Ethnomedicine in Latino Communities of Madison
Department of Family Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Rock County
This PowerPoint-delivered case study guides the reader, a hypothetical student intern with the City of Madison (Wisconsin) Public Health Department, as he/she assists a physician who was awarded a grant to investigate the use of herbal medicines by Latinos. The focus is on Ecuadorian immigrants but more generalized herbal medicine knowledge is involved as the reader and physician explore the many aspects of traditional medicine and the intersections of those beliefs with allopathic medicine. The reader is involved with synthesizing information from scientific articles, background reading, and interviews into a concrete, practical plan for the area's clinics and retail outlets, relevant also to future research efforts. This teaching case was developed for undergraduate ethnobotany, pharmacy, and global health students, but it has also been used in medical and nursing student classes as well as with graduate students from a variety of departments.
- Identify factors that affect why Latinos might or might not use herbal medicine either in their original country or in a newly adopted home.
- Use an example plant species to understand the kinds of information that we should know to help us decide about using that plant as medicine (e.g., traditional use, scientific name, plant secondary compounds, and possible efficacy/safety as a medicine).
- Compare plant use in your own life with Latino herbal medicine.
- Demonstrate skills of performing as an effective team member.
- Apply learning of concepts through working with a team to create a final report.
- Demonstrate skills of participating in small group discussion.
KeywordsEthnomedicine; ethnobotany; herbal medicine; traditional medicine; cross-cultural health; mint; Latino; Hispanic patients; Ecuador; Madison; Wisconsin
Educational LevelUndergraduate upper division, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Clinical education
Type MethodsDirected, Discussion
Subject HeadingsBotany / Plant Science | Interdisciplinary Sciences | Medicine (General) | Public Health | Pharmacy / Pharmacology |
Supplemental materials for this case include two student handouts in MS Word format (Homework Handout and Final Report) and an MS PPT presentation for classroom presentation (see links below).