Asked 18th Nov, 2022

What is the extent of Indigenous American contribution to western medicine?

I would like to write a literature review, to begin with, and continue to a more in-depth research paper, about the contributions of Indigenous American knowledge about healing and medicine that are used in western medicine practice today.

All Answers (3)

Michele Antonelli
Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale Reggio Emilia
I think that the contribution of traditional medicinal systems (TCM, Ayurveda, European and American herbalism...) is quite underestimated in modern medicine.
Recently, a growing number of research studies is investigating the potential benefits of traditional remedies, including different physical therapies (acupuncture, massage, balneotherapy...) and medicinal herbs, as integrative treatment options for several diseases or as candidates for new drug development. In my opinion, it can be useful to study these treatments with an evidence-based approach in order to formulate specific clinical indications and ensure the best safety standards.
With regard to your topic, I assume you refer to North America (based on your affiliation) and I think that, before writing your literature review, you should take a look at this scoping review published in 2020:
This study can help you understand the state of the art and identify any significant gaps in knowledge, so that you can focus on what is actually needed to advance towards a full integration between modern and traditional medicine in North America.
If you need any methodological help to design a systematic literature review, do not hesitate to contact me.
Best wishes for your work and research.
Further readings:
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