Associated Use of Traditional Knowledge on The Use of Marine Resources As Traditional Medicine Among Local Community in Malaysia
Traditional medicine has long been practiced throughout the world, where it uses natural resources as a major source of medicines. There are still many people in the world who practice traditional medicine because it is believed to be able to cure health problems with no side effects. Modern medicine has emerged in tandem with the development of science and technology to solve human health problems. However, modern medicines contain chemicals and some of them affect human health if taken on a continuous basis and over a long period of time. This study aims to identify the consumer’s knowledge towards the use of marine resources as traditional medicine and to analyses the influence of marine resource availability and consumer’s beliefs towards the use of marine resources as a traditional medicine to treat illness. This study uses a qualitative research method due to the need to have a deeper understanding by exploring the respondent’s knowledge and experiences towards the research issue. Respondents of the study consisted of fishermen, traditional practitioners and members of the public around the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, namely Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang. From the interviews conducted with 42 respondents, 24 species of marine resources which can resolve health problems and be used as traditional medicines have been identified. It was found that respondents were familiar with four types of marine resources, namely seahorses, sea cucumber, bahar roots, and horseshoe crab. The knowledge gained by the respondents about marine resources as a traditional medicine is from community history that has been passed from generation to generation, personal experience, and experience of family, relatives and friends. It also shows that knowledge and belief influence the consumers to use marine resources as traditional medicine to treat health problems, while the availability of the marine resources does not. The results of this study are valuable and useful in developing more marine resources based on alternative medicine to address various health and disease issues.
Keywords- Availability, Belief, Knowledge, Marine Resources, Traditional Medicine