Special Issue "Beyond Conventional Medicine: Ethnomedical Approaches for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Shanta R. Dube
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Levine College of Health Sciences, Wingate University, Wingate, NC 28174, USA
Interests: epidemiology; stress and health; social and behavioral health; training and curriculum

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Significant achievements in conventional medical science and public health have advanced our knowledge about preventing and treating disease. Nevertheless, allopathic medicine is still a young science. Globally, there is recognition that traditional medical practices (ethnomedicine) continue to be utilized in the culture of origin. There is also recognition that many of these practices are being adopted and adapted for use outside the culture of origin—for example, Yoga, a part of Ayurveda, India’s 5000-year-old medical system is increasingly being utilized and researched in the U.S. The importance of food as medicine, which has been an integral component of Ayurveda, has also garnered attention in the public health field. Mindfulness practices, which originate from the Zen Tradition, are used in numerous ways to address health and well-being. A key distinction between Western allopathic medicine and traditional forms of medicine is that most ethnomedical paradigms view the body as a whole, health as multidimensional, and the importance of lifestyle as medicine. Ethnomedicine also recognizes the importance of the subjective view of illness and patient experience. Western medicine is primarily concerned with the physical dimension of health, diagnosis, and treatment, which separates mind and body. We are at a critical juncture to increase our knowledge of how traditional medicine is utilized, either alone or integrated with conventional medicine for healing, disease prevention, and health promotion. This is especially the case given that non-biologic agents such as stress and trauma are pervasive worldwide.

This Special Issue seeks papers on ethnomedical approaches for healing, health, and well-being. Epidemiological studies of the utilization of ethnomedical practices will be considered, as well as rigorous mechanistic studies. High-quality case studies and systematic reviews will also be considered. We seek papers that examine the use of ethnomedicine for infectious diseases, mental illness, chronic diseases, pain, and other associated ailments. Papers that examine ethnomedical medical practices with conventional medicine will be considered.

Assoc. Prof. Shanta R. Dube
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Ethnomedicine
  • Traditional medicine
  • Complementary and Integrative Medicine
  • Depression
  • Mental illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Life course
  • Self-care
  • Traumatic stress
  • Prevention
  • Health promotion

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Patient Assessment and Chronic Pain Self-Management in Ethnomedicine: Seasonal and Ecosystemic Embodiment in Ayurvedic Patient-Centered Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2842; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082842 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 931
Abstract
Background: Ayurveda’s preventive focus complements its strength with the interventionist approach of the biomedical in chronic pain self-management. Patient-centered care (PCC) using ethnomedicine promises greater patient self-management; however, few studies have examined environmental relationships and PCC in self-management of chronic pain through Ayurveda. [...] Read more.
Background: Ayurveda’s preventive focus complements its strength with the interventionist approach of the biomedical in chronic pain self-management. Patient-centered care (PCC) using ethnomedicine promises greater patient self-management; however, few studies have examined environmental relationships and PCC in self-management of chronic pain through Ayurveda. Objective: To examine how Ayurveda’s philosophical focus on whole system frameworks describes the integration of the individual and the ecological in tailoring an integrative patient-centered diagnostic and prognostic approach to chronic pain management. Methods: This qualitative case study conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews of Ayurvedic physicians from India (N = 10) and a qualitative inductive content analytic approach. Findings: The diagnostic and interpretational framework of the doshas supports the integration of the individual and the ecological through (a) the circadian and seasonal cycles relating mind-body awareness with diet, lifestyle (e.g., yoga), and breath (e.g., pranayama), and (b) biogeographical and ecosystemic regions relating the biogeographical and the ecological (e.g., desh) with the regulatory principle of pain and its physiological and anatomical perception (vata) in an approach that goes beyond treating pain etiology to a whole person PCC approach. Conclusions: The study highlights how circadian and seasonal cycles and evolutionary spatial-temporal factors of biogeographical and ecological regions are employed in patient assessment and self-management to support patient involvement. Recommendations for PCC in integrative chronic pain management include supporting patient ownership of their care through the dosha framework that relates the individual and the ecological in the patient’s own life-context and supports co-creation of a collaborative plan of care using an ethnomedical framework. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Beyond Scientific Mechanisms: Subjective Perceptions with Viniyoga Meditation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122200 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
Healthcare professionals and research scientists generally recognize the potential value of mind–body practices grounded in ancient wisdom, but often have limited direct experience with such practices. Meditation participant self-reports provide a window into subjective experiences of three Viniyoga meditations and how and why [...] Read more.
Healthcare professionals and research scientists generally recognize the potential value of mind–body practices grounded in ancient wisdom, but often have limited direct experience with such practices. Meditation participant self-reports provide a window into subjective experiences of three Viniyoga meditations and how and why those meditations could contribute to health and well-being outcomes. Each of the meditations in this analysis had a unique structure and used a different aspect of the ocean as a meditation object. Yoga philosophy and yoga anatomy models of the human system are used to help explain participants’ experiences and associated personal benefits and insights. Four aspects of the individual that can influence what happens for them in meditation are illustrated with tangible examples: (1) What is happening in generally in someone’s life; (2) the state of their system (mind, body, breath) around the time of the meditation; (3) reactions to the meditation steps and instructions; and (4) their prior experiences with the object of meditation. Summaries of the practices, and why and for whom each meditation might be beneficial are discussed. The authors’ perspectives are grounded in Viniyoga and yoga therapy. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Molecular Docking Approach to Evaluate the Pharmacological Properties of Natural and Synthetic Treatment Candidates for Use against Hypertension
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060923 - 14 Mar 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have become the leading cause of disability and death worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Hypertension, a major cause of CVD progression, is widely attributable to genetic, behavioral, and environmental risk factors. Among the genetic reasons, angiotensin II enzyme, [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have become the leading cause of disability and death worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Hypertension, a major cause of CVD progression, is widely attributable to genetic, behavioral, and environmental risk factors. Among the genetic reasons, angiotensin II enzyme, produced as a result of abnormal functioning of the renin–angiotensin system, is reported as the foremost cause of hypertension. A cascade of genes, including those encoding for WNK kinases (WNK1 and WNK4), Bp1, Bp2, angiotensinogen, and other enzymes, is involved in the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II. However, the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) plays a crucial role in this pathway. Therefore, ACE could be a potential therapeutic target in regulating the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II and eventually controlling hypertension. In this study, a molecular docking-based approach was utilized for identifying and evaluating potential inhibitors of ACE present in herbs, other natural sources, and synthetic sources, on the basis of these compounds’ binding affinities and other physicochemical features. In addition, the suitability of these inhibitors as drugs for biological systems, considering their adsorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), was predicted using Lipinski’s rule. In conclusion, our study provides a novel and clearer insight into the interaction properties of known putative inhibitors of ACE. Full article
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