Sofie Ruysschaert

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Young children are vulnerable to a range of illnesses and evil forces. Ethnobotanical folk remedies often play a major role in combating these afflictions. Here we show that plant use is highly valued and practiced within the Saramaccan Maroon Society in Suriname to maintain the general health and well-being of children. AIM(More)
Folk perceptions of health and illness include cultural bound syndromes (CBS), ailments generally confined to certain cultural groups or geographic regions and often treated with medicinal plants. Our aim was to compare definitions and plant use for CBS regarding child health in the context of the largest migration in recent human history: the(More)
BACKGROUND In savannah-dominated Bénin, West Africa, and forest-dominated Gabon, Central Africa, plants are a major source of healthcare for women and children. Due to this high demand and the reliance on wild populations as sources for medicinal plants, overharvesting of African medicinal plants is a common concern. Few studies in Western Africa, however,(More)
How did the forced migration of nearly 11 million enslaved Africans to the Americas influence their knowledge of plants? Vernacular plant names give insight into the process of species recognition, acquisition of new knowledge, and replacement of African species with American ones. This study traces the origin of 2,350 Afro-Surinamese (Sranantongo and(More)
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Dry sex refers to the use of plants to dry and contract the vagina, a popular practice in Africa that damages vaginal tissue and facilitates the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Here we show that dry-sex practices are not limited to Africa. Afro-Surinamese women frequently use genital steam baths that contain drying(More)
BACKGROUND Magical charm plants to ensure good luck in hunting, fishing, agriculture, love and warfare are known among many Amerindians groups in the Guianas. Documented by anthropologists as social and political markers and exchangeable commodities, these charms have received little attention by ethnobotanists, as they are surrounded by secrecy and are(More)
There is growing evidence that species are able to coexist in communities through niche separation, and that consistent community structuring can take place at the biogeographical scale, as the same biotic interactions can determine species’ fate at large scales. In this study, we document niche differentiation at a larger scale within a specific plant(More)
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Enslaved Africans in the Americas had to reinvent their medicinal flora in an unknown environment by adhering to plants that came with them, learning from Amerindians and Europeans, using their Old World knowledge and trial and error to find substitutes for their homeland herbs. This process has left few written records, and(More)
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