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Polynesian Herbal Medicine Paperback – August 1, 1993
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Anyway off my soapbox and back to the book. It's loaded with herbs, weeds and plants that are easy to grow and prepare depending on your location. The traditional and scientific name are given along with a short description of the plant and how it is used. There is some good info on traditional practices and anecdotes of healing. It also includes some very interesting history on how traditional practices changed with Western contact.
For Hawaii, a key component of colonization was to abolish traditional religion and enact Christianity as a form of control. As Hawaiian medicine was 2 parts in healing the body and the psyche, spirituality was a major component of healing. Missionaries made it very difficult for native healers to practice by enacting a huge fine. Since money was never used in traditional society, often times land and other property were taken. I was told by my kupuna the fines were also enacted because western doctors had few patients, as native healers were healing everyone for free in line with tradition. Many native healers believe medicine is a gift from god, and it's not for us to charge as all medicine comes from the land. Very different from Western thinking. Thus the majority of Hawaiian healers either stopped or converted to Christianity to continue. Many of the traditional methods were lost. After the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom there was a law that made it illegal for people to practice native medicine without governmental oversight. The efforts of Dr. Terry Kalani Shintani with the support of native Hawaiian healers drafted Act 153 which reversed that law:
"While kupuna councils had been used to oversee Native Hawaiian healers in the past, they were regulated as state agencies because they were commissioned through Papa Ola Lokahi, a Native Hawaiian health agency. Papa Ola Lokahi institutes Native Hawaiian health programs with federal funding from the Native Hawaiian Healthcare Act of 1988.
The new law, Act 153, removes anyone on a kupuna council from liability and gives the councils total independence from state government oversight."
-From online article, "Law ends government oversight of Native Hawaiian healing practices," Pacific Business News
All in all the book is a great reference for anyone looking for more information on traditional Polynesian medicine. 80 pages of the book have been digitized for use in the Ethnomathematics Digital Library (EDL), a program of Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL). The EDL is sponsored by the National Science Foundation as a part of the National STEM Digital Library ([...]). You can find the article as of this review here: [...].