Cultural significance of medicinal plant families and species among Quechua farmers in Apillapampa, Bolivia

Laboratory of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Ethnobotany, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3). 02/2009; 122(1):60-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.11.021
Source: PubMed


Medicinal plant use was investigated in Apillapampa, a community of subsistence farmers located in the semi-arid Bolivian Andes.
The main objectives were to identify the culturally most significant medicinal plant families and species in Apillapampa.
A total of 341 medicinal plant species was inventoried during guided fieldtrips and transect sampling. Data on medicinal uses were obtained from fifteen local Quechua participants, eight of them being traditional healers.
Contingency table and binomial analyses of medicinal plants used versus the total number of inventoried species per family showed that Solanaceae is significantly overused in traditional medicine, whereas Poaceae is underused. Also plants with a shrubby habitat are significantly overrepresented in the medicinal plant inventory, which most likely relates to their year-round availability to people as compared to most annual plants that disappear in the dry season. Our ranking of medicinal species according to cultural importance is based upon the Quality Use Agreement Value (QUAV) index we developed. This index takes into account (1) the average number of medicinal uses reported for each plant species by participants; (2) the perceived quality of those medicinal uses; and (3) participant consensus.
According to the results, the QUAV index provides an easily derived and valid appraisal of a medicinal plant's cultural significance.

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    • "IAR was calculated by following formula, IAR ¼ N r À N a =N r À1 where N r is the total number of citations recorded for individual taxa and N a is the number of illness categories treated with this species. The IAR value zero (0) indicate the number of illness category equals the number of citations and one (1) indicate all the participants mentioned the plant species for particular disease (Thomas et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: During the last few decades there has been an increasing interest in the study of medicinal plants with their traditional use and related pharmacological research all over the World. This paper enumerated folk medicinal plants used by Malayali tribal people in an unexplored and biodiversity rich region of Eastern Ghats in southern India. The aim of this study is to collect and identify the plants used in medicinal therapy by the local people and professional traditional healers with quantitative analysis. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out during January to December 2014 among the Malayali tribal people in four villages of Palamalai region in Eastern Ghats, India. The information was obtained through open and semi-structured face-to-face interviews with the local knowledgeable people and professional traditional healers. The statistical analysis, use value, family use value, informants' consensus factor, fidelity level, frequency of citation, relative frequency citation and informants' agreements ratio were calculated for the quantitative study of ethnomedicinal data. A total of 118 plant species belonging to 95 genera and 55 families dominated by the families like Leguminosae, Asteraceae and Lamiaceae were enumerated with detailed information on parts used, method of preparation, mode of administration and ailments treated. Leaves were mostly used plant part and predominantly used herbal preparations were decoction and paste. Moringa oleifera Lam. was reported by all the interviewed informants and gives the highest UV of 3.9 with 78 use reports due to its diverse medicinal uses. The present study demonstrated the need for importance of documenting the traditional knowledge of forest dwelling people. As a result of the study, Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet., Andrographis echioides (L.f.) Nees., Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst., Canarium strictum Roxb., Centella asiatica (L.) Urban., Senna auriculata (L.) Roxb. and Tribulus terrestris (L.) were recommended for further ethnopharmacological studies since these plants were recorded with high UV, IAR, RFC and FL values. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Journal of ethnopharmacology 06/2015; 172. DOI:10.1016/j.jep.2015.05.046 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    • "Additionally, it is also likely that this outcome is related to the high number of species of the Fabaceae and Asteraceae families. According to Caballero et al. (1998) and more recently to Thomas et al. (2009), the useful species of these two families are probably more numerous than in any other botanical family. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tropical rainforests have been a valuable source of resources for human kind. However, this ecosystem is disappearing at an alarming rate, with only isolated fragments remaining in inaccessible zones and showing high probability of disappearing. The aim of this study was to identify tropical rainforest plant species with potential for human use in the central region of Veracruz, Mexico. A floristic inventory was compiled of rainforest fragments and secondary vegetation using the plotting method. The total area sampled was 5600 m2. Using the equation Clench model, the proportion of species inventoried was assessed. This was 85% (tq = 0.85) for the rainforest and 90% (tq = 0.9) for the secondary vegetation. A total of 338 species, 210 genera and 89 families were recorded. Using semistructured interviews with locals, a list of useful plants was drawn up and it was found that people recognized and used 47% of the species inventoried. Additionally, contingency tables and the Spearman correlation test were performed to determine the differences in knowledge and use of the vegetation among villages, as well as in the gender and age group of the respondents. Nevertheless, we found no significant differences (P >0.05). The use value (UV) was calculated to analyze the use of flora. in order to assess the relationship between the UV and their ecological importance, the index of adjusted ecological importance value (AEIV) was obtained. We detected that the most used species are not necessarily those of greater ecological importance. The potentially useful flora was defined based on a literature research, in situ interviews, as well as on their visual and morphological characteristics. According to the data, more than 50% of the inventoried species are potentially useful, mainly as ornamental and medicinal ones, and they provide new economic alternatives for the local people with a minimum impact on the rainforest.
    Acta botánica Mexicana 10/2014; 155:55-77. · 0.60 Impact Factor
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    • "where n r is the total number of citations registered for species s and n a is the number of illness categories that are treated with this species . This values ranges between zero ( when the number of illness categories equals the number of citations) and one ( where by all the participants agree upon the exclusive use of the species for the particular illness) ( Thomas et al., 2009 ) . 2 . 4 . "
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    ABSTRACT: Ethnopharmacological relevance: The aim of the present study was to document the medicinal plants by the traditional medical practitioners from Kalrayan hills of Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. Quantitatively analyses of the data were made to acquire some useful leads for further studies. Materials and methods: Successive free listing was the method adopted for the interview. In this study, 54 traditional healer medical practitioners were included and their knowledge on medicinal plants was gathered. The data were assessed with the help of two indices viz., informant consensus factor (Fic) and Informant Agreement on Remedies (IAR). Results: The present survey is in accordance with some of the aspects of our previous surveys. Regarding the demography of the informants, it exhibited unevenness in male-female ratio and majority of the informants were poorly educated. Practicing this system of medicine as part time job by majority of the informants might indicate the reduced social status of this medicinal system. The present study had recorded the usage of 81 species, which in turn yielded 1073 use reports. The major illness category 'aphrodisiac, hair care and endocrinal disorders' hold a high Fic values. Among the other illness categories, gastro-intestinal ailments, genito-urinary ailments and dermatological infection ailments have a high percentage of use reports. Eye ailments, general health, kapha ailments, psychological ailments and skeleton muscular system ailments were the other illness categories with high Fic values. Some of the claims viz., Argyrolobium roseum (aphrodisiac ailments), Rosa brunonii (eye ailments) Hibiscus surattensis (dermatological infections ailments), Bauhinia variegata (neurology Ailments), Cotinus coggygria (circulatory system/cardiovascular ailments) and Uvaria narum (gastro-intestinal ailments) which have relatively high consensus can be taken up for further biomedical studies, since no substantial studies have been conducted on them. Conclusion: Based on the results of our present study, we have highlighted some claims which are at high use in the study area but having little scientific support. Studies on such claims will provide scientific base to some extent which in turn will be useful to improve the health of indigenous people.
    Journal of Ethnopharmacology 09/2014; 157. DOI:10.1016/j.jep.2014.09.014 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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