Login

Join for Free!
114830 members
table of contents table of contents

The study aimed to explore whether taste retains an importance in determining …


Biology Articles » Ethnobiology » Does the taste matter? Taste and medicinal perceptions associated with five selected herbal drugs among three ethnic groups in West Yorkshire, Northern England » Results and discussion

Results and discussion
- Does the taste matter? Taste and medicinal perceptions associated with five selected herbal drugs among three ethnic groups in West Yorkshire, Northern England

Taste perceptions associated with the selected herbal drugs

Figure 2 shows the taste perceptions associated with each of the five selected herbal drugs among the three ethnic groups. If considering only those quotations given by more than 20% of all participants, from the graphs it is evident that the main cross-cultural differences in taste perceptions were as follows:

• the perception of the spicy taste of ginger, garlic, and cinnamon (in all three cases, there was only a relatively small sample of the Kashmiri and a large sample of English informants describing these herbal drugs as spicy);

• the perception of the bitter taste of ginger (a relatively large majority of Kashmiri participants perceived this herbal drug as bitter);

• the perception of the sweet taste of mint (relatively small proportion of Kashmiri informants);

• the perception of the sour taste of garlic (relatively small sample of the English participants).

Medicinal perceptions associated with the selected herbal drugs

Figure 3 and Table 1 give details of medicinal perceptions associated with the selected herbal drugs across the three ethnic groups. We can clearly see that:

• ginger is perceived by many more Kashmiris than by members of either of the other two groups as being helpful for healing infections and muscular-skeletal and digestive disorders;

• mint is perceived by more Kashmiris than by members of either of the other two groups as being helpful for healing digestive and respiratory troubles;

• garlic is perceived by more Kashmiris than by members of either of the other two groups as being helpful for healing blood system disorders;

• cinnamon is perceived by more Kashmiris than by members of either of the other two groups as being helpful against infectious diseases.

• overall, the Kashmiris had the highest number of participants, proportionately, perceiving medicinal uses for each of the five herbs; the English participants had the lowest perception of medicinal use in all cases.

The fact that more Kashmiris have strong perceptions about the medicinal properties of herbal drugs could perhaps be explained by the great resilience of their Traditional Medicine (TM).

The link between specific taste and medicinal perceptions

Figure 4 shows how for the Gujarati and Kashmiri groups a strong link exists between the frequency of the perception of bitter and spicy tastes of ginger, garlic, clove, and cinnamon, and the frequency of perceived medicinal perceptions. Values related to "no taste perceptions" in Figure 3 are the sum of answers reporting a "bland" perception or no answers at all – N/A (even it could be that informants did not know how to describe a particular flavour, we felt that often the N/A response was associate in the mind of the interviewees to the lack of a specific taste perception).

Figure 5 shows how there is a far less evident link between the sweet taste and the medicinal perceptions of mint and cinnamon among the Gujarati group, whereas the Kashmiri group gave a much more complex response.

The lack of a clear link between taste and medicinal perceptions among the autochthonous English group can possibly be explained by the low degree of knowledge about the medicinal properties of herbal drugs that the informants of this group displayed.

Age, gender, and taste perceptions

Figure 6 shows how bitter, spicy, sour, sweet perceptions relate to age. While younger interviewees tended more frequently to define the taste of the selected drugs as "bitter" and "sour", the elderly more frequently reported them as being "spicy". Interviewees in the middle generations less frequently cited perceptions of sweetness. Unfortunately, due to the inconsistency in representation of all categories of age in the English ethnic group further analysis was considered unreliable.

Analysis of gender differences in taste showed that the perception of the "tastelessness" (including the two categories of bland and not applicable) of ginger, mint, garlic, clove and cinnamon was consistently perceived at a proportionately higher rate in females than in males (Figure 7).


rating: 5.00 from 1 votes | updated on: 30 Mar 2009 | views: 7502 |

Rate article:







excellent!bad…