A mutual ecological approach to health in Mongolia

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    Herders spend much time and energy seeking pasture and nurturing their herd animals in Mongolia. In turn, herd animals are the primary food source for herders in the form of meat and dairy products, feeding and nurturing the herding family. The overall herding principle strives towards a mutual balance across different scales within the body and the ecological food chain, resulting in reciprocal health and well-being. The powerful medicinal qualities of the blue and yellow pasque flower (yargui, Pulsatilla spp.) are valued in Mongolia, sought out in early spring by multiple species, including herders, goats and wild deer. Herding knowledge of goats and deer seeking out the pasque flower for medicinal purposes to expel gut parasites is an excellent example of Mongolian herding families’ awareness of their interdependent interconnections with other species as part of a larger surrounding ecology. However, this level of integration may not last, as herding families increasingly rely on introduced medicines, such as anthelmintics, bought from local pharmacies and wholesalers within rural townships.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8-10
    JournalAnthropology Today
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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