Natural Resources And Human Health
The MAHERY team has been doing research on how a wide variety of natural resource use patterns affect human health. In other sections, we have described wildlife and fisheries consumption. The MAHERY team has also done substantial work investigating botanical ethnomedicine use, pica (the consumption of non-food items), and geophagy (the consumption of earth and soils). Each of these behaviors is highly prevalent in the Makira region of Madagascar and has significant influences on their physical and mental health. Specifically, we have documented more than 300 species of plants used to treat more than 80 different types of locally identified illnesses. We have reported these in scientific publications but have also created a book written in the local Betsimisaraka dialect to catalog this pharmacopeia of medicines for use by future generations.
1. Golden, C. D., Anjaranirina, E. J. G., Rasolofoniaina, B. J. R., Vonona, M. A. and L. Ravaoliny. 2014. Zavamaniry Tanika Hita Amin’ny Faritra Makira. MAHERY (Madagascar Healthy and Environmental Research), Boston, MA USA. 237pp. This is the first book ever to be published/copyrighted in the Malagasy language by the US Copyright office. It is a field guide pharmacopeia for local people to preserve their knowledge of traditional medicines and pass it on to future generations.
2. GoldenC. D., Rasolofoniaina BJR, Benjamin R, Young SL. 2012. Pica and Amylophagy Are Common among Malagasy Men, Women and Children. PLoS ONE 7(10): e47129. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047129
3. GoldenC. D., Rasolofoniaina BJR, Anjaranirina EJG, Nicolas L, Ravaoliny L, and C. Kremen. (2012) Rainforest Pharmacopeia in Madagascar Provides High Value for Current Local and Prospective Global Uses. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41221. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041221
4. Golden, C. D. 2014. Spiritual roots of the land: hierarchy and relationships of the religious cosmologies of humans and their environment in the Maroantsetra region of Madagascar. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 18(3): 255-268.
5. Miao, D., S. L. Young, S. L. and C. D. Golden. 2015. A meta-analysis of pica and micronutrient status. American Journal of Human Biology 27(1): 84-93.