The use of phylogeny to interpret cross-cultural patterns in plant use and guide medicinal plant discovery: An example from Pterocarpus (leguminosae)

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Abstract

Thousands of plant species are used in traditional medicine around the globe, with almost one in four species on the planet used in traditional medicine in some culture [1]. For decades researchers have worked towards compiling a comprehensive list of medicinal plant species from different regions around the world. The documentation of such knowledge is crucial not only in order to preserve it, but also to understand patterns that shape this knowledge and to direct studies that can lead to the discovery of new medicinal plants. Indeed, in the last decades, the field of bioscreening has been guided by ethnomedicine, the study of traditional medicine, leading to the discovery of several plant-derived pharmaceuticals [2], [3], [4].

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Haris Saslis-Lagoudakis, C., Klitgaard, B. B., Forest, F., Francis, L., Savolainen, V., Williamson, E. M., & Hawkins, J. A. (2014). The use of phylogeny to interpret cross-cultural patterns in plant use and guide medicinal plant discovery: An example from Pterocarpus (leguminosae). In Recent Advances in Plant-Based, Traditional, and Natural Medicines (pp. 243–276). Apple Academic Press.

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