a remedy that would drive weariness away and would drive out fear and fortify the heart. 52 Hernández and Sahagun do not attribute any medicinal properties to the plant in its use as an offering to high officials. They do mention other medicinal uses, however.
In the contracts between medical practices in the New World and the Old, the only major point at which exchange of information took place was in the area of herbal medicines. Those were adopted by Europeans seemingly as a matter of the practical necessities of dealing with the diseases and health conditions in the New World. Interest in Aztec culture was primarily ethnographic in nature (as in Sahagun's work), or was firmly embedded in the natural-history tradition of European academic inquiry (as in Hernández's work). The very pragmatic nature of medical practice provided the only real point of contract between two very disparate systems of medical treatment. The importation of New World plants (such as guaiacum) to the Old World, and of Old World plants to the New World, and a mutual concern with the efficacy of herbal remedies, provided the only substantial evidence of cross-cultural medical practices.
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Publication information: Book title: The Anthropology of Medicine:From Culture to Method. Edition: 3rd. Contributors: Lola Romanucci-Ross - Editor, Daniel E. Moerman - Editor, Laurence R. Tancredi - Editor. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 27.
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