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J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Oct 29;126(1):159-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.07.016. Epub 2009 Jul 24.

Medicinal knowledge and plant utilization in an Amazonian coastal community of Marudá, Pará State (Brazil).

Author information

1
Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Coordenação de Botânica, Campus de pesquisa, Av Perimetral, CP 1901, Guamá, CEP 66077-530, Belém, Pará, Brazil. mcoelho@museu-goeldi.br

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

It shows the local medicinal uses of biodiversity in Brazil's Amazonian littoral, promoting the value of folk knowledge, and its applicability in future studies.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

To demonstrate the importance of the knowledge of medicinal plants in the Amazonian coastal community of Marudá, located in Pará State, Brazil.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Fieldwork was conducted between 1996 and 1998, using the methods of participant observation, semi-structured interviews and informal discussions to elicit information from community residents and plant specialists, in addition to collecting plant material.

RESULTS:

Community residents possess knowledge of 229 medicinal plants distributed in 81 botanical families and know how to manipulate them in a variety of ways, with special care taken to ensure that they are used in the safest and most efficient manner. Therapeutic indications for these plants include illness and disease recognized in the repertoire of Western medicine as well as ailments perceived from a local cultural perspective.

CONCLUSION:

Results from this study attest to informants' knowledge of medicinal flora and their ability and openness to integrate new species from diverse origins into their gamut of medicinal knowledge, including industrial therapeutic preparations and animal products. Local uses of biodiversity in Brazil's Amazonian littoral are also evinced, promoting the value of folk medicinal knowledge. Similarly, it mentions the potential of implementing local knowledge in Brazil's Unitary Health System.

PMID:
19632314
DOI:
10.1016/j.jep.2009.07.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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