indicated that the 21 collected were taken to the FES Cuautitlan Herbarium where they will be studied to obtain the classification and their names in Spanish in order to investigate more about them and document it.


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