Traditional medicine, including the knowledge, skills and practices of holistic health care, exists in all cultures. It is based on indigenous theories, beliefs and experiences, and is widely accepted for its role in health maintenance and the treatment of disease. Medicinal plants are the main ingredients of local medicines, but rapid urbanization is leading to the loss of many important plants and knowledge of their use. To help preserve this knowledge and recognize the importance of medicinal plants to health care systems, the World Health Organization- WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific has published a series of books on medicinal plants in China, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam and the South Pacific. Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea is the fifth in this series.
This came after the World Health Organization -WHO Western Pacific in collaboration with the University of PNG did a research in 2009 on 126 species of commonly used medicinal plants which we, PNG natives have been using for generations. The research covered a remarkable proportion of the immense knowledge on traditional medicine, the plant species from which they are derived, the diseases they can treat and the parts of the plants to be used. The diverse cultures, languages and traditional practices of Papua New Guinea made this a particularly challenging project. The medicinal plants published in this page are some of the plants approved by WHO for medicinal use.
Some of these herbs published are outdoor plants and flowers while some are usually mistaken for weeds and unwanted plants. But they are herbs.
In the coming weeks more herbs for various diseases will be published in this site.
I believe the information and accompanying references provided can be useful to readers and will prove an invaluable resource in the quest for good health for all people.