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La`au Lapa`au: Traditional Hawaiian Herbal Healthcare

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Hawaiian Health Care
Ancient Polynesian immigrants to Hawai'i brought a number of plant species with them, most of which were primarily intended for use as medicines. More importantly they brought a wealth of knowledge about healthy lifestyles and medicinal uses of plants that are widely found (indigenous) across the central Pacific region. Over time they also learned to use the native (endemic) species found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Throughout all of this a set of guiding philosophical principles, beliefs, and understandings of the ways that the world works are used to direct both the development and application of a complex health care system. This episode presents a brief sample of the philosophies and plants used by one Hawaiian health care practitioner, Levon Ohai.

Production Credits

Presented by:

  • Levon Ohai

Themes and Content by:

  • Isabella Abbott

  • Al Keali'i Chock

  • Will McClatchey

  • My Lien Nguyen

  • Tamara Ticktin

  • David Webb

Special Presentations and Content by:

  • Tony A.B. Cunningham

  • Catherine Davenport

  • Orou Gaoue

  • Lisa X. Gollin

  • Y. Han Lau

  • Spencer Leinweber

  • Mark Merlin

  • Levon ‘ohai

  • Joseph Ostraff

  • Melinda Ostraff

  • Orlo Steele

  • Clay Trauernicht

  • Art Whistler

  • Namaka Whitehead

  • Kawika Winter

Post Production Critique by:

  • Al Keali'i Chock

  • Momi Kamahele

  • Kiope Raymond

  • Botany 105 Students (Fall 2005)

Camera Work by:

  • David Reedy

  • David Strauch

  • Michael B. Thomas

Video and Sound Editing by:

  • Markus Faigle

  • David Reedy

  • David Strauch

  • Michael B. Thomas

Audio Production by:

  • Will McClatchey

  • David Reedy

Consulting by:

  • Edo Biagoni

  • Kim Bridges

  • Pauline Chinn

  • Valerie McClatchey

  • Hae Okimoto

  • Nelda Quinsell

  • Ingelia White

Funding provided by:

  • University of Hawai'i, Department of Botany

  • University of Hawai'i, Information Technology Services

  • University of Hawai'i, College of Natural Sciences

  • University of Hawai'i, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs

  • National Center for Academic Transformation

  • University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Chancellor

Inspiration from:

  • Isabella Abbott

  • Michael Balick

  • Brad Bennett

  • Brent Berlin

  • Paul Cox

  • Memory Elvin-Lewis

  • Timothy Johns

  • Beatrice Krauss

  • Walter Lewis

  • Richard Evans Schultes

  • Gail Wagner

  • The Society for Economic Botany


Readings

Abbott, I.A. 1992. La'au Hawai'i: Traditional Hawaiian Uses Of Plants. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. Pages 97-103

Balick, M. & P.Cox. 1996. Plants, People, and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany. Scientific American, New York. Pages 63-98


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