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Traditional medicines have been used for thousands of years by Indigenous people in Canada, with demonstrated efficacy in treating a wide range of health issues. Many of the medicines in contemporary biomedical treatments are derived from plants and herbs used by Indigenous people throughout the world. There has been little research done, however, on the integration of traditional knowledge-based treatments with Western biomedical treatments.

In recent years, researchers have begun to examine the chemistry of plants used by contemporary healers and Elders to treat various illnesses.