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Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342

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Journal of Ethnopharmacology
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jethpharm

Medicinal plants with bioprospecting potential used in semi-arid northeastern Brazil


Sarahbelle Leitte Cartaxo a , Marta Maria de Almeida Souza a , Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque b,
a b

Universidade Regional do Cariri, Mestrado em Bioprospecc o Molecular, Crato, Cear, Brazil Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Departamento de Biologia, Laboratrio de Etnobotnica Aplicada, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
Objectives: Many species of the Caatinga ora are used as medicines in local communities. In recent decades, the knowledge and use of these species has been expanding within this region. We attempted to record the local diversity of medicinal plants used to treat various diseases in a rural community in the state of Cear, Brazil, and to evaluate the promising medicinal species for bioprospecting studies. Methods: An ethnobotanical survey was conducted using free list and semi-structured interviews. To indicate medicinal plants that stood out, the relative importance (RI) of species mentioned by key-informants (20), by general informants in the community (71) and by all informants (91), was analyzed. The group of species that stood out for human body systems based on the informant consensus factor (ICF) was also evaluated. Results: A total of 119 species were recorded that were associated with 92 health problems. Of these species, 100 were cited by key-informants and 86 were cited by general informants. Nineteen species showed a great versatility of use, including the following: Myracrodruon urundeuva Allemo, Bauhinia cheilanta (Bong.) Steud., Hymenaea courbaril L., Mentha x villosa Huds., Ziziphus joazeiro Mart., and Ruta graveolens L. Key-informants cited 33 exclusive species, from which nine presented greater relative importance. General informants cited 19 exclusive species, 2 with greatest relative importance. The therapeutic properties were grouped into 16 body system categories. These grouping categories included skin diseases and diseases of the subcutaneous tissue; sensory system (ears) disorders; respiratory disorders; and injuries, poisoning and other external symptoms. Conclusion: The great diversity of medicinal plants used in the community is evident. Some species had both high relative importance and high consensus factors among the informants; these particular species are recommended for bioprospecting studies. 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 19 March 2010 Received in revised form 30 June 2010 Accepted 3 July 2010 Available online 17 July 2010 Keywords: Ethnobotany Ethnopharmacology Semi-arid Seasonal dry forests

1. Introduction In recent decades, the amount of information on the use of plant resources in tropical forests has increased (Bourdy et al., 2000; Bussmann and Sharon, 2006; Lucena et al., 2007a; Teklehaymanot and Giday, 2007). Ethnobotany is one of the elds that has progressed signicantly in terms of the recent research that is focused on the plant species used (Oliveira et al., 2009). Brazil possesses a large potential for biodiversity and has a wealth of traditional knowledge accumulated by local people who have direct access to nature and the products of biodiversity (Albagli, 2001). Traditional knowledge related to medicinal plants is the basis of folk medicine in Brazil, which is derived from a mixture of Brazilian indigenous cultures and European and

Corresponding author. Tel.: +55 81 3320 6350; fax: +55 81 3320 6360. E-mail addresses: upa677@hotmail.com, upa@db.ufrpe.br (U.P. de Albuquerque). 0378-8741/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.07.003

African inuences from the colonization period (Martins et al., 2000). In this sense, the Caatinga represents the fourth largest area covered by a single vegetation form in Brazil, accounting for about 60% of the northeast territory and extending to a small part of the southeastern region of Minas Gerais (Sampaio et al., 2002). There has been increasing interest in acquiring knowledge regarding the medicinal plants within the Caatinga area (Albuquerque et al., 2007a), and some publications describe the rich ora of this region as having many medicinal purposes (Agra et al., 2007b, 2008; Albuquerque et al., 2007a,b; Almeida et al., 2005a; Matos, 1989, 2000). In addition to being widely known and used by local communities, many medicinal species in the Caatinga are sold as herbal products. A short list of these species includes Amburana cearensis (Arr. Cam.) A. C. Smith. (Cumaru), Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell.) Brenan (Angico), Bauhinia cheilantha (Bongard) Steudel (pata-de-vaca or moror), Cereus jamacaru D.C (mandacaru), Eryth-

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rina velutina Willd. (mulungu), Maytenus rigida Mart. (Bom-nome), Myracrodruon urundeuva (Engl.) Fr. All. (Aroeira), and Sideroxylon obtusifolium (Roem. and Schult.) T.D. Penn., (quixaba) (Albuquerque et al., 2007a; Almeida and Albuquerque, 2002; Alves et al., 2007; Dantas and Guimaraes, 2007). Some of these species have medicinal properties that have been proven scientically. For example, the pharmacological evaluation of M. urundeuva revealed a healing activity (Rodrigues et al., 2002). A bronchodilator effect was observed for Amburana cearensis (Leal et al., 2000). Researchers (Agra et al., 2007a,b, 2008; Albuquerque et al., 2007a; Almeida et al., 2005a,b; Silva et al., 2005) have mentioned many species that might possess great phytochemical and pharmacological potential for various medical purposes but that require studies to prove their scientic activities. This study aimed to investigate the use of medicinal plants in a rural community in the municipality of Aiuaba within the Ceara State. The goals were to record the local diversity of medicinal plants in the community, evaluate the promising medicinal species for bioprospecting studies, indicate the most important medicinal species to the community, and highlight species that deserve further study. 2. Methodology 2.1. Study area The survey was conducted in the Riacho Catingueira community located in the south-southeast city of Aiuaba in the Cear State. The municipality is located in the southern portion of the microregion known as Serto de Inhamuns, in the southwest portion of the state at coordinates 6 34 25 S and 40 07 25 W and is 415 km from Fortaleza (Lemos, 2006). The municipality borders the cities of Arneiroz, Parambu, Catherine Saboeiro, Antonina do Norte, and Campos Sales as well as the State of Piau (IPECE, 2007) (Fig. 1). The landscape is crystalline, presenting gently rolling topography with elevations ranging between 348 to 710 m and dissected slopes and at tops, reminiscent of old coatings (Lemos, 2006). Due to crystalline material, the dominant soil classes are Bruno non-calcium and Red Yellow Latosol, which support the woody Caatinga vegetation. According to the Kppen classication, the climate is dened as BShw, hot and semi-arid (Jacomine et al., 1973), with an average annual temperature between 24 and 26 C and an average annual rainfall of 562.4 mm (IPECE, 2007). The city of Riacho Catingueira has an area of 2434.41 km2 (IPECE, 2007) and a population of 15,632 according to the most recent census (IBGE, 2007). The population density was 5.87/km2 in 2000, and the Human Development Index (HDI) calculated in the census year was 0.566 (IPECE, 2007). Riacho Catingueira is a rural community located 15 km from the city center, comprised of eight sites (Catingueira Site, Impueira Site, Minador Site, Cajueiro Site 1, Cajueiro Site 2, Site Duros Site and Bom Nome Site), which are relatively close and accessible to one another. The sites are occupied by 235 people, of whom 143 are adults comprising 63 families. The families in the region are organized into the Producers Association of Riacho da Caatingueira. The community has electricity and running water, a public school and a chapel. It does not have a clinic, and when people are sick, they must go to a nearby village (St. Nicholas) to be treated at the clinic by the FHP (Family Health Program) or go to the hospital in Aiuaba. 2.2. Data collection 2.2.1. Local diversity of medicinal plants Information on the knowledge that people possess about medicinal plants was obtained after formal permission from the respondents. Interviews were conducted from May to July 2008,

and the household heads (men and women) were questioned. A total of 91 local people (64% of the total adults) represented by 52 females and 39 males with ages ranging from 22 to 80 years were surveyed. When a household head was not at home, a second visit was performed. In cases when it was still not possible to interview the household head, an alternative adult household member who was also a resident was interviewed. The free list technique was used in the interviews in order to make respondents cite all medicinal plants they know and/or use. Each plant species had their condition classied as a native species for the Caatinga region or as an exotic. The exotic species were also classied as cultivated, bought or spontaneous. Spontaneous plants were those occurring naturally in the Caatinga but not restricted to this region (Albuquerque et al., 2007a). To encourage informants to remember other plants, non-specic induction, new reading and semantic suggestion were also used (Albuquerque et al., 2008). Additionally, semi-structured interviews guided by a roadmap were performed to ask questions related to knowledge and use, while also applying direct observation (Albuquerque et al., 2008). Socioeconomic data about the informants, such as name, sex, age, educational level and occupation, were also recorded. This research complies with the standards and guidelines in force for bioethical studies involving human beings (Resolution No. 196/1996 of the National Health Council CNS). Respondents were assured anonymity and condentiality of the information provided by them. In accordance with the bioethical standards, this project has been evaluated by the Ethics in Research Committee of the Faculty of Medicine at Juazeiro do Norte and is approved under the number 2009 0219 FR 246,044. 2.2.2. Herborization Species cited as medicinal that were presented in a reproductive stage were collected, with the help of the local informants, in duplicate for herborization. For each species collected, a eld form with collectors name, common name, ower and fruit colors was completed. The botanical material was packed in plastic bags for herborization according to the standard methods (Mori et al., 1989). Identication of the dried material was performed by specialists using comparisons with herbarium exsiccates and/or the literature. These species were incorporated into the Caririense Herbarium Dardanus de Andrade Lima at the Regional University of Cariri (HCDAL-URCA). 2.3. Data analysis 2.3.1. Evaluation of promising plants for bioprospecting studies The relative importance (RI), based on Bennett and Prance (2000) and Silva et al. (2008), was calculated for each species. We calculated the RI of the species mentioned by all respondents (n = 91), species only mentioned by key-informants (n = 20) and species only mentioned by informants in the general community (n = 71). Key-informants were selected based on the snowball criteria (Bailey, 1994) and by taking into account the information provided about medicinal species in the interviews and living in the community for at least 30 years. The key-informants are characterized as local experts, i.e., those who have greater knowledge about medicinal plants that can be used for the treatment of local diseases. This separation of the informants into two groups was used to optimize the study, allowing for specic features of the species listed by each group to be examined. The RI is a quantitative method that demonstrates the importance of a species based on its versatility, i.e., the species is analyzed based on the number of medical properties (uses) given by the informants (Bennett and Prance, 2000). The RI was calculated using the following formula: RI = NBS + NP, where the following applies: RI is the relative importance; NBS is the number of body systems,

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S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342

Figure 1. Geographical location of study area in the Riacho da Catingueira community in the municipality of Aiuaba, state of Cear, Brazil.

obtained by calculating the ratio between the number of body systems treated by a particular species (NBSS) and the total number of body systems treated by the most versatile species (NBSSV); and NP is the ratio between the number of properties assigned to a particular species (NPS) and the total number of properties assigned to the most versatile species (NPSV) (Silva et al., 2008). The maximum RI value that a species be allocated is 2. This technique assumes that a species is more important when presenting a large number of properties, regardless of the number of people who cited these uses (Silva et al., 2008). Therapeutic indications for each plant were divided into 16 categories of body systems as described by Rossato et al. (1999) and Almeida and

Albuquerque (2002): diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (DSST), respiratory system disorder (RSD), digestive system disorder (DSD); injuries caused by poisoning and other consequences or external causes (IPOCEC), genitourinary system disorder (GSD), undened illness or pain (UIP); circulatory system disorder (CSD), infectious and parasitic diseases (IPD), diseases of the endocrine glands, nutrition and metabolism (DEGNM), nervous system disorders (NSD), mental and behavioral disorders (MBD), diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (DMSCT), diseases of blood and hematopoietic organs (DBHO); neoplasia (N), sensory system disorders (eye) (DSSE), and sensory system disorders (hearing) (DSSH).

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The informant consensus factor (ICF) was calculated based on the technique of Troter and Logan (1986), with the aim of identifying the body systems that have more knowledge consensus and/or use, and the groups of plants that require further study (Almeida et al., 2006). The following formula was used to calculate the ICF: ICF = nur nt /nur 1, where: nur is the number of citations of usage in each category and nt is the number of species indicated in each category. ICF values range from 0 to 1; if the value is 1, this shows that a relatively low amount of medicinal plants are used for a large proportion of diseases. Additionally, there is a well-dened selection criterion for medicinal plants and/or usage and/or knowledge information is shared among people within the community. A low value indicates that informants do not agree with the use of the species in the treatment of diseases within a category, that the plants are chosen randomly, or that the informants do not exchange information about the use of certain species (Heinrich et al., 1998; Silva et al., 2008). The categories used for the calculation were the same as those used to calculate the RI. 2.3.2. Statistical analysis The association of the RI with the species habit and/or their condition was evaluated using the KruskalWallis test (Sokal and Rholf, 1995). To assess whether the species mentioned by general informants and by key-informants were given the same importance, the KruskalWallis test was used (Sokal and Rholf, 1995), whereas the Spearman correlation coefcient (Sokal and Rholf, 1995) was used to evaluate whether the same species gained the highest RI values in both groups of informants. 3. Results and discussion 3.1. Local diversity of medicinal plants We recorded 119 medicinal plants (one unidentied) belonging to 58 families and 104 genera (Table 1). This is a high number of species compared to other areas of the Caatinga, where richness ranges from 22 to 118 species (Albuquerque and Andrade, 2002; Albuquerque and Oliveira, 2007; Alcntara-Jnior et al., 2005; Almeida et al., 2005a; Morais et al., 2005; Silva et al., 2006). Among the families, ve were the most represented and contributed the highest number of species; these families were Anacardiaceae and Caesalpiniaceae, with eight species, followed by Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae and Lamiaceae, with seven. The most common genera were Croton (Euphorbiaceae) and Spondias (Anacardiaceae), with three species in each (Table 1). Among the families that stood out in this work, Anacardiaceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Lamiaceae are also contained the highest species numbers in other surveys of Caatinga areas (Albuquerque and Oliveira, 2007; Almeida et al., 2005a; Morais et al., 2005). 3.2. Condition, habit and used part of medicinal species Among the species that were identied, 79 species were exotic. The prevailing condition for the exotic species was cultivation (59 species); of the 79 species, 18 species were spontaneous and 2 were purchased. Only 39 species were native. This result coincides with results of other studies of the Caatinga that indicate a great knowledge and use of exotic species (see: Albuquerque and Oliveira, 2007; Almeida et al., 2005a). Almeida et al. (2005a) commented that despite the varied use of medicinal plants within the region, cultivated species are the most often used. The choice of exotic species can be explained by the need to increase the diversity of local pharmaceutical stock (Albuquerque, 2006) in order to have a greater variety of available species, but not creat competition

with native species (Albuquerque, 2006; Alencar et al., 2010). That choice may indicate that the exotic species have a higher amount of secondary compounds or greater variety of secondary compounds that are distinct from those found in native plants (Alencar et al., 2010), serving as an enrichment of the local pharmacopoeia. Many exotic species remedy issues that would be solved with local native species, but exotic species are used more commonly as they may be easy to obtain. Exotic species are found near homes (spontaneous or cultivated plants to disturbed areas) and are used in food or as ornamental, often after being introduced by other cultures (Bennett and Prance, 2000). Tree species (48 spp.), shrubs (21 spp.), woody species (4 spp.) and herbs (45 spp.) were documented. Trees accounted for the greatest number of species (40%) followed by herbaceous species (36%). This result shows that there is little difference between the number of tree and herbaceous species used. Other surveys also found no signicant differences among the habits of the species listed as medicinal (Albuquerque, 2006; Almeida and Albuquerque, 2002). Almeida et al. (2005a) investigated the relationship between species habit and classes of chemical compounds (phenol, tannins, alkaloids, triterpenes and quinones) and found that trees usually bear greater quantities of such compounds than shrubs and herbaceous species do, tendencies conrmed by Alencar et al. (2010). The most used medicinal plant part was the leaf (30%), followed by the bark and the stem bark (28%). Leaf use was most often cited for exotic species, whereas for the native species, the bark and stem were cited as the most commonly used portion. The use of the stem is found for all native plants in the area of Caatinga (Albuquerque and Andrade, 2002; Almeida and Albuquerque, 2002; Lucena et al., 2007b; Silva and Albuquerque, 2005) due to greater availability at any time of year, without interference from the seasonal climate (see seasonality climatic hypothesis in Albuquerque, 2006). Cultivated species have leaves continuously; therefore, the leaf is the part of the plant that is most commonly chosen. 3.3. Medicinal species with great use versatility Among the species listed, 40 species (33.61%) had only one use, while the majority of medicinal plants, 79 species (66, 39%), were used for more than one health problem (Table 1). Of these 79 species, 19 (almost 16%) showed great versatility with regard to their use, possessing high RI (RI > 1). The most versatile species are presented in Table 1 with their respective body systems and medicinal properties also listed. The species that showed the highest RI were Ruta graveolens L. (rue) (IR = 2.00) and Mentha x villosa Huds. (Mint leaf girl) (RI = 1.95) (exotic plants), and Myracrodruon urundeuva (RI = 1.94) (native plant). Many of the most versatile species examined in this work was also similar for other surveys (e.g., Myracrodruon urundeuva, Hymenaea sp., Anacardium occidentale, Bauhinia cheilantha, Zizyphus joazeiro, Tabebuia impetiginosa, Schinopsis brasiliensis, Anadenanthera colubrina, Caesalpinia pyramidalis, Amburana cerarensis, Aloe vera, and Ruta graveolens (see Almeida and Albuquerque, 2002; Almeida et al., 2005a; Albuquerque et al., 2006). Albuquerque et al. (2007a) evaluated several works on medicinal plants in the areas of Caatinga in northeastern Brazil and obtained 10 species with high RI scores, including the following: A. cerarensis (RI = 2.00), M. urundeuva (RI = 2.00), B. cheilantha (RI = 1.70) and A. colubrina (RI = 1.60). A study by Albuquerque et al. (2007b) conducted in the public markets of Recife-PE in 1995 and 2002 found M. urundeuva (RI = 2.00 and 1.91 in 1995 and 2002, respectively) and A. vera (RI = 1.82 in 2002) to be among species with high RI scores. In summary, the native species that showed higher RI in this study and in other works conducted in the Caatinga area were as follows: M. urundeuva, B. cheilantha and Z. joazeir. In addition, M. urundeuva prevails in most surveys with a maximum RI value. Mentha x villosa, Plectran-

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Table 1 List of the medicinal species indicated by the residents of the Riacho da Catingueira Community in the municipality of Aiuaba, state of Cear (NE Brazil). Family/scientic name Acanthaceae Justicia sp. Anacardiaceae Anacardium occidentale L. Popular name Status Habit Part used Preparation Uses forms Therapeutic indication RI total RI GR RI KI Herbarium number nc 4578

Anador Caju

Ex-Cu Ex-Es

He Tr

Le Sb

Decoction Decoction or infusion

Drink Drink or wash the affected site

Pains in general, headache Antiseptic, throat problems, healing, toothache, feminine hygiene, gingivitis, gingivitis, cancer, inammation of internal organs Fever, dysentery Fever Headache, toothache, antiseptic, infections in general, healing, inuenza, expectorant, inammation of female organs, inammation of the ovaries, inammation of internal organs, inammation of external organs, cancer, inammation in general, hepatic problems, renal problems, intestinal problems Antiseptic, bronchitis, stomachache, diarrhea, inuenza, healing Anemia Stomachache

0.37 1.22

0.20 0.79

0.27 1.20

Astronium fraxinifolium Schott ex Spreng. Mangifera indica L. Myracrodruon urundeuva Allemo

Gonc alo-alves Manga Aroeira

Na Ex-Cu Na

Tr Tr Tr

Le Le Le, Sb

Decoction Decoction Decoction, infusion, leave soaking, licking

Drink Drink Drink or wash the affected site

0.37 0.20 1.94

0.38 1.88

0.54 1.45

nc 4582 nc

S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342

Spondias cytherea Sonn.

Cajarana

Ex-Cu

Tr

Le, Fr, Sb

Decoction, leave soaking, licking or juice Leave soaking Decoction

Drink, bath, wash the affected site Drink Drink

0.91

0.86

nc

Spondias mombin L. Spondias purpurea L. Annonaceae Annona muricata L. Annona crotonifolia Mart. Guatteria australis A. St.-Hil. Apiaceae Anethum graveolens L. Coriandrum sativum L. Pimpinella anisum L.

Cajazeira Seriguela

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu

Tr Tr

Sb Le (and bud) Le Le (and bud) Se

0.20 0.20

0.20 0.20

0.54

nc nc

Graviola Pinha Imbiriba

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu Ex-Pu

Tr Tr Tr

Decoction Decoction or leave soaking Decoction or zest and leave soaking Decoction Decoction Decoction

Drink Drink Drink

Sfictions urinary Indigestion Pains in general, stroke

0.20 0.20 0.37

0.20

0.27 0.27 0.54

4598 nc nc

Endro Coentro Erva-doce

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu Ex-Cu

He He He

Se Se Le, Se

Drink Drink Drink

Indigestion, pains in general, calmative Colic in children, menstrual colic Calmative, indigestion, stomach problems, constipation, colic in children Appendicitis Inammations in general, sinusitis, toothache Headache, pains in general Indigestion Appendicitis, inammation in general Calmative

0.55 0.37 0.67

0.39 0.39 0.73

0.54 0.54

4567 4597 nc

Arecaceae Mauritia exuosa L. Asteraceae Acanthospermum hispidum DC. Achillea millefolium L. Artemisia absinthium L. Bidens pilosa L. Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert.

Buriti Botic (Retirante)

Na Ex-Es

Tr He

Ae Ae (without thorns) Le Le Ae, Ro Fl, Se

Decoction Infusion

Drink Wash the affected site

0.20 0.55

0.20

0.80

nc 4569

Novalgina Losna Carrapicho-deagulha Camomila

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu Ex-Es Ex-Cu

He He He He

Decoction Decoction Decoction, infusion Decoction

Drink Drink Drink or wash the affected site Drink

0.37 0.20 0.37 0.20

0.20

0.54 0.27 0.27 0.27

nc nc nc nc

Egletes viscosa (L.) Less.

Macela

Ex-Es

He

Le, Fl

Decoction, infusion, leave soaking or juice

Drink

Helianthus annuus L. Bignoniaceae Clytostoma ramentaceum (Mart. ex DC.) Bureau & K. Schum. Tabebuia impetiginosa Mart. et DC.

Girassol

Ex-Cu

He

Le, Se

Decoction or extract seed oil Decoction

Drink

Ulcer, stomachache, indigestion, atulence, dysentery, intestinal problems, stomach problems, diarrhea, renal problems Headache, thrombosis, stroke, blood thinner Cough

0.90

1.02

0.64

nc

0.49

0.34

0.54

4607

Banheira

Ex-Es

Sh

Sb

Gargle

0.20

0.27

nc

Pau-drco-roxo

Na

Tr

Sb

Decoction, leave soaking

Drink or wash the affected site

Pains in general, stomach problems, inuenza, conjunctivitis, blood thinner, healing, nasal congestion Inuenza, throat problems, bronchitis, diabetes

1.30

1.18

0.66

nc

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Bixaceae Bixa orellana L.

Urucum

Ex-Cu

Sh

Le, Se

Decoction, leave soaking, licking or extract the oil seed Leave soaking

Drink

0.49

0.54

0.27

4576

Bombacaceae Ceiba glaziovii (Kuntze) K. Schum. Boraginaceae Cordia trichotoma (Vell.) Arrb. ex Steud. Heliotropium sp. Brassicaceae Brassica integrifolia (H. West.) Rupr.

Barriguda

Na

Tr

Sb

Drink

Anemia

0.20

0.20

nc

Frei-jorge Crista de galo

Na Ex-Es

Tr He

Sb Fl, Ro

Decoction or leave soaking Decoction, leave soaking or licking Decoction of the seeds raw or roasted, leave soaking or extract the oil Decoction or leave soaking Decoction or licking Decoction or leave soaking Decoction, infusion

Drink Drink

Ulcer, stomach ache, blood thinner Inuenza, fever, inammation of the ovaries, renal problems Headache, stroke, thrombosis

0.43 0.43

0.28 0.46

0.27 0.27

nc 4594

Mostarda

Ex-Cu

He

Se

Drink

0.37

0.20

0.54

nc

Nasturtium ofcinale R. Br. Bromeliaceae Ananas sativums L. Burseraceae Commiphora leptophloeos (Mart.) J. B. Gillett Cactaceae Cereus jamacaru DC. Caesalpiniaceae Bauhinia sp.

Agrio

Ex-Cu

He

Se

Drink

Throat problems

0.24

0.28

0.27

nc

Abacaxi Imburana-deespinho Mandacaru

Ex-Cu Na

He Tr

Fr Sb

Drink Drink or wash the affected site Drink

Inuenza expectorant Inuenza, stomachache, healing

0.24 0.55

0.20 0.60

0.27 0.27

nc nc

Na

Tr

Ro

Uterine inammation, healing, antiseptic, expectorant, inuenza Inuenza, cough, pains in general, diabetes, column pain, hemostatic, intestinal problems, renal problems, stomach problems Gastritis, inuenza, healing, heartburn, kidney problems Inuenza, stomachache, diarrhea, healing, hemostatic, expectorant, stomach problems, indigestion

0.98

0.39

0.80

nc

Moror

Na

Tr

Le, Sb

Decoction, infusion, leave soaking, poultice or juice Decoction, leave soaking or licking Decoction, leave soaking, juice or poultice

Drink, wash the affected site

1.40

0.73

1.60

nc

Caesalpinia sp. Caesalpinia pyramidalis Tul.

Pau-ferro Catingueira

Na Na

Tr Tr

Le, Fr, Sb Fl, Sb

Drink or wash the affected site Drink, wash the affected site

0.79 1.25

0.86 1.05

0.80 1.05

4565 nc

331

332

Table 1 (Continued ) Family/scientic name Hymenaea courbaril L. Popular name Jatob Status Na Habit Tr Part used Fr, Se, Sb Preparation Decoction, infusion, tincture, leave soaking, licking or juice Uses forms Drink, bath Therapeutic indication Anemia, prostate problems, kidney problems, blood thinner stomach problems, inuenza, bronchitis, expectorant, cancer (leukemia), lice, lung problems, throat inammation, herpes labialis Emmenagogue, inuenza Healing Inuenza, cough Healing RI total 1.64 RI GR 1.46 RI KI 1.32 Herbarium number nc

Senna alexandrina Mill. Senna spectabilis (DC.) H. S. Irwin & Barneby Tamarindus indicus L. Caprifoliaceae Sambucus australis Cham. et Schlecht. Caricaceae Carica papaya L.

Sena Canafstula Tamarindo Sabugo

Ex-Cu Ex-Es Ex-Cu Ex-Pu

Sh Tr Tr Sh

Le Sb Fr Fl

Decoction or leave soaking Decoction Licking Poultice

Drink Wash the affected site Drink Wash the affected site

0.37 0.20 0.24 0.20

0.2 0.20 0.20

0.27 0.39

nc 4591 nc nc

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Mamo

Ex-Cu

Sh

Fl, Le (and bud), Fr

Decoction, leave soaking or licking

Drink

Stomach problems, indigestion, expectorant, inuenza, cough, bronchitis Kidney problems Kenal problems Gastritis, ulcer, worm, intestinal problems, stomach problems, gallbladder problems, healing, hematoma, fractures, expectorant, inammtion in general, colic Stomachache, diarrhea, dysentery

0.60

0.61

0.66

4602

Celastraceae Maytenus cf. distichophylla Mart. ex Reissek Maytenus rigida Mart. Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium ambrosioides L.

Pau-colher Bom-nome Mastruz

Na Na Ex-Es

Tr Tr He

Le, Sb Se, Sb Le, Se, Ro

Infusion Tincture Decoction, leave soaking, juice, poultice or liquid with water or milk, infusion

Drink Drink Drink, wash the affected site

0.20 0.20 1.39

0.20 0.20 1.21

1.43

4562 nc 4585

Chrysobalanaceae Licania rigida Benth. Combretaceae Terminalia catappa L. Convolvulaceae Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. Operculina macrocarpa (Linn) Urb. Crassulaceae Kalanchoe brasiliensis Cambess.

Oiticica

Na

Tr

Sb

Decoction or leave soaking Leave soaking Decoction Decoction or leave soaking Decoction, tincture, leave soaking, refreshment, licking, poultice, warm in oil or infusion Decoction of macerated seed Decoction, leave soaking, latex extract (can add water) Leave soaking

Drink

0.43

0.39

0.27

nc

Castanhola Batata-doce Batata-de-purga

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu Na

Tr He Sh

Le Le Rt

Drink Drink Drink

Renal problems Diabetes, hypercholesterolemia Inammation in general, worm, blood thinner Depurative, blood thinner, uterine inammation, cough, inuenza, expectorant, healing, pains in general, inammation in general

0.20 0.24 0.55

0.20

0.27 0.39 0.54

nc nc nc

Malva-corona

Ex-Cu

He

Le, Ro

Drink, wash the affected site

1.20

1.07

1.71

4560

Cucurbitaceae Citrullus vulgaris L. Euphorbiaceae Cnidosculus phyllacanthus (Muell. Arg.) Pax et K.Hoffm. Croton sp.

Melancia

Ex Cu

He

Se

Drink

Fever, inuenza

0.37

0.39

0.27

4604

Favela

Na

Tr

La, Sb

Drink or put on the affected site Drink or wash the affected site

Toothache, ulcer, gastritis, antiseptic, indigestion Hemorrhoid, healing

0.49

0.79

nc

Velame

Na

Sh

Le

0.37

0.54

4590

Croton conduplicatus Baill. Croton blanchetianus Baill.

Quebra-faca Marmeleiro-preto

Na Na

Sh Tr

Le, Sb Le, Sb

Euphorbia phosphorea Mart. Jatropha sp.

Pau-de-leite Pinho-roxo

Na Ex Cu

Sh Sh

Sb Le, (and bud), La Le Fr, Se, Sb

Decoction or put in coffee Decoction, scrape the stem and put leave soaking or licking Decoction or leave soaking Decoction or infusion

Drink Drink

Drink Drink or massaging the affected site with latex Bath Bath, wash the affected site or inhale

Manihot esculenta Crantz. Fabaceae Amburana cearensis (Allemo) A. C. Sm.

Mandioca Imburana-decheiro

Ex-Cu Na

Tr Tr

Decoction Decoction, infusion, leave soaking, chewing the seeds

Inuenza, headache, indigestion, stomach problems, stomachache Stomachache, depurative, indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery, stomach problems Blood thinner, inammation in general Stroke, thrombosis, toothache, pains in general, healing, hemostatic Inammation in general Nasal congestion, sinusitis, respiratory problems in general (rhinitis), inuenza, cough, expectorant, thrombosis, hypertension, inammations in general, healing Antiseptic Indigestion Pains in general Worm, menstrual colic, otalgia, inuenza, headache, migraine, inammtion in general, intestinal infection, indigestion, fever, ophthalmic problems, stroke, sinusitis, pains in general Inuenza, sinusitis, antiseptic Inuenza, cough, expectorant, bronchitis, headache, stomach problems, uterine inammation, blood thinner, inammation of internal organs, inammation in general, throat problems Headache, pains in general, indigestion, heartburn, stomach problems, intestinal problems, healing Headache, indigestion, sinusitis, pains in general Kidney pain Inuenza, colic in children, atulence, constipation, hypertension Menstrual colic, hypertension, indigestion, asthma, bronchitis, inuenza, sinusitis

0.79 0.73

0.86 0.61

0.66

nc 4595

0.37 0.85

0.86

0.54 0.93

nc 4573

0.20 1.09

1.14

0.26 0.93

nc nc S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342

Myroxylon peruierum L. Lamiaceae Leonotis nepetaefolia R. Br. Mentha x piperita L. Mentha x villosa Huds.

Balso Cordo-de-sofrancisco Hortel-pimenta Hortel (folha mida)

Na Ex-Es Ex Cu Ex-Cu

Tr Sh He He

Sb Fr Le Le

Decoction Leave soaking Decoction Decoction, infusion, leave soaking or licking

Wash the affected site Drink Drink Drink

0.20 0.20 0.20 1.95

0.20 1.93

0.27 0.27 0.93

nc 4603 nc nc

Ocimum campechianum Mill. Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng.

Alfavaca Malva-do-reino

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu

He He

Le, Wp Le

Leave soaking Decoction, licking or juice

Drink, inhale, wash the affected site Drink or bath

0.43 1.40

0.39 0.95

0.27 1.73

4568 4596

Plectranthus sp.

Boldo (malva-santa, malva-sete dores) Alecrim

Ex-Cu

Sl

Le

Decoction, infusion or leave soaking

Drink, wash the affected site

1.00

0.88

0.91

nc

Rosmarinus ofcinalis L. Lauraceae Persea americana Mill. Liliaceae Allium cepa L.

Ex-Cu

Sl

Le, Sb

Decoction

Drink or wash your face Drink Drink

0.74

0.59

0.54

nc

Abacate Cebola-branca

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu

Tr He

Le Le, Fl

Decoction Decoction or licking

0.20 0.79

0.86

0.27 0.27

nc nc

Allium sativum L.

Alho

Ex-Cu

He

Fr

Decoction

Drink

0.91

0.86

0.52

nc

333

334

Table 1 (Continued ) Family/scientic name Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. Malpighiaceae Malpighia glabra L. Malvaceae Gossypium hirsutum L. Menispermaceae Cissampelos glaberrima A.St.-Hil. Mimosaceae Acacia paniculata (L.) Willd. Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell.) Brenan var. colubrina Popular name Babosa Status Ex-Cu Habit He Part used Le Preparation Take mucus Uses forms Drink or put on the affected site Drink Drink Therapeutic indication Inappetence, hypertension, healing, hemorrhoid, ulcer, cancer Dengue (infections) Uterine inammation, inammation in general Expectorant RI total 1.04 RI GR 0.63 RI KI 0.54 Herbarium number nc

Acerola Algodo-preto

Ex Cu Ex-Cu

Sh Sh

Fr Le, Fr

Juice Juice or macerated with water Decoction

0.20 0.37

0.20

0.54

4601 4579

Milona

Na

He

Ro

Drink

0.20

0.27

4566

Unha-de-gato Angico-preto

Na Na

Tr Tr

Le (and bud), Ro Re, Sb

Decoction, leave soaking or licking Decoction, poultice, infusion, leave soaking or licking

Drink Drink, wash the affected site

Column pain, inuenza, healing Inuenza, nasal congestion, cough, throat inammation, expectorant, stomachache, healing, cancer, lung problems, antiseptic, infection in general Prostate problems, sinusitis, respiratory problems in general (rhinitis) Inammations in general Tooth inammation, toothache, healing, antiseptic, inammation in general Inuenza, afictions urinary, asthma Inuenza, nasal congestion, respiratory problems in general, asthma, sinusitis, headache, fever Halitosis Stomachache, diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal problems Circulatory problems, stroke, calmative, headache Uterine inammation, inammation of the ovaries, indigestion, kidney problems, inuenza, inammation in general Healing, antiseptic, inammation in general, inammation of internal organs, toothache, menstrual colic Expectorant, cough

0.55 1.33

0.2 1.21

0.54 1.45

4564 4563 S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342

Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Vell.) Morong Mimosa caesalpinifolia Benth. Mimosa tenuiora (Willd.) Poir. Musaceae Musa paradisiaca L. Myrtaceae Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

Tamburil

Ex-Es

Tr

Se, Sb

Leave soaking

Drink or inhale

0.43

0.46

nc

Sabi Jurema-preta

Na Na

Tr Sh

Sb

Decoction, infusion, maceration, leave soaking or poultice Decoction, leave soaking or licking Decoction, infusion

Drink, wash the affected site, bath

0.20 0.73

0.80

0.27 1.05

nc nc

Banana

Ex-Cu

Sh

Fl, Fr

Drink

0.43

0.28

0.27

nc

Eucalipto

Ex Cu

Tr

Le

Drink or inhale

0.73

0.73

0.52

nc

Eugenia caryophyllus Spreg. Psidium guajava L. var pomifera Myristicaceae Myristica fragrans Houtt. Nyctaginaceae Boerhavia cf. diffusa Willd.

Cravo-da-ndia Goiaba vermelha

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu

Tr Tr

Fl (buds) Le (and bud) Fr

Chewing Decoction, infusion

Drink Drink

0.20 0.49

0.20 0.54

0.39

nc 4589

Ns-moscada

Ex-Cu

Tr

Decoction or zest and leave soaking in water Decoction, infusion leave soaking

Drink

0.61

0.46

0.27

nc

Pega-pinto

Ex-Es

He

Ro

Drink

0.85

0.54

0.54

4608

Olacaceae Ximenia americana L.

Ameixa

Na

Sh

Le, Sb

Decoction, infusion, leave soaking or poultice Decoction or roasting and makes infusion Decoction Decoction

Drink, bath, wash the affected site

0.91

1.00

0.66

nc

Papaveraceae Argemone mexicana L. Passioraceae Passiora edulis Sims. Passiora cincinnata Mast.

Carro-santo

Ex-Es

He

Ro

Drink

0.24

0.39

4570

Maracuj Maracuj-do-mato

Ex-Cu Na

Tr He

Le Le

Drink Drink

Calmative, hypertension Calmative

0.37 0.20

0.28

0.54 0.27

nc nc

Pedaliaceae Sesamum indicum L.

Gergelim

Ex Cu

He

Se

Decoction of the seed toast, macera and put leave soaking, extract seed oil Decoction or leave soaking Decoction, infusion

Drink or puts the eye

Stroke, headache, allergy, ophthalmia, fever

0.92

0.39

0.80

nc

Phyllanthaceae Phyllanthus amarus Shum. et Torn. Piperaceae Piper aduncum L. Poaceae Cenchrus spinosus L. Cymbopogon citratus (D.C.) Stapf. Saccharum ofcinarum L. Zea mays L. Polygalaceae Bredemeyera brevifolia Klotzk. Polygonaceae Triplaris gardneriana (Wedd.) Punicaceae Punica granatum L. Rhamnaceae Ziziphus joazeiro Mart.

Quebra-pedra

Ex-Es

He

Ro

Drink

Kidney problems

0.20

0.20

4605

Pimenta-demacaco Carrapicho-deroseta Capim-santo

Ex Cu

Sh

Fr

Drink

Menstrual colic, headache

0.37

0.20

0.27

nc

Ex-Es Ex-Cu

He He

Fr Le

Infusion Decoction

Drink Drink

Diuretic Calmative, inuenza, hypertension, headache, stomachache, inappetence, indigestion, fever Hypertension Hypertension Inuenza

0.20 1.35

1.25

0.27 1.07

nc S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342 nc

Cana-de-ac carroxa Milho-roxo Lac a-vaqueiro

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu Na

He He He

Le Sg Sb

Decoction Decoction Leave soaking

Drink Drink Drink

0.20 0.20 0.20

0.27 0.27 0.27

nc nc nc

Paja

Na

Tr

Sb

Leave soaking

Drink

Inammation of internal organs

0.20

0.27

4571

Rom

Ex-Cu

Sh

Le, Fp, Se

Decoction, infusion, poultice, chewing seed Decoction, infusion, leave soaking or juice

Drink, gargle or applied to the affected site Drink, bath, wash the affected site

Gastritis, throat problems, throat inammation, inuenza Dandruff, rheumatism, teeth cleaning, inuenza, fever, stomach problems, healing, antiseptic, hair tonic, heartburn, indigestion Rheumatism Fever Lung problems, expectorant, inuenza, headache Hematoma, fractures, tortion, healing Diarrhea, teething in children, inuenza Calmative, insomnia, inuenza, indigestion, intestinal problem, fever, inappetence Inuenza, healing, tuberculosis

0.73

0.54

0.79

4600

Juazeiro

Na

Tr

Le, Fr, Sb

1.46

1.39

1.30

4580

Rubiaceae Chiococca alba (L.) Hitchc. Coffea arabica L. Coutarea hexandra (Jacq.) K. Schum. Genipa americana L. Rutaceae Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle Citrus sinensis Osbeck.

Caninana Caf Quina-quina Jenipapo

Na Ex Cu Na Ex-Cu

Sh Sh Tr Tr

Ro Se Ro, Sb Fr, Sb

Infusion Decoction, infusion Decoction, infusion Decoction of bark toast or poultice Decoction, juice with salt, licking or juice Decoction, infusion, leave soaking Decoction, infusion, licking, or leave soaking

Drink Drink Drink or bath Putting on the affected site Drink Drink

0.20 0.20 0.49 0.36

0.20 0.20 0.27 0.20

0.27 0.66 0.52

nc nc nc nc

Limo Laranja

Ex Cu Ex-Cu

Tr Tr

Fr Le, Sb

0.43 1.20

0.20 0.86

0.66 1.34

nc nc

Cleome spinosa Jacq.

Mussamb

Ex-Es

Sl

Le, Fl, Ro

Drink

0.55

0.60

0.54

4575

335

336

Table 1 (Continued ) Family/scientic name Ruta graveolens L. Popular name Arruda Status Ex-Cu Habit He Part used Le Preparation Decoction, infusion, poultice, juice or juice with milk Uses forms Drink, wash the affected site, put drops in the ear Therapeutic indication Emmenagogue, menstrual colic, colic, intestinal infection, stomach problems, renal problems, headache, otalgia, pains in general (including diverted pain), hematoma, fever, indigestion, thrombosis, healing, anti-tetanus (infections), antiseptic Inuenza, cough, teething in children, afictions urinary, kidney problems, diuretic Renal problems Inammation of female organs, Uterine inammation, inuenza Calmative, indigestion, stomachache, diarrhea, intestinal problem, inappetence Teething in children RI total 2.00 RI GR 2.00 RI KI 2.00 Herbarium number nc

S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342

Scrophulariaceae Scoparia dulcis L.

Vassourinha

Ex-Es

He

Ro

Decoction, leave soaking or macerated with water Decoction Decoction

Drink

0.73

0.66

0.66

4584

Solanaceae Solanum ambrosiacum Vell. Turneraceae Turnera ulmifolia L. Verbenaceae Lippia alba (Mill) N. E. Brown. Violaceae Hybanthus ipecacuanha (L.) Baill. Viscaceae Phoradendron mucronatum (DC.). Krug & Urb. Vitaceae Cissus simsiana Schult & Schult f. Zingiberaceae Alpinia speciosa Schum. Curcuma longa L. No identied 1

Melancia-da-praia Chanana

Na Ex-Es

He He

Ro Ro

Drink Drink

0.20 0.43

0.27 0.66

4606 nc

Erva-cidreira

Ex-Cu

Sl

Le, Se

Decoction (may add gum), infusion

Drink

0.85

0.93

0.54

4586

Pepaconha

Na

He

Ro

Decoction

Drink

0.20

0.20

0.27

nc

Enxerto

Na

He

Wp

Decoction, infusion

Drink or bath

Rheumatism

0.20

0.20

4577

Insulina

Ex-Es

Sh

Le

Infusion

Drink

Diabetes

0.20

0.27

nc

Colnia Ac afro Jatobatinga

Ex-Cu Ex-Cu

He He

Le Fr, Ro Sb

Decoction Decoction juice Leave soaking

Drink Drink Drink

Hypertension Throat problems Anemia

0.20 0.20 0.20

0.20

0.27 0.27

nc nc nc

Na: native; Ex: exotic (Cu: cultivated; Pu: purchased; Es: spontaneous); Tr: tree; Sh: Shrub; Sl: Shrublet; He: Herb; Le: leaf; Fl: ower; Ro: root; Rt: root-tuber; Se: seed; Sb: stem bark; Fr: fruit; Fp: fruit peel; Wp: whole plant; La: latex; Re: resin; Ae: aerial parts; Sg: stigma; RI total: relative importance of the species mentioned by all respondents; RI KI: relative importance of the species only mentioned by key-informants; RI GR: relative importance of the species only mentioned by respondents in the general community; nc: number of collection in process by Herbaria.

S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342

337

thus amboinicus, Chenopodium ambrosioides, Cymbopogon citrates, Citrus sinensi and Kalanchoe brasiliensis only stood out with high RI values in this study and were not identied in other studies. Despite the higher number of citations for exotic species, there were no signicant differences in the RI values in relation to species origin (H = 0.65, p = 0.42); however, native species, on average, had a higher RI (mean = 0.64, S = 0. 49) than the exotic species (mean = 0.53, SD = 0.41). Regarding the species habits, the tree class showed, on average, a higher RI (mean = 0.62, SD = 0.48) than the shrub-subshrub class (mean = 0.49, SD = 0.26) and the herbaceous class (mean = 0.56, SD = 0.48), though no signicant differences were seen (trees and shrubs-subshrub: H = 0.26, p = 0.61/woody and herbaceous: H = 0.29, p = 0.59). Similar results were found by Almeida and Albuquerque (2002) and Almeida et al. (2005a). The great importance of tree species in this area can be related to the seasonal nature of this region, which allows the availability of tree species throughout the year. The opposite is true for the herbaceous species, which have their time of availability limited to rainy periods (Albuquerque and Andrade, 2002; Almeida et al., 2006).

by the KI and the GR (rs = 0.72, t = 8.42, p < 0.0001), suggesting that each group tends to value different species. For the KI group, there were generally more species with higher RI values (KI: mean = 0.70, SD = 0.43) than for the Gr group (GR: mean = 0.67, SD = 0.45), but these overall means did not differ statistically (rs = 0.28, p = 0.59), demonstrating that both groups tend to value species in the same way. For species listed exclusively by each group, there were more species listed exclusively with higher RI values (nine) by keyinformants than by the general community respondents (two).

3.5. Informants consensus factor for therapeuric purposes The medicinal plants mentioned were nominated for 92 therapeutic purposes and grouped into 16 body systems categories (Table 2). In general, categories showed great agreement among the informants when the value ranged from 0.3 to 1.0; for some categories, there was no consensus among the informants. The highest value for the informants consensus factor (ICF) was for: skin and subcutaneous tissue (DSST), Sensory system disorders (ear) (SSDE), respiratory system disorders (RSD) and injuries, poisoning and other consequences of external causes (IPOCEC) showed high IFC values (0.8). The RSD category, which had the largest number of use citations (335), corresponded to 28.44% of total citations (1178). This category also had a large number of species listed (50) corresponding to 42.02% of the total, demonstrating the broad knowledge of the community regarding medicinal plants that treat respiratory problems. Flu, including fever, was responsible for a high number of usage citations for this category, receiving 242 citations and for 41 plant species.

3.4. Comparison between key-informants and general respondents The key-informants (KI) indicated more medicinal species (100) than the general respondents (GR) (86) (Table 1). The vast majority of species were common to both groups (67), with 33 species being exclusive to the key-informants. A total of 19 species were cited exclusively by the general informants. There were statistically signicant differences among species with the highest RI indicated

Table 2 Informant consensus factor (ICF) by body systems based on the use citations of medicinal plants by the ranchers of the Riacho da Catingueira Community in the city of Aiuaba, Cear (NE Brazil). Categories: medicinal properties DSST: dandruff, hair tonic DSSH: otalgia RSD: asthma, bronchitis, nasal congestion, expectorant, inuenza, throat inammation, throat problems, lung problems, respiratory problems in general (rhinitis), sinusitis, cough IPOCEC: healing, hematoma, fractures, depurative, allergy, tortion UIP: pains in general, colic in children, stomachache, fever, inammation of internal organs, inammation in general, halitosis, antiseptic, colic DSD: Appendicitis, heartburn, teething in children, diarrhea, dysentery, toothache, tooth inammation, teeth cleaning, atulence, gastritis, indigestion, stomach problems, intestinal problems, ulcer, hepatic problems, gingivitis, constipation, gallbladder problems MBD: calmative NSD: headache, insomnia, migraine DEGNM: hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, inappetence GSD: prostate problems, kidney problems, kidney pain, afictions urinary, menstrual colic, diuretic, feminine hygiene, inammation of the ovaries, uterine inammation, inammation of female organs, emmenagogue CSD: blood thinner, stroke, hemorrhoid, hypertension, thrombosis, circulatory problems, hemostatic DBHO: anemia IPD: conjunctivitis, worm, intestinal infection, infections in general, herpes labialis, infections (dengue, anti-tetanus), lice, tuberculosis DMSCT: column pain, column problems, rheumatism. N: leukemia e cancer in general DSSE: conjunctivitis, ophthalmia, ophthalmic problems ICF 1.0 0.8 0.8 Number of use citations 3 8 335 (%) All use citations 0.25% 0.68% 28.44% Number all species species 1 2 50 (%) All species 0.84% 1.68% 42.02%

0.8 0.7

155 239

13.16% 20.29%

29 58

24.37% 48.74%

0.7

179

15.19%

47

39.50%

0.7 0.6 0.5 0.5

32 55 17 64

2.72% 4.67% 1.44% 5.43%

9 18 8 31

7.56% 15.13% 6.72% 26.05%

0.5 0.5 0.3

54 7 16

4.58% 0.59% 1.36%

27 4. 11

22.69% 3.36% 9.24%

0 0 0

6 5 3

0.51% 0.42% 0.25%

6 5 3

5.04% 4.20% 2.52%

DSD: digestive system disorder; DEGNM: diseases of the endocrine glands, nutrition and metabolism; GSD: genitourinary system disorder; RSD: respiratory system disorder; UIP: undened illness or pain is; NSD: nervous system disorders; DSSH: sensory system disorders (hearing); DSSE: sensory system disorders (eye); DMSCT: diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue; DBHO: diseases of blood and hematopoietic organs; N: Neoplasia; MBD: mental and behavioral disorders; IPOCEC: injuries by poisoning and other consequences of external causes; IPD: infectious and parasitic diseases; CSD: circulatory system disorder; DSST: diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue.

338

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The DUF category presented the highest number of species listed (58), representing 48.74% of the total (119). These species are being used to solve all health problems without a denite cause. This category also had the second highest number of citations (239 citations) corresponding to 20.29% of the total. The use of this species for antiseptic purposes received the highest number of citations (74), with the most representative species for this category M. urundeuva (Aroeira) and X. American (Plum) receiving 27 and 19 citations, respectively. The same species were also the most mentioned for general inammations with 12 and 11 indications, respectively. The categories DTPCS, SSD (H), RSD and IPOEC showed the highest IFC, providing evidence of greater cultural importance of these categories for the community studied. The DTPSC, which reached the highest IFC in this work, also stood out in other studies being among the categories of greatest consensus among informants (e.g., Heinrich et al., 1998; Gazzaneo et al., 2005; Andrade-Cetto, 2009) and grouping many species listed (Andrade-Cetto, 2009; Inta et al., 2008). For semi-arid regions, it is common to nd the RSD category among those of greatest consensus among informants (Almeida and Albuquerque, 2002; Almeida et al., 2006). A wide diversity of species are used to treat RSD, DSD and DDDN in Caatinga, as is found in the large number of species listed for this category in many other ethnobotanical surveys (Albuquerque and Andrade, 2002; Albuquerque et al., 2007b; Almeida and Albuquerque, 2002; Almeida et al., 2006; Franco and Barros, 2006). This result might be due to prevalence of diseases related to poor sanitary conditions and low socioeconomic conditions that are common in populations inhabiting the semi-arid area (Almeida et al., 2006). Give these community characteristics, treatments for RSD, DSD and DDDN condition are routinely found to dominate the local pharmacopoeia. Sixteen plant species showed high use agreement for 18 medicinal purposes. The high value of agreement on the therapeutic use of a plant can result in a more effective result against the disease (Friedman et al., 1986). The agreement factor helps in the selection of highlight species for pharmacological tests to prove their effectiveness by emphasizing the most indicated species used for a specic purpose. Of the 16 species recorded, the most cited species for the categories with the greatest consensus (i.e., DTPCS, SST (H), RST and DPOEC) were Ziziphus joazeiro, Ruta graveolens, Mentha x villosa, Amburana cearensis, Plectranthus amboinicus, Anadenanthera colubrina, Ximenia americana and Myracrodruon urundeuva. Phytochemical and pharmacological information needs to be veried for these species to justify their medicinal use. Pharmacological analyses conducted on Ziziphus joazeiro showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus epidermidis (Schuhly et al., 1999); antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Candida guilliermondii, Trichophyton rubrum, Fonsecaea pedrosoi and Cryptococcus neoformans (Cruz et al., 2007); and antimicrobial activity against oral microorganisms (More et al., 2008). Kato et al. (1998) found low antimicrobial activity in their experiments, but commented that the widespread use of the species against dandruff and as an anti-seborrheic is due to its efcacy in cleaning the scalp. The activity against oral microorganisms possessed by Ziziphus joazeiro is consistent with the use mentioned by community informants that indicate its use for cleaning teeth as well as its antiseptic effect. The extract of Ruta graveolens inhibits pregnancy in rats (Prakash et al., 1985) or may cause malformations in rat embryos, which indicates a toxic effect (Benavides et al., 2000). The tincture and ointment made from the leaves of R. graveolens showed antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity (Ivanova et al., 2005); the extract has an antimicrobial effect on infected wounds in dogs (Mendes et al., 2008) and also possesses fungicidal (Oliva et al., 2003) and anti-inammatory activities (Raghav et al., 2006). Atta and Alkofahi (1998) reported an antinociceptive effect for the ethanol extract

of Ruta graveolens. The essential oil of this plant displays antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Candida kruse, bacteria and fungi commonly associated with secondary infections of the external earache (Nogueira et al., 2008). These effects corroborate the popular use of Ruta graveolens against pain, such as earache and menstrual colic, but more specic study is required to evaluate menstrual colic and possible toxicity. Studies regarding the effect of Ruta graveolens against tetanus are also required. The essential oil of Mentha x villosa showed potential antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and antifungal activity against Candida albicans (Arruda et al., 2006), in addition to an analgesic effect (Sousa et al., 2009). Nedorostova et al. (2009) tried to identify the antibacterial properties of essential oils in the vapor of some plants with in vitro tests and found M. villosa to be highly effective to control foodborne pathogenic bacteria in the vapor phase. The essential oil causes a hypotensive effect (Guedes et al., 2004; Lahlou et al., 2001, 2002) and bradicardia in rats, which are attributed to piperitenone oxide (Lahlou et al., 2001). Further studies on the antinociceptive effect attributed to this species are needed to evaluate its effectiveness against headache, migraine and earache. Some of the compounds that were isolated from the stem bark of Amburana cearensis included coumarin, avonols, glycosides and amburosides A and B. (Bravo and Sauvain, 1999; Canuto and Silveira, 2006; Lorenzi and Matos, 2002). Coumarin has an inhibitory activity against Leishmania amazonensis, L. braziliensis and L. donovani; antibacterial and antifungal activity against Escherichia coli, Shigella exneri and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (Bravo and Sauvain, 1999); antinociceptive, anti-inammatory and bronchodilator effects (Leal et al., 2000; Lorenzi and Matos, 2002); and helps with immune processes controlling antibody production (Marinho et al., 2004). Leal et al. (2006) found that isocampheride with amburoside A have anti-inammatory, muscle relaxant and antioxidant activities. Most of the uses mentioned by the community studied in this work relate to problems related to the respiratory system for which, according to Leal et al. (2006), the physiophatological characteristics include inammation, oxidative stress and bronchoconstriction. Studies show that the essential oil of Plectranthus amboinicus has thymol and carvacrol, with antimicrobial properties that may contribute to the improvement of hoarseness, sore throat, cough and bronchitis (Matos, 2000; Trres et al., 2005). Pushpa et al. (2009) found antifungal activity in the oil of P. amboinicus. These authors suggest the plant be used against fungi in stored foods. The crude extract of P. amboinicus presented activity against Leishmania chagasi (Tempone et al., 2008) and antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium frequently associated with secondary infections in the external ear (Nogueira et al., 2008). Coinciding with the use consensus found in this work, the presence of substances effective against some u symptoms has already been established; there is, however, a need for more studies focusing on the u and treatments with local and exotic plant species. Anadenanthera colubrina has a higher total concentration of phenols and tannins in stem bark than in the leaves (Monteiro et al., 2006). The stem bark extract sequesters free radicals and exhibited antioxidant activity (Desmarchelier et al., 1999); it has been suggested that the antioxidant activity may play an important role in the anti-inammatory activity of this species. A unique avonoid that inhibits lipoxygenasewas was isolated from A. colubrina called anadantoavonoid that contains 11 different compounds: alnusenol, lupenone, lupeol, betulinic acid, alpha-amyrin, betaamyrim, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, apigenin, 4-hydroxibenzico acid and cinnamic acid (Gutierrez-Lugo et al., 2004). The resin of this species contains an acid heteropolysaccharide composed mainly of galactose and arabinose, with immunomodulatory and antitu-

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mor effects in sarcoma-18-inoculated rats (Moreto et al., 2004). Care should be taken with the use of leaves from this species, as Brito et al. (2000) found that rabbits show intoxication from the consumption of A. colubrina leaves. The use of this species for sore throats, throat inammation and for general healing can be linked to the anti-inammatory activity that is related to the anti-oxidative activity. Desmarchelier et al. (1999) explained that the antiseptic may be due to the presence of tannins, which have antimicrobial activity. A. colubrinas use in the community to treat against cancer can be related to heteropolysaccharide acid found in the species. Phytochemical investigations regarding Ximenia americana revealed the presence of saponins, carbohydrates, glycosides, avonols, tannins, alkaloids, anthraquinones and terpenes (Ogunleye and Ibitoye, 2003; James et al., 2007; Maikai et al., 2008). Carbohydrates, cyanogenic glycosides, avonols and tannins have bacterial activity, which validates the use of this plant in the control of Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Shigella exineri, and therefore implies a healing property for food poisoning, skin infections, ulcers, eczema, diarrhea and pneumonia (James et al., 2007). These authors also found that the species has antimicrobial action. An acute test of the aqueous extract of the stem bark in rats did not show toxicity (see Maikai et al., 2008). A complex mixture of 33 constituencies comprised of 69% aromatics, 12.5% lipid compounds and 13% terpenoids with Benzoaldeide (63.5%) as dominant molecule was determined from an analysis of the volatile oils compounds in the leaves of Ximenia americana (Mevy et al., 2006). In pharmacological conducted by Benoit-Vical et al. (1996) conrmed the anti-malarial activity. Omer and Elnima (2003) showed that the methanol extracts and aqueous extracts from of the parts of X. americana contain antibacterial and antifungal activity. Diallo et al. (2002) performed an in vitro chemical evaluation of aqueous extract for the 15 most cited wound-plants and showed X. americana to be among the top ve in terms of healing potential. Kon et al. (2004) investigated the antibacterial activity of the crude ethanol extract of 50 medicinal plants and found X. americana again to be among those with most potent activity. The aqueous extract of this species has a potential anticancer activity in mice (Voss et al., 2006). Quintans-Jnior et al. (2002) tested for anticonvulsant activity in 17 plants from northeastern Brazil; three species were found with such activity, with X. americana among them. Soro et al. (2009) observed that the aqueous stem bark extract of X. americana has analgesic properties that are probably related to avonoids. Further studies are necessary to accurately identify the compounds responsible for the analgesic activity and to understand the action mechanism. The study by James et al. (2008) showed that the aqueous extract of the leaves, the stem bark and especially the root caused hepatocellular damage, affected the synthesis of albumin and promoted weight loss in mice. The authors indicated that the root is the most toxic part of the plant due to the great concentrations of hydrogen cyanide, oxalates and saponins in these tissues; these compounds are known to cause gastrointestinal inammation, have hemolytic properties and the ability to reduce cholesterol, and cause gastroenteritis, respectively. Wurochekke et al. (2008) investigated the effects of the aqueous extract of the stem bark on the liver and kidneys in rats and also found hepatic damage, but with no effects in the kidneys. An analgesic activity in the aqueous extract was also found by Soro et al. (2009). Among the effects caused by X. americana mentioned by the community, the healing and antiseptic actions for toothache and menstrual colic are consistent with some effects and/or compounds that have already been scientically proven for this species. In addition to the total phenol content (Monteiro et al., 2006; Viana et al., 2003), there is predominance of chalcone and tannins (Monteiro et al., 2006; Viana et al., 1997) in the crude stem bark

extract of Myracrodruon urundeuva. In tests on rats, the tannins were observed to have anti-inammatory, analgesic and antiulcerogenic effects (Souza et al., 2007; Viana et al., 1997), and the avonoids and dimeric chalcones had analgesic and healing activities (Viana et al., 2003). Rodrigues et al. (2002) observed complete wound healing using the ethanol extract of M. urundeuva for skin lesions in rats. The neuroprotective effect in the mesoencephalic cells in rats has been demonstrated by the chalcone and tannin isolated from the crude extract of the stem bark of this plant as well (Nobre-Junior et al., 2008, 2009). A gel made from a mixture of M. urundeuva and Lippia sidoides showed preservation of alveolar bone resorption, anti-inammatory effect and antibacterial activity (Botelho et al., 2007, 2008) in rats with periodontitis, with the effect exerted by M. urundeuva assigned to the dimeric chalcone. Lectin was isolated from the crude extract of the stem core of M. urundeuva and showed antibacterial and antifungal activity (S et al., 2009a,b); this was the rst bioactive peptide found in the core, and its chemical protection is evident in the core durability of this species. Lectin has also been shown to act as an effective insecticide for termite activity, as a larvicidal agent against the transmitters of yellow fever and dengue (Aedes aegypti), and to possess an antioxidant action (S et al., 2009b,c). Alves et al. (2009) observed that the hydroalcoholic extract of M. urundeuva presents potential antimicrobial and anti-adherent activity on the microorganisms that form dental biolm in in vitro tests, as well as show antifungal activity against Candida strains isolated from the oral cavity. This species seems to be effective for the many uses mentioned by community members, including the following: function against toothache and headache by presenting proven analgesic effect; as an antiseptic due antibacterial and antifungal activity; and for genital, ovarian, internal organ or general organ inammation, by having anti-inammatory activity. 4. Conclusions 4.1. Local diversity of medicinal plants in the community the most important medicinal species to the community Many medicinal plants are used by informants from the Riacho da Catingueira community located in the municipality of AiuabaCear to treat a wide spectrum of condition from diseases to general pain or palliative care. This diversity of medicinal species represents the high overall species richness in the Caatinga. Among the useful species, R. graveolens and M. villosa, which are exotic and cultivated, and M. urundeuva Allemao, which is native, are presented as being very important to the community due to be very versatile with regard to their uses. 4.2. Promising medicinal species for bioprospecting studies species that deserve further study Many species have been highlighted for further study. The plant species that had higher consensus factors among the informants require further study to determine their therapeutic applicability, as many have yet to be proven scientically. There were many uses indicated for native species from the Caatinga, some of which still do not have scientic studies proving effectiveness for a given disease. Z. joazeiro requires studies to prove why it can be used to combat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, rheumatism, u, fever, stomach problems such as indigestion and its general use a healing. A. cearensis needs more specic attention directed to the respiratory system, especially in the treatment of nasal congestion, sinusitis, rhinitis and cough, and also needs to be researched concerning to the treatment of stroke, hypertension and general healing. Studies on A. colubrina

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S.L. Cartaxo et al. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010) 326342 Almeida, C.F.C.B.E., Silva, T.C.L., Amorim, E.L.C., Maia, M.B.S., Albuquerque, U.P., 2005a. Life strategy and chemical composition as predictors of the selection of medicinal plants from the caatinga (Northeast Brazil). Journal of Arid Environments 62, 127142. Almeida, J.R.G.S., Barbosa Filho, J.M., Cabral, A.G.S., Agra, M.F., Cunha, E.V.L., Silva, M.S., Nascimento, S.C., Braz Filho, R., 2005b. Diploavone, a new avonoid from Diplotropis ferruginea Benth. (Fabaceae). Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, Brasil 16, 14541457. Alves, P.M., Queiroz, L.M.G., Pereira, J.V., Pereira, M.S.V., 2009. Atividade antimicrobiana, antiaderente e antifngica in vitro de plantas medicinais brasileiras sobre microrganismos do biolme dental e cepas do gnero Candida. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 42, 222224. Alves, R.R.N., Silva, A.A.G., Souto, W.M.S., Barboza, R.R.D., 2007. 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need to focus on the use for symptoms related to the respiratory system, specically concerning to nasal congestion, cough, expectorant and lung diseases. Other interesting investigations include the activities of A. colubrina against diarrhea, inammation, against general infections and against cancer, as well as its healing and antiseptic activities. X. americana required further in vivo examination related to its anti-septic and healing actions, since these effects have been demonstrated in vitro, as well as its analgesic effect against toothache, menstrual colic and general inammation. M. urundeuva showed anti-ulcerogenic, antibacterial and healing (epithelium) activities in rats that need to be tested in humans. Studies of M. urundeuva are needed in relation to the analgesic activity, specically against headache and toothache, activity against inammation in the genitals and other organs, the effect against inuenza, cancer, and the function as an expectorant for hepatic, kidney and intestinal problems. These species, together with A. cearensis, A. colubrina, C. papaya, C. sinensis, C. citratus, E. viscosa, L. alba, P. amboinicus, P. barbatus, X. americana, and Z. joazeiro, formed a group of species that deserves further attention and study. Acknowledgements We thank FUNCAP for the bursary given to rst author; CNPq for its nancial support and grants to U.P. Albuquerque; the communities informants, for providing information and friendship. References
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