HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of International Conference on

Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies

June 20-22, 2024 | Paris, France

Traditional Medicine 2024

Pascal Revault

Speaker at Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies 2024 - Pascal Revault
Iedes-Paris1, France
Title : Facilitations and care of companion plants in crop fields in Zimbabwe


On the basis of a study of agricultural factors promoting nutritional security with the Zimbabwean national authorities, collaborative research in the Gowke region during the spring of 2022 identified the plants favoured by village communities in three localities, plants that are allies in the areas of human and animal health and protection against biopredators. The approach was based on interviews and visually recorded participatory observations with villagers, involving a health professional and an agronomist. The specific characteristics of the plants chosen by the villagers were compared with those described in the scientific literature. While the congruence between the uses and most of their referenced efficacy was confirmed, the importance attached to them is not purely functional. Farmers' personal choices relate to their history with these plants, their visual appearance, their taste qualities and their symbolic representations. Most of these plants are the result of globalisation on degraded soils, making them companion plants and care aids whose presence is essential in building interactions between plants and humans. Moringa oleifera, Cleome gynandra, Biden pilosa, Cucumis africanus, Corchorus tridens and Portulaca oleracea were the main species used systematically, but in varying proportions depending on the clay grower. In conclusion, a nutritional security project must integrate the plants favored by farmers, while delving deeper into the interactions woven between humans and non-humans beyond a utilitarian perspective, and over time. Highlighting and strengthening this collaboration, while repairing a link that has been damaged by monospecific cultivation practices based on often intensive mineral inputs and synthetic herbicides, helps to meet the challenges posed by the collapse of biodiversity, with the relative homogenization of plant species, and by global health issues.

 Audience Take Away Notes:

  • Some concrete uses of herbal treatment will be shared.
  • The audience also will learn the potential of alliances in the field of some specific plants that are fostered by the loss of biodiversity and the warming of the planet, but that represents at the same time an interesting opportunity for a planetary health.
  • This could provide an opening of research fields that are essential today to work with the living being. 


Dr Pascal Revault has been a medical doctor since 1994, and through his involvement in the field of global solidarity with civil society, has sought to delve deeper into the social and ecological determinants of health, in particular through his work in social anthropology with EHESS and IEDES Paris1. After completing a degree in botany and clinical phytotherapy at the Paris Nord University in 2022, his research focuses on the valorization of local knowledge and interspecific collaborations.