Plants used in popular medicine for treatment of infectious diseases in Central South America
In communities there are people reference and popular trust, which are sought to guide the needy. This happens also for the treatment of health problems. In the capital (Cuiabá) from Mato Grosso, Brazil (geodesic center of South America) the people who lead and trading medicinal plants are known as healers (raizeiros). They have points of service specific and home-made to meet its demand. To know what are the major medicinal plants listed the treatment of infectious diseases in general, a study was done in the city of Cuiaba, the following species are mentioned for twelve healers: Angico (Anadenanthera peregrina (L.) Speg.-Fabaceae), Arnica (Arnica montana L.- Asteraceae), Arnica do campo (Camarea ericoides A. St.-Hil.- Malpighiaceae), Aroeira (Astronium urundeuva (Allemão) Engl.-Anacardiaceae), Bálsamo da mata (Dicliptera pohliana Nees – Acanthaceae), Barbatimão (Stryphnodendron adstringens (Mart.) Coville -Fabaceae), Cancerosa (Maytenus ilicifolia (Schrad.) Planch.- Calastraceae), Copaíba (Copaifera langsdorffii Desf.- Fabaceae), Jequitibá (Cariniana rubra Gardner ex Miers – Lecythidaceae), Malva branca (Waltheria americana L. – Sterculiaceae), Mangava brava (Lafoensia pacari A. St.-Hil. – Lythraceae), Marapuama (Ptychopetalum olacoides Benth.- Olacaceae), Nó de cachorro (Heteropterys aphrodisiaca Mach. – Malpighiaceae), Pau doce (Vochysia rufa Mart. -Vochysiaceae), Sucupira (Bowdichia virgilioides Kunth – Fabaceae), Vassourinha (Scoparia dulcis L. – Plantaginaceae). It was also mentioned other plant species suitable for specific infections: intestinal (2), renal (4), urinary (7), uterus and ovaries (3). It is observed predominance of species rich in tannins, and has antiseptic and disinfectant power, which may partly explain the indication of these plants to combat infectious diseases.
Acknowledgements: Institutional support- UNEMAT, UFMT and EMPAER-MT; the teacher advisor – Guarim Neto, G; colleagues: Gonçalves MIA, de la Cruz Mota MGF – by participation in data collection and other support.