The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method

By Lola Romanucci-Ross; Daniel E. Moerman et al. | Go to book overview

11
PHYSIOLOGY AND SYMBOLS: THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE PLACEBO EFFECT

DANIEL E. MOERMAN

How can we account for the effectiveness of non-Western medical treatment? What can we learn about the effectiveness of Western healing through comparative study? One of the foremost dilemmas in ethnomedicine is understanding how it is that the manipulations of the shaman or healer actually influence the physiological state of the patient. Many studies, including several of my own, have devoted much energy to the study of the effectiveness of native pharmacology. The standard exercise is to show that pharmaceuticals in use have "appropriate" physiological impact. And many tribal peoples cooperate with this exercise by having enormous pharmacopoeias at their disposal. Wyman and Harris ( 1941) reported 515 species of medicinal plants for the Navaho alone. My compilation of native American medicinal plants includes 2,865 different plant species from 941 genera used by 219 different cultures in 25,025 different ways (Moerman in press). In a lessstandard exercise, comparing those medicinally used plants with available plants, I have been able to demonstrate substantial selectivity among families by Native Americans. The three most heavily utilized families ( Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Lamiaceae) account for 26 percent of medicinal items in my compilation, but only 18 percent of the 21,641 species of plants in North America ( Kartesz 1994). The three least heavily used families, in terms of their availability ( Poaceae, Cyperaceae and Fabaceae) account for 4 percent of items in my list, but 18 percent of the species in FNA (for details of this argument, see Chapter 4 of this volume, "Poisoned Apples and Honeysuckle"). But we can also be certain that neither native therapists nor their patients saw pharmaceuticals as any more important in therapy than the song, dance, and din that accompanied treatment. While several investigators (most notably Victor Turner) have provided brilliant symbolic analyses of

-240-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 400

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.