Gendered medicinal plant knowledge contributions to adaptive capacity and health sovereignty in Amazonia

Isabel Díaz-Reviriego, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, Matthieu Salpeteur, Patricia L. Howard, Victoria Reyes-García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, The Author(s). Local medical systems are key elements of social-ecological systems as they provide culturally appropriate and locally accessible health care options, especially for populations with scarce access to biomedicine. The adaptive capacity of local medical systems generally rests on two pillars: species diversity and a robust local knowledge system, both threatened by local and global environmental change. We first present a conceptual framework to guide the assessment of knowledge diversity and redundancy in local medicinal knowledge systems through a gender lens. Then, we apply this conceptual framework to our research on the local medicinal plant knowledge of the Tsimane’ Amerindians. Our results suggest that Tsimane’ medicinal plant knowledge is gendered and that the frequency of reported ailments and the redundancy of knowledge used to treat them are positively associated. We discuss the implications of knowledge diversity and redundancy for local knowledge systems’ adaptive capacity, resilience, and health sovereignty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-275
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Gendered knowledge
  • Knowledge diversity
  • Knowledge redundancy
  • Local knowledge systems
  • Local medical systems
  • Tsimane’


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