On local knowledge
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - August 17, 2019 - 12:00am

Hogging the headline for health is the rising cases of dengue. Such alarming rise affects the most vulnerable sector of the society, our children. And much more to their financially-disadvantaged parents who don’t have so much means and access for health support. And so they would just rely on what are available in their midst. Equally hogging the story is the health benefits of a local herb called tawa-tawa or mangagaw in Cebuano that for so long townspeople have relied on its curative benefits. With scientific name Euphorbia hirta, the plant is used in folklore medicine in the Philippines for the treatment of dengue. The available evidence conclusively demonstrates its potential against dengue as it holds significant antiviral and platelet-increasing activities.

Sometime before, besides rituals for recuperating, people have utilize herbs, a significant number of which have demonstrated powerful uses, particularly without present-day substance preparations. However, not only from this plant can we benefit but also from other local knowledge that has been handed down from generation to generation.

When somebody specifies the theme of “knowledge”, what comes to mind? Is it profoundly specialized information? Does it invoke contemplations of research created by educators and scientists in faraway lands? Is it something outside our ability to comprehend yet something we might want or need to all the more likely comprehend our reality? Considering we are in the information age, isn't it crucial that we empower access to this world for those we work with and for?

Knowledge is stories meticulously shared to ensure cooperation and gender equality in the society, with a shifting or depleting resource base. This taps into tradition, lived experiences, and acquired understanding passed down through generations to aid in surviving crises. The existence of these stories, shared orally, attests to their success in achieving this objective.

Local knowledge can be produced by local communities dwelling in rural, urban or peri-urban surroundings as these are validated bits of information that are shared giving valuable setting, foundation, or direction on survival during typical or phenomenal conditions.

Local and indigenous information implies the understandings, aptitudes, and perspectives made by social orders with long stories of association with their common habitat. For rural and indigenous social orders, local knowledge educates decision making about significant angles with respect to regular day-to-day existence.

Customarily, in numerous parts of the country, it is accepted that ailment is brought about by spirits whom the individual has displeased. It can likewise be brought about by precursor spirits needing to have customs performed for them. A pig is butchered with a mambunong assessing the bile to check whether it is sound enough. In the event that the prognosis is good, the individual will recuperate with just one pig butchered. If not, another pig is butchered, then another, until the mambunong gets a healthy bile. This action is partaken in by the debilitated individual's relatives, neighbors, and companions who come to partake of the meat.

The truth, unfortunately, is the idea of what learning is remains a zone that not many have the ability to engage. This unavailability is an issue and one that we would like to remedy by reaching out to local forefront responders.

Today, there is now recognition of indigenous people’s knowledge with medicinal, social, and cultural contributions. We just have to continue to explore, take heed, and give importance to what our forebears have entrusted to us throughout the generations.

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