Ethnobotanical and ethnoveterinary survey in Paraguay: Medicinal plants used for deworming

 

Meza Ocampos, Griselda Asunción; Torres Ñumbay, Miguel ; Alvarenga, Nelson ; Pereira Sühsner, Claudia ; Delmás, Gloria ; Hoste, Hervé

Abstract

Gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) infections, commonly called ―worms‖, affect both humans and animals. In veterinary medicine, the search for alternatives to control GIN is now considered a priority because of increasing resistances to commercial anthelmintics. The use of bioactive plants and related secondary metabolites is one of these alternatives. This study aimed to collect data on the use of medicinal plants (MPs) for humans and veterinary practices and at listing plant species with potential anthelmintic properties to select some plant species for further studies following three criteria (availability, originality and popularity). A cross sectional survey was conducted with a total of 384 participants, using semi-structured face-to-face interviews and a free list. To evaluate quantitative data of MPs, two ethnobotanical indices were calculated, the Salience index (SI) and the Use Value (UV). The importance and use of MPs in the population of study was high, 98% (372/383) of participants reported use MPs and 86% (321/384) mentioned knowledge of MPs used against GIN. The transmission of knowledge is not limited to the family environment. Sixteen plant species were listed belonging to 10 botanical families. The Asteraceae was the most popular botanical family. Six plants species were indicated for veterinary use. The four MPs selected for furthers studies were, namely: Kyllinga odorata Valh. (Cyperaceae), Cassia occidentalis L. (Fabaceae), Artemisia absinthium L. (Asteraceae), Verbena litoralis Kunth. (Verbenaceae). Evaluation of those MPs based on in vitro and in vivo assays are planned to validate the traditional local knowledge of these 4 plants.

Keyword(s)

Anthelmintic, Alternative control, Ethnoveterinary, Ethnomedicine, Local knowledge, Medicinal plants, Paraguay

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