Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 389–406 | Cite as

Mainstreaming local health through herbal gardens in India: a tool to enhance women active agency and primary health care?

Article

Abstract

In the last few years, an increasing attention has been given to home herbal gardens, especially due to a revived interest in food security and sustainable development. The uses of home herbal gardens and their role in the livelihoods of rural poor uses have been analyzed in the literature. Despite this, few studies focus on the role of home gardens for primary health care and their relevance for the household and women’s health. In addition, any analysis has been carried out on the socioeconomic values of home herbal gardens in respect of the medicinal plants. This article wants to bridge this gap by analyzing the role of herbal gardens in the local livelihoods in rural India (Tamil Nadu state). The article also highlights their impact in terms of health for the local communities, with a special focus on poor rural women. Final conclusions on the relevance of home herbal gardens for primary health care and socioeconomic development of lower castes in India are drawn.

Keywords

Home herbal gardens India Rural areas Health Socioeconomic outcomes 

References

  1. Adhikari, B., Di Falco, S., & Lovett, J. C. (2004). Household characteristics and forest dependency: Evidence from common property forest management in Nepal. Ecological Economics, 48(2), 245–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Albuquerque, U. P., Andrade, L. H. C., & Caballero, J. (2005). Structure and floristics of homegardens in Northeastern Brazil. Journal of Arid Environments, 6(2), 491–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ali, A. M. S. (2005). Homegardens in smallholder farming systems: Examples from Bangladesh. Human Ecology, 33(2), 245–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Altieri, M. A., Companioni, N., Cañizares, K., Murphy, C., Rosset, P., Bourque, M., et al. (1999). The greening of the “barrios:” Urban agriculture for food security in Cuba. Agriculture and Human Values, 1(6), 131–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, E. N. (2005). Everyone eats: Understanding food and culture. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Balick, M., Kronenberg, F., Ososki, A., Reiff, M., Fugh-Berman, A., O’Connor, B., et al. (2000). Medicinal plants used by Latino healers for women’s health conditions in New York City. Economic Botany, 5(4), 344–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bergh, S. (2004). Democratic decentralisation and local participation: A review of recent research. Development in Practice, 14(6), 780–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blanckaert, I., Swennen, R. L., Paredes-Flores, M., Rosas-López, R., & Lira-Saade, R. (2004). Floristic composition, plant uses and management practices in homegardens of San Rafael Coxcatlán, Valley of Tehuacán-Cuicatlán, Mexico. Journal of Arid Environments, 5(7), 39–62.Google Scholar
  9. Bloom, S. S., Wypij, D., & Das Gupta, M. (2001). Dimensions of women’s autonomy and the influence of maternal health care utilization in a northern Indian city. Demography, 3(8), 67–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bondi, L., & Davidson, J. (2004). Troubling the place of gender. In K. Anderson, M. Anderson, S. Pile, & N. Thrift (Eds.), Handbook of cultural geography. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Burns, N., Schlozman, L., & Verba, S. (2001). Private roots of public action: Gender, equality, and political participation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Ceuterick, M., Vandebroek, I., Torry, B., & Pieroni, A. (2007). The use of homeremedies for health care and well-being by Spanish Latino immigrants in London: A reflection on acculturation. In A. Pieroni & I. Vandebroek (Eds.), Traveling plants and cultures. The ethnobiology and ethnopharmacy of migrations. Oxford: Berghahn.Google Scholar
  13. Christie, M. E. (2002). Naturaleza y sociedad desde la perspectiva de la cocina tradicional Mexicana: Género, adaptación y resistencia. Journal of Latin American Geography, 1(1), 17–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coomes, O., & Ban, N. (2004). Cultivated plant species diversity in home gardens of an Amazonian Peasant Village in Northeastern Peru. Economic Botany, 58(3), 420–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cornwall, A. (2003). Whose voices? Whose choices? Reflections on gender and participatory development. World Development, 31(8), 1325–1342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dahal, G., & Capistrano, D. (2006). Forest governance and institutional structure: An ignored dimension of community based forest management in the Philippines. International Forestry Review, 8(4), 377–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. De Clerck, F. A. J., & Negreros-Castillo, P. (2000). Plant species of traditional Mayan homegardens of Mexico as Analogs for Multistrata Agroforests. Agroforestry Systems, 4(8), 303–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Del Angel-Pérez, A. L., & Mendoza, M. A. (2004). Totonac homegardens and natural resources in Veracruz, Mexico. Agriculture and Human Values, 2(1), 329–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dutt, B. (1996). Ethnobotanical resources of Chattarpur dist. (M.P.). In S. K. Jain (Ed.), Ethnobiology in human welfare (pp. 400–402). New Delhi: Deep Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Etkin, N. L., & Ross, P. J. (1982). Food as medicine and medicine as food. An adaptive framework for the interpretation of plant utilization among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria. Social Science and Medicine, 1(6), 1559–1573.Google Scholar
  21. Ghimire, S. K., McKey, D., & Aumeeruddy-Thomas, Y. (2005). Heterogeneity in ethnoecological knowledge and management of medicinal plants in the Himalayas of Nepal: Implication for conservation. Ecology and Society, 9(6), 32–43.Google Scholar
  22. Girach, R. D., & Ahmed, A. (1998). Medical ethnobotany of Sundargarh, Orissa, India. Pharmaceutical Biology, 3(6), 20–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gogtay, N. J., Bhatt, H. A., Dalvi, S. S., & Kshirsagar, N. A. (2001). The use and safety of non-allopathic Indian medicines. Drug Safety, 2(5), 1005–1019.Google Scholar
  24. Greenberg, L. S. Z. (2003). Women in the garden and kitchen: The role of cuisine in the conservation of traditional house lot crops among Yucatec Mayan immigrants. In P. L. Howard (Ed.), Women, plants: Gender relations in biodiversity management, conservation (pp. 51–65). London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  25. Griffiths, P. L., & Bentley, M. E. (2001). The nutrition transition is underway in India. Journal of Nutrition, 1(3), 2692–2700.Google Scholar
  26. Hariramamurthi, G., Venkatasubramian, P., Unnikrishnan, P. M., & Shankar, D. (2007). Home herbal gardens: A novel health security strategy based on local knowledge and resources. In G. Bodeker & G. Burford (Eds.), Traditional complementary and alternative medicine: Policy and public health perspectives (pp. 167–183). London: Imperial College Press.Google Scholar
  27. Hollenberg, D., & Muzzin, L. (2010). Epistemological challenges to integrative medicine: An anti-colonial perspective on the combination of complementary/alternative medicine with biomedicine. Health Sociology Review, 19(1), 34–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hong, S. S., Kim, J. H., Li, H., & Shim, C. K. (2005). Advanced formulation and pharmacological activity of hydrogel of the titrated extract of Centella asiatica. Archives of Pharmacological Research, 2(8), 502–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hosagouder, V. B., & Henry, A. N. (1996). Ethnobotany of Kadars, Malasars and Muthuvums of Annamalais in Coimbatore Dist., Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany Additional Series, 1(2), 82–91.Google Scholar
  30. Houghton, P. J., Hylands, P. J., Mensah, A. Y., Hensel, A., & Deters, A. M. (2005). In vitro tests and ethnopharmacological investigations. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 1(2), 100–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hukkeri, V. I., Nagathan, C. V., Karadi, R. V., & Patil, B. S. (2006). Antipyretic and healing activities of Moringa oleifera Lam. in rats. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 6(8), 124–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jain, S. K. (1991). Dictionary of Indian folk medicine and ethnobotany—reference manual of man–plant relationships. In S. K. Jain (Ed.), Ethnic groups and ethnobotanists in India (p. 311). New Delhi: Deep Publications.Google Scholar
  33. Kala, C. P. (2003). Commercial exploitation and conservation status of high value medicinal plants across the borderline of India and Nepal in Pithoragarh. The Indian Forester, 12(9), 80–84.Google Scholar
  34. Kala, C. P., Farooquee, N. A., & Dhar, U. (2004). Prioritization of medicinal plants on the basis of available knowledge, existing practices and use value status in Uttaranchal, India. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13(7), 453–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Katewa, S. S., Chaudhary, B. L., & Jain, A. (2004). Folk herbal medicines from tribal area of Rajasthan India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 9(2), 41–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Keys, E. (1999). Kaqchikel gardens: Women, children, and multiple roles of gardens among the Maya of highland Guatemala. Yearbook. Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers, 2(5), 89–100.Google Scholar
  37. Kothari, M. J., & Moorthy, S. (1996). Ethnobotany in human welfare of Raigarh in Maharastra State, India. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 1(2), 82–91.Google Scholar
  38. Krishna, A. (2000). Creating and harnessing social capital. In D. Partha & S. Ismail (Eds.), Social capital: A multifaceted perspective. Washington DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  39. Kshirsagar, R. D., & Singh, N. P. (2001). Some lesser-known ethnomedicinal uses from Mysore and Coorg districts, Karnataka State, India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 7(5), 231–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kumar, B. M., & Nair, P. K. R. (Eds.). (2006). Tropical homegardens: A time-tested example of sustainable agroforestry. Advances in agroforestry (Vol. 3). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. 377.Google Scholar
  41. Lal, B., Vats, S. K., Singh, R. D., & Gupta, A. K. (1996). Plants used as ethnomedicine and supplementary food by Gaddis of Himachal Pradesh, India. In S. K. Jain (Ed.), Ethnobiology in human welfare (pp. 384–387). New Delhi: Deep Publications.Google Scholar
  42. Lima, R. M. B., & de Saragoussi, M. (2000). Floodplain home gardens on the Central Amazon floodplain. In W. J. Junk, J. J. Ohly, M. T. F. Piedade, & M. G. M. Soares (Eds.), The Central Amazon floodplain: Actual use, options for sustainable management (pp. 243–268). Leiden: Backhuys Publishers.Google Scholar
  43. Madaleno, I. (2000). Urban agriculture in Belém. Cities, 17(1), 73–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Maya, S., Kumari, S., Prameela, & Menon, S. V. (2003). Ethnobotanical notes on the flora of sacred tanks of Kerala. Ethnobotany, 1(5), 55–59.Google Scholar
  45. McCarthy, J. F. (2004). Changing to gray: decentralization and the emergence of volatile socio-legal configurations in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. World Development, 32(7), 1199–1223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Michon, G., & Mary, F. (1994). Conversion of traditional village gardens and new economic strategies of rural households in the area of Bogor, Indonesia. Agroforestry Systems, 2(5), 31–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mokat, D. N., & Deokule, S. S. (2004). Plants used as veterinary medicine in Ratnagiri District of Maharastra. Ethnobotany, 1(6), 131–135.Google Scholar
  48. Montagnini, F. (2006). Homegardens of Mesoamerica: Biodiversity, food security, and nutrient management. In B. M. Kumar & P. K. R. Nair (Eds.), Tropical H: A time-tested example of sustainable agroforestry. Advances in agroforestry (Vol. 3, pp. 61–84). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  49. Mukherjee, P. K., Mukherjee, K., Pal, M., & Saha, B. P. (2000). Wound healing potential of Nelumbo nucifera (Nymphaceae) rhizome extract. Phytomedicine, 7(2), 66–74.Google Scholar
  50. Natarajan, B., Paulsen, S. P., & Komeleussen, V. (2000). An ethnopharmacological study from Kulu district Himachal Pradesh, India—traditional knowledge compared with modern biological science. Pharmaceutical Biology, 3(8), 129–138.Google Scholar
  51. Nautiyal, S., Maikhuri, R. K., Rao, K. S., & Saxena, K. G. (2001). Medicinal plant resources in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in Central Himalayas. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants, 8(4), 47–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nayak, S., Behera, S. K., & Nishha, M. (2004). Ethnomedico botanical survey of Kalahandi district of Orissa. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 3(2), 72–79.Google Scholar
  53. Niñez, V. K. (1984). Household gardens: Theoretical considerations on an old survival strategy. Lima: International Potato Center.Google Scholar
  54. Panda, D. C., & Das, P. (1999). Medicinal plant-lore of the tribals of Baliguda subdivision, Phulbain, District, Orissa. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 2(3), 515–521.Google Scholar
  55. Pierce, A. R., & Laird, S. A. (2003). In search of comprehensive standards for non-timber forest products in the botanicals trade. International Forestry Review, 5(2), 138–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Punjani, B. L. (2002). Ethnobotanical aspects of some plants of Aravali Hills in North Gujarat. Ancient Science of Life, 2(1), 268–280.Google Scholar
  57. Purkayastha, J., Nath, S. C., & Islam, M. (2005). Ethnobotany of medicinal plants from Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve of North east India. Fitoterapia, 7(6), 121–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rajendran, S. M., Chandrasekar, K., & Sundaresan, V. (2001). Ethnomedicinal lore of Seithur Hills—Southern Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu. Ethnobotany, 1(3), 101–109.Google Scholar
  59. Raju, S. (2006). Production of knowledge: Looking for ‘theory’ in ‘familiar’ places? Political Ecology in North America, 37(2), 155–158.Google Scholar
  60. Ramadas, S. R., Ghotge, N. S., Ashalata, S., Mathur, N. P., Gour, V., & Rao, S. (2000). Ethnoveterinary remedies used in common surgical conditions in some districts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, India. Ethnobotany, 1(2), 100–112.Google Scholar
  61. Saple, D. G., Vaidya, S. B., Vadrevu, R., Pandey, V. P., & Ramnani, J. P. (2002). Difficulties encountered with the use of antiretroviral drugs in India. Journal HIV Therapy, 7(3), 56–58.Google Scholar
  62. Sarma, S. K., Bhattacharya, D. K., & Devi, B. (2001). Medicinal plants used by Bodo tribe of Nalbari district in Assam. Ethnobotany, 1(3), 135–139.Google Scholar
  63. Shirwaikar, A., Somashekar, A. P., Udupa, A. L., Udupa, S. L., & Somashekar, S. (2003). Wound healing studies of Aristolochia bracteolate Lam. with supportive action of antioxidant enzymes. Phytomedicine, 1(2), 558–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Singh, G. S. (1999). Ethnobotanical study of useful plants of Kulu district in N.W. Himalaya, India. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 23, 185–198.Google Scholar
  65. Slinger, V. A. (2000). Peri-urban agroforestry in the Brazilian Amazon. The Geographical Review, 90(2), 177–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Smith, N. J. H. (1996). Home gardens as a springboard for agroforestry development in Amazonia. International Tree Crops Journal, 9(1), 11–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Thomas, A. S., & Mueller, S. L. (2000). A case for comparative entrepreneurship: Assessing the relevance of culture. Journal of International Business Studies, 3(1), 287–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Tripathi, Y. C. (2000). Ethnomedicinal treasure of tribal Rajasthan. Journal of Non-Timber Forest Products, 7(1), 77–89.Google Scholar
  69. Upadhyaya, O. P., Kumar, K., & Tiwari, R. K. (1998). Skin treatments of Bihar plants. Pharmaceutical Biology, 3(6), 20–24.Google Scholar
  70. WHO. (2007). World Health Report. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  71. Wiersum, K. F. (2004). Forest gardens as an “intermediate” land-use system in the nature-culture continuum: Characteristics and future potential. Agroforestry Systems, 6(1), 123–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. WinklerPrins, A. M. (2002). House-lot gardens in Santarém, Pará, Brazil: Linking rural with urban. Urban Ecosystems, 6(1/2), 43–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zimmerer, K. S. (2004). Cultural ecology: Placing households in human-environment studies-the cases of tropical forest transitions and agrobiodiversity change. Progress in Human Geography, 28(6), 795–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

Personalised recommendations