PROJECT ECUADOR PHARMACOPOEIA
About the project
The primary aim of our project is to learn and understand about medicinal plants in the Ecuadorian Amazon, in close collaboration with key universities and indigenous communities in the region, thereby promoting respect and appreciation for indigenous cultures and peoples in Ecuador at local, regional and international levels.
Following realisation of our primary aim, our wider aims, with the mutual agreement of all parties concerned, will be to find ways and means to make sustainable the uses of these medicinal plants, their plant extracts and isolated compounds, for the treatment of diseases of major global significance such as cancers, infections and inflammation.
- interact with ethnobotanists, shamans and indigenous “medicine” people to learn, collate & update indigenous medical know-how in using herbs, trees, shrubs and fungi from the Ecuadorian Amazon for medical purposes – collate and publish a comprehensive Ecuador pharmacopoeia
- assist indigenous communities with dissemination and popularization of their medical know-how, traditions and education
Our strategy begins and ends with good communications and relationships.
We have a growing network of key universities in the Czech Republic and in Ecuador, plus key connections with indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazon, that gives our project unique sets of connectivities. These should ensure that we are well placed to ask the key questions for each project participant, which are:
- “what do you want to achieve, and how can our project help you?”
- “what more could we achieve together once we understand each other better?”
All too often, Western voices, however well intentioned, will drown out the hopes and aspirations of other voices leading to frustration, discontent, unhappiness and failure. We hope and intend to avoid past limitations by providing a platform for trust and long-term relationship building with indigenous peoples and communities that may require extended and possibly continuous stays with our key indigenous partner communities in the Amazon too. We believe this essential before Ecuadorian traditional medicine remedies can be properly understood, appreciated, then sustainably disseminated through hospitals and commercial outlets in Ecuador and beyond, in the same way that Chinese traditional medicine remedies are currently used and promoted in China and beyond.
Furthermore, trust and long-term relationships built with indigenous peoples will be critical in promoting more detailed investigations of plant extracts and isolated compounds for their abilities to treat diseases of major global significance such as cancers, infections and inflammation, drawing inspiration from the way in which Chinese traditional medical know-how has been analysed to discover potent new drug treatments for example for malarial and cancer in recent times.
Our vision is that project success in our primary and secondary aims will be fully contingent on the involvement of indigenous peoples and communities so that we are operating in a spirit of mutual respect and close partnership always. In so doing, we anticipate two key potential outputs:
- sustained support for the activities of indigenous peoples and communities directed at the dissemination of their knowledge, way of life and understanding of the World to universities and to the broader public
- marketized health care products that can be used to generate financial returns sufficient going forward to help sustain the Ecuadorian Amazon and help mitigate against global climate change
- Irina Hvězdová
- Alessio Dattola
- Andrew Miller
- Jana Dynková
- Mariana Pjechová
- Bethan Mason
Current funding actions:
- Erasmus+ grant proposal 2022
Last update: 15. 8. 2022