Seri Indian Pharmacopoeia

Statement of Responsibility:
Felger, Richard S. and Mary B. Moser
Series:
Date:
1974
Part Of Series:
Economic Botany, 28(4)
Extent:
pages 414-36
Abstract:
The traditional pharmacopoeia of the Seri Indians of Sonora, Mexico, involves approximately 95 species of plants in 80 genera, 15 animal species, and one kind of clay. In contrast only 75 species of plants were utilized for food. Medicinal teas are prepared from 63 plant species. Plants with aromatic foliage are especially esteemed. The predilection for watery preparations seems to be related to the commonplace water-deficit in a very hot and arid environment. Although a shaman was frequently involved in curing sickness, he generally did not administer medicines. For the most part, traditional Seri medicine has been a highly individual affair. The few mixtures are relatively simple preparations. The absence of complicated formulae encourages self-administered medicines and the information can readily diffuse through the culture. Because it is an individual-oriented and non-professionally administered pharmacopoeia, each individual may not know every remedy. To the Seri, origin and use of their various remedies appear to be highly pragmatic, often based on trial and error, i.e., it is effective.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Mexico
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Ethnobotany
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
714