from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The plant lore and agricultural customs of a people.
- n. The study of such lore and customs.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The scientific study of the relationships between people and plants
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Botany in its relations to the economic uses of plants by different races, especially by aborigines or primitive races.
Sounds cool enough, often involves reading in ethnobotany, but the main two bosses are just the sort of "whitist" types who get excited when there's a slight chance that the earliest people to come to the Americas might have been from Europe, probably because it might invalidate indigenous legal claims.
We need people that go into other cultures and survey their uses of natural compounds (a field called ethnobotany).
"The science that explores the human uses of plants is a branch of botany known as ethnobotany," he said.
"She was fascinated by the interaction of plants and people, taking an approach that today would be called ethnobotany"
Actually plant medicines are daily being discovered in wild places all over the world, usually by ethnobotany grad students interviewing elderly aboriginals and collecting samples for analysis in university labs thousands of miles away.
Scientists in the field of ethnobotany study how different cultures use plants for a variety of purposes.
Veterinarians who use herbs and homeopathics study the ethnobotany, biochemistry, and energetic effects of these agents and then use various systems to combine them together in ways that assist nature in recreating or establishing better conditions of health and well being.
You should look at a book on ethnobotany, particularly one with info from Plains Indians.
Ever since I read Wade Davis 'eye-popping book, One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest, I've been fascinated with the country, its messy colonial history and its importance to ethnobotany both for its ties to the rubber trade and to medicinal plants.
She is currently developing a collaborative interdisciplinary course that deals with the chemical aspects of ethnobotany.