Trans-Himalayan Transmission, or Convergence? Stauntonia (Lardizabalaceae) as an Ethnoveterinary Medicine

Robbie Hart, Rainer Bussmann


We explore the use of Stauntonia angustifolia (Wall.) Wall. ex Christenh., and Stauntonia latifolia (Wall.) Wall. ex Christenh. as ethnoveterinary medicines in the greater Himalayan region. This use, while not common and limited to mid-elevation mountain regions, stretches at least 1900 km from the Garwhal Himal in west Himalayan India to the Hengduan Shan in east Himalayan China. We trace the geographic and cultural distribution of the species, their uses, and their names. In sum, these suggest two possible scenarios, both connected to mountain pastoralism: 1) lateral transmission along the Himalayan mountains through seasonal transhumance interactions and 2) convergence on similar animal medical
uses driven by use of Stauntonia vines as rope in animal handling. More pan-Himalayan ethnobotanical studies could support these hypotheses with other plant species and uses, and help to understand how knowledge moves in mountains.


Key words: Himalaya - Knowledge Trasmission - Ethnoveterinary - Lardizabalaceae

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