Healing Herbs and Home Remedies
In Collaboration with
Equipo Multicisciplinario de Colombia
September 21, 2012-March 22, 2013
Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
Home Remedies are an essential part of health care systems all over the world. It is estimated that up to 80% of the world population depends on herbal remedies as their primary healthcare. Especially in the less developed world, herbs are a vital health resource for both humans and animals, although alternative medicine is accepted to varying degrees globally.
Home remedies are healing recipes that are based on plants and herbs, spices, fruits or vegetables. Around the globe families treat ailments based on remedies that have been passed down through generations.
Maybe you know of a home remedy that your family or friends use?
Home remedies, by definition, have not been scientifically tested. Although when they are, many remedies are shown to have a scientific basis for their efficacy. Many pharmaceutical drugs are in fact based on plants and herbs. The CCSF Library offers many resources for researching the effects of specific plants—beneficial and toxic. As with pharmaceutical drugs (many of which are based on plants) herbs can have both good and bad effects on your health or that of your pet.
The Multidisciplinary Group of Colombia/
Grupo Muliticisciplinario de Colombia
Grupo Multicisciplinario de Colombia, a group of artists and scholars wanted to investigate the use of herbs in their native Colombia. They collected home remedies by interviewing fellow Colombians across the country. Following the interview process, they compiled a collection of remedies and recipes and transformed them into the Vademécum pages that you see here in the cases. Following their work in Colombia, the Group next traveled to Cuba to interview Cubans about their use of plants and herbs for health and religious purposes. They collaborated with MAC/SAN, The Contemporary Art Museum of San Agustin in Havana for the Havana Bienal. Because of colonization and globalization, the Group found that many of the same remedies were used in both Colombia and in Cuba although each country had its own rich tradition of herbal use from, indigenous, African and European sources.
In Cuba the Group used video and visual art to share their findings—creating an installation at MAC/SAN, a museum without walls, in Havana where they displayed herbs and offered remedies for the public to sample. To emphasize the popular use of herbal remedies in Cuba, MGC created the Ruta Medicinal/Medicinal Path, silkscreening an image of the Botellas Curadas logo (bottled remedies) on the homes or offices of people practicing herbal medicine.
Here in the Bay Area we are lucky to have access to herbal health practices from all over the world. We can easily find Chinese, Ayurvedic and herbs from other cultures in local stores and markets. We can purchase growing plants from nurseries or plant them from seeds. We could easily create a Bay Area Vademécum of global health remedies.
At the display in the Rosenberg Library Norma Villazana-Price’s
Child Development class shares home remedies used by
their families and communities.