Role of traditional knowledge in the explanation of childhood nutritional deficiency by indian mothers

Malathi Sivaramakrishnan, Vimla L. Patel

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9 Scopus citations


This study examines the role of indigenous knowledge in the explanation of the cause and treatment of childhood nutritional deficiencies by schooled and unschooled Indian mothers, born and educated in India, but living in Canada. The mothers were interviewed and the explanations of childhood diseases were verbally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using cognitive methods of analysis. The explanations of unschooled mothers related to the interpretations of the traditional Ayurvedic system of health and disease practiced in India. Among mothers with formal education, explanations with respect to traditional theory prevailed, along with the emerging, naive biomedical knowledge. However, the traditional and the biomedical knowledge are not integrated into a coherent structure. The implications of the findings, in relation to child nutrition and health education, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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