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For over a century, plant specialists worldwide have sought to remodel therapeutic vegetation in African nations into prescribed drugs. And for equally as lengthy, conflicts over these medicinal vegetation have endured, from stolen recipes and poisonous tonics to unfulfilled guarantees of laboratory gear and usurped private patents. In Bitter Roots, Abena Dove Osseo-Asare attracts on publicly accessible information and in depth interviews with scientists and healers in Ghana, Madagascar, and South Africa to interpret how African scientists and healers, rural communities, and drug firms—together with Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Unilever—have sought for the reason that Eighties to develop medication from Africa’s medicinal vegetation.
Osseo-Asare remembers the efforts to remodel six vegetation into prescribed drugs: rosy periwinkle, Asiatic pennywort, grains of paradise, Strophanthus, Cryptolepis, and Hoodia. Via the tales of every plant, she exhibits that natural medication and pharmaceutical chemistry have simultaneous and overlapping histories that cross geographic boundaries. On the similar time, Osseo-Asare sheds new gentle on how numerous pursuits have tried to handle the rights to those therapeutic vegetation and probes the challenges related to assigning possession to vegetation and their biochemical elements.
An interesting examination of the historical past of drugs in colonial and postcolonial Africa, Bitter Roots might be indispensable for students of Africa; historians interested by medication, biochemistry, and society; and coverage makers involved with drug entry and patent rights.