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Introduction

Humankind has a big spectrum of useful plants which have been cultivated through the ages. Some of them are natives, and others are introduced because of a different natural and social kind of process.  Many useful plants had been traded within towns in the commerce or other kind of exchange.  These events give a special value to each species because it got an unique value town to town.


We want to make a historical review, with an ethnobotanical perspective, of the plants taking part in the exchange between Mexico and Philippines, in something that we call historical ethnobotany.


In the XVI to XIX centuries an important event was performed in America, Asia and Europe as the sea was open to commerce, and many exotic species was exchanged.  It has been called the beginning of globalization.  In it were exchanged many products, but with them, a cultural baggage was involved, and with it different kinds of processes to use the exchanged products.


We are biologists with a special interest in plants; this is the reason why we want to emphasize the plants value in this web page, and the plants were an important element in this exchange because it made many changes in the way to use the plants due to incorporate this changes in the humankind.


The Spaniards began the exchange with America as a result of the Conquest in this land, but they had an interest in Asia because they commerce with the silk and species like pepper or cinnamon, whose was an important elements in the world economy.  When the commerce was taking shape, many others elements was added, like useful plants with diverse geographical origins. Instead, it represented an increment in the way to use the plants. Many industries was increasing like the pharmaceutical industry with medicinal plants; the clothes industry with paint species.

Many useful plants in modern ages had been pass into a long process to be like we known today...
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