The purpose of the EthnoMedicine Preservation Project is to preserve the medicinal plant knowledge of indigenous cultures…through documentation, exchange of information and preservation of habitat… to keep the diversity of this knowledge available for future generations.
Indigenous peoples represent living libraries of medicinal plant knowledge that are being lost as they merge with modern society.
Each culture contains a unique system of medicine with different degrees of emphasis on the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of healing.
These cultures have traditionally depended on the living transmission of techniques from master to apprentice.
The young people who would normally continue this living link as apprentices to the ‘medicine people’ of these cultures have been abandoning the often primitive environments of their ancestors in pursuit of a ‘better’ life, leaving the elders with no one to teach.
It is not enough to record this knowledge in books, because most of the people in these cultures do not read, and the vitality of the experience is only partially understood through words.
The EthnoMedicine Preservation Project (EMPP) is a 501c3 non-profit organization, founded in 1993. For 15 years, EMPP has documented medicinal plant knowledge of indigenous cultures in Peru, Belize, Australia and India.
The goal of the EthnoMedicine Preservation Project is to provide a way in which the living knowledge of these cultures is preserved. It consists of a three-fold plan for each culture:
#1 – Videographic, photographic and physical documentation of the medicinal plants used: Their habitat, cultivation and harvesting techniques, preservation and storage, preparation as medicines and therapeutic application. This will provide a way for the culture to re-seed this knowledge into itself when it loses its healers.
#2 – The creation of a botanical preserve in an area which contains a maximum variety of medicinal plant species.
#3 – The creation of a traditional healing clinic which preserves the ancient healing techniques in living form.