Ecuadorian Medicinal Plant Book

Brij Kothari bk19 at
Mon Sep 12 12:29:47 EST 1994

Andean Campesinos Document Their Knowledge of Medicinal Plants in Ecuador
(Some of this information on the book was posted earlier.  It is being
reposted because we ran out of copies and some interested people were
unable to acquire a copy.  More copies are available now.)

The Book and the Project
"Nucanchic Panpa Janpicuna" or "Plantas Medicinales del Campo" is the
title of a recent book that includes more than 120 medicinal plants and
their uses by the campesinos of La Esperanza, in the northern sierra of

The primary goal of the project that led to the development of this book
was for indigenous people to document their medicinal plant knowledge for
themselves.  In other words, it was to return oral knowledge back to the
people in an appropriately written form (i.e., being sensitive to issues
of language and literacy levels) so that they could pass it to future
generations.  The book has been available to households within the
communities below the cost of production.

It should be emphasized that the investigation for this project was
undertaken mostly by 15 campesinos who interviewed knowledgeable people in
their respective communities.  The knowledge that comes from six
communities in the region is available in this Spanish--Quichua bilingual
edition.  It includes local and latin (taxonomic) names of most of the
plants and their drawings.

Procceds Create a Foundation
In the first six months since the book opening, the communities have
received roughly $700 from the sale of this book.  With this, the
communities have started a foundation called "Fundacion Sabiduria
Indigena" (Foundation of Indigenous Wisdom) devoted to the exploration and
documentaion of their knowledge of not only medicinal plants, but
agriculture, forestry, animal folk healing, etc...  Still in its nascent
stage, the foundation is perhaps the only one of its kind in Ecuador that
is attempting to preserve indigenous knowledge for and by indigenous
people.  So far, the foundation, an autonomous body, has been funded
exclusively by the sale of this book and no international or national
donor agency is involved.

Ordering Info:

Unit Price: US$10.00 + Shipping (USA $2.00;other countries $4.00)
Make check or money order payable to "Brij Kothari" in US$. Libraries, OK
to send a book order and make payment on delivery.

Title: Nucanchic Panpa Janpicuna: Plantas Medicinales del Campo
Authors: Kothari, Brij and Union de Organizaciones y Comunidades Indigenas
de Angochagua, La Esperanza, y Caranqui (UNOCIAE-C).
Publishers: Abya-Yala, Quito, Ecuador and SINT TRUIDEN, Belgium
Date:   December, 1993          Pages: 303      ISBN: 9978-04-017-X

Mailing Address: Fundacion Sabiduria Indigena      e-mail: bk19 at
                 c/o Brij Kothari                  Tel: (607) 277-3761 (Home)
                 160 Westview Lane                      (607) 255-0504 (Work)
                 Ithaca, N.Y. 14850                Fax: (607) 255-7905

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