The treasure trove of the amazonian tribes

It is known to most that the Amazon is home to the greatest variety of species on the planet. It is a botanical and zoological treasure trove, which is threatened by the rise of modern contemporary culture in the countries harboring parts of the Amazon. Less well known are the many (isolated) indigenous tribes that still inhabit the jungle and their vast knowledge of medicinal plants. Today there is a tendency for people to dismiss indigenous tribes and their customs and knowledge as primitive and inferior to ours. Yet fact remains that all our medicine is derived from plants, many of which were known by indigenous people for the exact same qualities we try to mimic when isolating and synthesizing the ‘effective compounds’. There is also a lot of, though anecdotal, evidence where indigenous plant medicine proved to be more effective than our western treatments. These people are storehouses of ethnobotanical knowledge which we do not have and will never master the way they do and their existence is threatened.

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