Way of Life and Diversity of Medicinal Plants : A Case Study in Ban Chiang Hian, Khwao Subdistrict, Mueang District

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Thanongsak Patsin

Abstract

The purpose of this research were 1) to study community context of Ban Chiang Hian, 2) to investigate diversity of medicinal plants in Ban Chiang Hian, and 3) to study way of life and diversity of medicinal plants in Ban Chiang Hian, Khwao subdistrict, Mueang district, Mahasarakham province. Two key informants of 5 folk healers and 5 scholars whom were from purposive sampling. The data were collected by interviewing, participants observation and focus group interview. The data were analyzed with content analysis for quantitative data. The results of the research were found that: 1) Ban Chiang Hian potentials in terms of cultural heritages and ancient objects. Moreover, the way of lives involving their traditions, rituals, and beliefs was found. These things could be seen from the tradition of bun - bang  fai merit - making festival, tradition of offering food to Chao Pu Ta and Mae Ya Nang. At present, Ban Chiang Hian villagers have the way of life concerning Buddhism by getting to gather to form a group to chant prayers at Wet Pho Si in regularity. Also, a group of Ban Chiang Hian villagers is industriousness in doing supplementary career as herbal pharmacists. These potentials could be regarded as the principles of living the villagers’ lives which should be conserved, promoted, and inherited for children in the future. 2) The results of diversity of medicinal plants in Ban Chiang Hian showed that there were 160 species of medicinal plants. The highest number of medicinal plant type was of perennials plants with 62 species. 3) The community way of life was related to the diversity of the medicinal plants of Ban Chiang Hian. For belief and custom aspect, community way of life was related to the diversity of the medicinal plants from the beginning including in the medicinal plants collection, medicine production, treatment, and selling process. For economy aspect, there were careers related to medicinal plants of Ban Chiang Hian, and those careers has spread to all regions of the country resulting in the income of herbal doctor to reach 120,000 baht per capita. For social aspect, medicinal plants of the community were related to the basic treatment of the local people, and nowadays the community has given priority to coordinate with organizations in the Ministry of Public Health to promote conventional treatment

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References

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