Animal-based folk remedies sold in public markets in Crato and Juazeiro do Norte, Ceara, Brazil.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Human communities consistently develop a detailed knowledge of the therapeutical and medicinal properties of the local flora and fauna, and these folk remedies often substitute medicines produced by the pharmaceutical industry. Animals (and their derived products) are essential ingredients in the preparation of many traditional remedies. The present work prepared an inventory of the animals sold in public markets in the cities of Crato and Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará State, Brazil. METHODS: Information was obtained through the use of semi-structured questionnaires in interviews held with 27 merchants of medicinal animals (18 in the municipality of Juazeiro do Norte [11 men and 7 women] and 9 people in the municipality of Crato [6 men and 3 women]). We calculated the Informant Consensus Factor (ICF) to determine the consensus over which species are effective for particular ailments, as well as the species Use Value (UV) to determine the extent of utilization of each species. RESULTS: A total of 31 animal species, distributed among 21 families were identified as being used medicinally. The taxa most represented were: insects (8 species), mammals (7), fish (5), reptiles (5) and birds (4). The animals sold in these markets are used to treat a total of 24 ailments, with rheumatism, asthma, and inflammations having the largest numbers of citations. Three species not previously reported as having medicinal use were encountered: Leporinus steindachneri (utilized for treating cholesterol problems), Gryllus assimilis (utilized in treating urinary infections), and Phrynops tuberosus (used to treat asthma, rheumatism and bruises). CONCLUSION: The composition of the local fauna, the popular culture, and commercial considerations are factors that maintain and drive the market for therapeutic animal products - and the lack of monitoring and regulation of this commerce is worrisome from a conservationist perspective. A detailed knowledge of the fauna utilized in alternative medicine is fundamental to the conservation and rational use of the Brazilian fauna.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Animal-based remedies constitute an integral part of Brazilian Traditional Medicine. Due to its long history, zootherapy has in fact become an integral part of folk medicine both in rural and urban areas of the country. In this paper we summarize current knowledge on zootherapeutic practices in Northeast of Brazil, based on information compiled from ethnobiological scientific literature. METHODS: In order to examine the diversity of animals used in traditional medicine in Northeast of Brazil, all available references or reports of folk remedies based on animals sources were examined. 34 sources were analyzed. Only taxa that could be identified to species level were included in assessment of medicinal animal species. Scientific names provided in publications were updated. RESULTS: The review revealed that at least 250 animal species (178 vertebrates and 72 invertebrates) are used for medicinal purposes in Northeast of Brazil. The inventoried species comprise 10 taxonomic categories and belong to 141 Families. The groups with the greatest number of species were fishes (n = 58), mammals (n = 47) and reptiles (n = 37). The zootherapeutical products are used for the treatment of different illnesses. The most widely treated condition were asthma, rheumatism and sore throat, conditions, which had a wide variety of animals to treat them with. Many animals were used for the treatment of multiple ailments. Beyond the use for treating human diseases, zootherapeutical resources are also used in ethnoveterinary medicine CONCLUSION: The number of medicinal species catalogued was quite expressive and demonstrate the importance of zootherapy as alternative therapeutic in Northeast of Brazil. Although widely diffused throughout Brazil, zootherapeutic practices remain virtually unstudied. There is an urgent need to examine the ecological, cultural, social, and public health implications associated with fauna usage, including a full inventory of the animal species used for medicinal purposes and the socio-cultural context associated with their consumption.
Project description:Maintaining cultural identity and preference to treat cultural bound ailments with herbal medicine are motivations for migrants to continue using medicinal plants from their home country after moving to Europe and the USA. As it is generally easier to import exotic food than herbal medicine, migrants often shift to using species that double as food and medicine. This paper focuses on the trade in African medicinal plants in a Congolese neighborhood in Brussels (Belgium). What African medicinal plants are sold in Matonge, where do they come from, and to which extent are they food medicines? Does vendor ethnicity influence the diversity of the herbal medicine sold? We hypothesized that most medicinal plants, traders, and clients in Matonge were of Congolese origin, most plants used medicinally were mainly food crops and that culture-bound illnesses played a prominent role in medicinal plant use. We carried out a market survey in 2014 that involved an inventory of medicinal plants in 19 shops and interviews with 10 clients of African descent, voucher collection and data gathering on vernacular names and uses. We encountered 83 medicinal plant species, of which 71% was primarily used for food. The shredded leaves of Gnetum africanum Welw., Manihot esculenta Crantz, and Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam were among the most frequently sold vegetables with medicinal uses. Cola nuts, shea butter, Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f., and Mondia whitei (Hook.f.). Skeels were the main non-food medicines sold. Women's health, aphrodisiacs, and rituals were the most important medicinal applications, but culture-bound ailments did not entirely dominate the plant uses. While most clients in Matonge were Congolese, most vendors and plant species were not. The Pakistanis dominated the food trade, and typical Congolese plants were sometimes replaced by West African species, creating confusion in vernacular names. African-managed shops had significantly more species of medicinal plants in stock than shops managed by Pakistanis. Almost all non-food herbal medicine was sold by Africans. Apart from informal shops, non-food herbal medicine was also sold from private homes and by ambulant vendors, probably to reduce costs and escape taxes and control by the authorities. We expect that in the future, increasing rent, strict regulations, and decreasing investments by the Congolese community will force the medicinal plant trade in Matonge to go even more underground.
Project description:Traditional methods of healing have been beneficial in many countries with or without access to conventional allopathic medicine. In the United States, these traditional practices are increasingly being sought after for illnesses that cannot be easily treated by allopathic medicine. More and more people are becoming interested in the knowledge maintained by traditional healers and in the diversity of medicinal plants that flourish in areas like Northern Peru. While scientific studies of medicinal plants are underway, concern has arisen over the preservation of both the large diversity of medicinal plants and the traditional knowledge of healing methods that accompanies them. To promote further conservation work, this study attempted to document the sources of the most popular and rarest medicinal plants sold in the markets of Trujillo (Mayorista and Hermelinda) and Chiclayo (Modelo and Moshoqueque), as well as to create an inventory of the plants sold in these markets, which will serve as a basis for comparison with future inventories. Individual markets and market stalls were subjected to cluster analysis based on the diversity of the medicinal plants they carry. The results show that markets were grouped based on the presence of: (1) common exotic medicinal plants; (2) plants used by laypeople for self-medication related to common ailments ("everyday remedies"); (3) specialized medicinal plants used by curanderos or traditional healers; and (4) highly "specialized" plants used for magical purposes. The plant trade in the study areas seems to correspond well with the specific health care demands from clientele in those areas. The specific market patterns of plant diversity observed in the present study represent a foundation for comparative market research in Peru and elsewhere.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Peru is what Peruvian anthropologist Lupe Camino calls the “health axis” of the old Central Andean culture area stretching from Ecuador to Bolivia. In particular in the North of the country the traditional use of medicinal dates back as far as the first millennium B.C. Both healers, and the wider population, often buy their medicinal plants in local markets, but there is very little comparative information available about which plants are sold under which vernacular name at any given time, for which indication, and which dosage information and information about side effects is given by vendors. For this study we used two traditionally used species groups “Hercampuri” Gentianella spec. (Gentianaceae) and “Pasuchaca” Geranium spec. (Geraniaceae.), found in the Mercado Aviación in Lima, as small, clearly circumscribed plant group frequently used to treat symptoms of diabetes as a test case to study the taxonomy, indications, dosage, indicated side effects, and additional species used as admixtures and hypothesized that: 1. A wide variety of different species is sold under the same common name, and often several common names exist for one species. 2. There is no consistency in the dosage, or a relationship between dosage and species marketed under one name. 3. However, there is consistency in the knowledge about usage and side effects.<h4>Methods</h4>Surveys focusing on medicinal plants sold and their properties were conducted at the Mercado Aviaciónin Lima in December 2012. Vouchers of all specimens were deposited at the National Herbarium of Peru.<h4>Results and conclusions</h4>Our surveys in Mercado Aviación in Lima yielded four species of Gentianella, two of Geranium, and three additional species from three genera used as common additives that were sold as anti-diabetic. These results indicate that even in case of only a few plant species, used for a very clearly circumscribed application, patients run a considerable risk when purchasing their remedies in the market. The possible side effects in this case are the more serious because diabetes has to be treated long term, and as such the patients are ingesting possible toxic remedies over a long period of time. Much more control, and a much more stringent identification of the material sold in public markets, and entering the global supply chain via internet sales, would be needed.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Medicinal properties of the food species are one of the poorly documented and important areas of ethnopharmacology. The present survey quantitatively documented the medicinal foods prescribed by the non-institutionally trained siddha practitioners of Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu.<h4>Methods</h4>Field work was carried out between December 2014 and April 2017 using a questionnaire. The illnesses mentioned by the informants were grouped as illness categories on the basis of emic perceptions. Sufficiency of sampling of this survey was assessed by plotting the cumulative number of UR and Shannon-Wiener's index. The indices such as informant consensus factor (FIC), Index of Agreement on Remedies (IAR), and Cultural Food Significance Index (CFSI) were calculated.<h4>Results</h4>This study documented 165 medicinal foods used by 82 non-institutionally trained siddha practitioners of Tiruvallur district, and 73.93% of these preparations were plant based. Among the animal taxa, 82.05% were represented by fish taxa. The illness category gastrointestinal ailments is the majorly cited illness category treated with plant-based formulations. The illness categories viz., gastrointestinal ailments, hemorrhoids, and neural ailments had high consensus under the group of plant-based medicinal foods. In animal-based medicinal foods, kapha ailments had gained 23.07% of UR. The illness categories such as bone fractures, male reproductive ailments, blood ailments, and anabolic had high FIC values.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Deeper studies on different dietary cultures of India may help to derive better interpretations on food-medicine continuum. This study identified some important claims such as the use of citron, pomegranate and Solanum americanum (gastrointestinal ailments), Abutilon indicum, onions and elephant foot yam (hemorrhoids), Boerhavia diffusa (urinary ailments), Moringa oleifera (anemia), Aloe vera (gynecological ailments), Eclipta prostrata (liver ailments), ivy gourd (diabetes), citron (hypertension), Centella asiatica (psychological ailments), spade nose shark (lactogogue), reticulate whipray (wheezing and bronchitis), Katelysia opima (impotence), Indian squid (anemia), and Indian oil sardine (anabolic). More studies on these claims will help identify novel functional foods to add to the field of medical nutrition therapy, with traditional brand identity. Robust studies on the documentation of the traditional knowledge on marine resources will yield a good database for various stakeholders and policy makers.
Project description:Traditional knowledge on the use of animal products to maintain human health is important since time immemorial. Although a few studies reported food and medicinal values of different animals, a comprehensive ethno-medicinal study of vertebrates in Nepal is still lacking. Thus, present study is aimed at documenting the ethno-medicinal knowledge related to vertebrate fauna among different ethnic communities in the Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape, central Nepal. Data was collected by using semi-structured questionnaires and analyzed by using Use Value (UV), Informant Consensus Factor (ICF) and Fidelity level (FL). Results showed a total of 58 (53 wild and 5 domestic) species of vertebrate animals. They were used to treat 62 types human ailments. Four animals were also used for veterinary diseases and agriculture benefits. The most widely used species was Felis chaus (UV = 0.25) with 3 use-reports by 10 informants. Cardiovascular and dental problems had the highest ICF value (0.974) with cardiovascular problems having 351 use-reports for 10 animal species and dental problems having 77 use-reports for 3 animal species. The least ICF was found in ophthalmological problems (ICF = 0.833, use reports = 7 for 2 species). We concluded that the different animals were an important part of traditional medicine for the local people living in the Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape. However, the majority of animals and most likely to be threatened due to their uses. The present documented ethnozoological knowledge can be used in conservation and management of vertebrates so that they could be protected for future generations.
Project description:The Araripe Basin (Northeastern Brazil) has yielded a rich Cretaceous fossil fauna of both vertebrates and invertebrates found mainly in the Crato and Romualdo Formations, of Aptian and Albian ages respectively. Among the vertebrates, the turtles were found to be quite diverse, with several specimens retrieved and five valid species described to this date for the Romualdo Formation. There were also records of turtles from Ipubi and Crato Formations, mainly fragmentary material which precluded proper specific identification; however, Araripemys barretoi is supposed to occur on both Crato and Romualdo Formations. Here we describe thirteen specimens of A. barretoi-including the first description of an almost complete individual, bearing a skull, from the Crato Formation. We report a great amount of morphological variation, interpreted as being essentially of intraspecific nature, including individual, sexual and ontogenetic variation.
Project description:Nowadays, medicinal plants are used as a popular alternative to synthetic drugs. Many medicinal plant products have now been commercialized throughout various markets. These products are commonly sold in processed or modified forms such as powders, dried material and capsules, making it almost impossible to accurately identify the constituent species. The herbal plant known as 'Rang Chuet' in Thai has been widely used as remedies for various ailments. However, two medicinal plants species, Thunbergia laurifolia and Crotalaria spectabilis share this name. Duo to the similarity in nomenclature, the commercial products labeled as 'Rang Chuet' could be any of them. Recently, the evidence of hepatotoxic effects linked to use of C. spectabilis were reported and is now seriously concern. There is a need to find an approach that could help with species identification of these herbal products to ensure the safety and efficacy of the herbal drug.Here DNA barcoding was used in combination with High Resolution Melting analysis (Bar-HRM) to authenticate T. laurifolia species. Four DNA barcodes including matK, rbcL, rpoC and trnL were selected for use in primers design for HRM analysis to produce standard melting profiles of the selected species. Commercial products labeled as 'Rang Chuet' were purchased from Thai markets and authentication by HRM analyses.Melting data from the HRM assay using the designed primers showed that the two 'Rang Chuet' species could easily be distinguished from each other. The melting profiles of the all four region amplicons of each species are clearly separated in all three replicates. The method was then applied to authenticate products in powdered form. HRM curves of all ten test samples indicated that three of the tested products did not only contain the T. laurifolia species.The herbal drugs derived from different plants must be distinguished from each other even they share the same vernacular name. The Bar-HRM method developed here proved useful in the identification and authentication of herbal species in processed samples. In the future, species authentication through Bar-HRM could be used to promote consumer trust, as well as raising the quality of herbal products.
Project description:BACKGROUND: This study documents the use of medicinal plants from the Mustang district of the north-central part of Nepal. Traditional botanical medicine is the primary mode of healthcare for most of the population of this district and traditional Tibetan doctors (Amchi) serve as the local medical experts. METHODS: Field research was conducted in 27 communities of the Mustang district in Nepal from 2005-2007. We sampled 202 interviewees, using random and snowball sampling techniques. After obtaining prior informed consent, we collected data through semi-structured interviews and participant-observation techniques. Voucher specimens of all cited botanic species were deposited at TUCH in Nepal. RESULTS: We recorded the traditional uses of 121 medicinal plant species, belonging to 49 vascular plant and 2 fungal families encompassing 92 genera. These 121 species are employed to treat a total of 116 ailments. We present data on 58 plant species previously unknown for their medicinal uses in the Mustang district. Of the medicinal plants reported, the most common growth form was herbs (73%) followed by shrubs, trees, and climbers. We document that several parts of individual plant species are used as medicine. Plant parts were generally prepared using hot or cold water as the 'solvent', but occasionally remedies were prepared with milk, honey, jaggery, ghee and oil. Amchis recommended different types of medicine including paste, powder, decoction, tablet, pills, infusion, and others through oral, topical, nasal and others routes of administration. CONCLUSIONS: The traditional pharmacopoeia of the Mustang district incorporates a myriad of diverse botanical flora. Traditional knowledge of the remedies is passed down through oral traditions and dedicated apprenticeships under the tutelage of senior Amchi. Although medicinal plants still play a pivotal role in the primary healthcare of the local people of Mustang, efforts to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal species are necessary.
Project description:Since early times, the people of Morocco use medicinal and aromatic plants as traditional medicine to heal different human ailments. However, little studies have been made in the past to properly document and promote the traditional knowledge. This study was carried out in the Rif (North of Morocco), it aimed to identify medicinal and aromatic plant used by the local people to treat metabolic diseases, together with the associated ethnomedicinal knowledge. The ethnomedical information collected was from 582 traditional healers using semi-structured interviews, free listing and focus group. Family use value (FUV), use value (UV), plant part value (PPV), fidelity level (FL) and informant agreement ratio (IAR) were employed in data analysis. Medicinal and aromatic plant were collected, identified and kept at the natural resources and biodiversity laboratory, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra. During the present study 30 medicinal plant species belonging to 14 families has been documented. The most frequent ailments reported were diabetes (IAR = 0.98). The majority of the remedies were prepared from infusion (53.9%). Leaves were the most frequently used plant part (PPV 0.633) and Rosmarinus officinalis L. (UV = 0.325) was the specie most commonly prescribed by local herbalists. The results of this study showed that people living in the Rif of Morocco are still dependent on medicinal and aromatic plants. The documented plants can serve as a basis for further studies on the regions medicinal plants knowledge and for future phytochemical and pharmacological studies.