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J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Oct;67(1):1-6.

Ferula asa-foetida and Curcuma longa in traditional medical treatment and diet in Nepal.

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  • 1Institute for Tibetology and Buddhist Studies, Vienna, Austria.


Food and eating have powerful symbolic value among the hinduistically-influenced ethnic groups of Nepal. In addition, food plays a major role in the concepts of illness and curing and constitute an integral part of traditional medical prescriptions. Materials that are consumed in 0.5-1.5 g amounts in the daily diet (e.g. the spices turmeric and asafoetida) are used in minute amounts for medical purposes. Why? Three hypotheses are offered here to discuss this issue.

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