Open Access

Use and valuation of native and introduced medicinal plant species in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, Boyacá, Colombia

  • Ana Lucía Cadena-González1Email author,
  • Marten Sørensen2 and
  • Ida Theilade3
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine20139:23

DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-9-23

Received: 7 May 2012

Accepted: 28 March 2013

Published: 11 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Medicinal plant species contribute significantly to folk medicine in Colombia. However, few local studies have investigated whether species used are introduced or native and whether there is a difference in importance of native and introduced medicinal plant species. The aim of the present study was to describe the use of medicinal plants within two municipalities, Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, both in the department of Boyacá, Colombia and to assess the importance of native and introduced plants to healers, amateur healers and local people. As local healers including amateur healers have no history of introduced species our working hypotheses (H1-2) were that H1: native and introduced medicinal plant species are of equal importance and H2: healers and amateur healers do not differentiate in their preferences between native and introduced medicinal plant species.

Methods

Ten villages were included in the study. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, in- depth interviews, and open talks. Voucher specimens were collected in home gardens and during field walks. For data analysis, we calculated use value indices and Jaccard index and tested for the above hypothesis using Spearman rank-correlation coefficients and Wilcoxon-Mann–Whitney tests.

Results

Eighty medicinal plant species were described by locals as the most frequently used. Of these, 78 species were taxonomically identified, distributed within 41 families and 74 genera, which included 35 native species and 43 introduced. The highest valued families were: Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Apiaceae, Rutaceae and Verbenaceae. The species ranked highest according to their Use Values, in both municipalities, were Mentha suaveolens Ehrh., Ambrosia cumanensis Kunth, and Verbena littoralis Kunth. Introduced species were more important than native ones in Zetaquira, while there was no difference in importance in Campo Hermoso. While healers relied most on the uses of native species, amateur healers were inclined to rely on introduced species. Medicinal plant administration in both municipalities follow the usual pattern: Leaves are used most commonly prepared by decoction or infusion and administrated orally.

Conclusions

The high proportion of introduced plant species used in the local traditional medicines is similar to the results of a number of other ethnobotanical studies and emphasise the need for efforts to record and maintain traditional knowledge on native species.

Keywords

Acculturation Ethnobotany Trained healers Amateur healers Introduced medicinal plants Traditional knowledge

Background

Medicinal plant species constitute important alternatives to conventional medicine in a large number of developing countries, especially within poor communities that inhabit rural areas and lack access to health services [1, 2]. A number of native medicinal plants of both the palaeotropics and neotropics have traditionally had a high value for indigenous communities, not only because of their healing properties, but also due to other uses [3]. An example of such multi-use plants is the neotropical species Crescentia cujete L., a source of both timber and traditional medicine. Recently, this species has reached the United States and European pharmaceutical markets demonstrating that traditional medicinal plants used by indigenous communities may be of high economic value [3].

However, knowledge, cultivation and maintenance of these native species within rural communities is decreasing, due to modernization processes, such as acculturation [13]. In addition, a tendency to consider all plant resources as native by local people has been directly or indirectly documented in several studies [46]; in other words, numerous introduced plant species with healing properties have become popularly considered as ‘native’. Consequently, a number of native medicinal plant species have been replaced by introduced species. Thus, they use the terms ‘native’ and ‘introduced’ indiscriminately so that many introduced species with healing properties have become popularly known as native. For these reasons, the uses of a number of native species have been replaced by introduced species, incorrectly perceived as native.

When faced with the rapid decline in traditional knowledge it is relevant to identify medicinal species and to record their uses within local communities. This is especially important in regions that currently are affected by land-use change and modernisation. Documentation and awareness of ethnobotanical knowledge within these regions may facilitate the maintenance of medicinal plant resources and uses.

Furthermore, ethnobotanical studies may support implementation of strategies that integrate native medicinal plant uses with sustainable management of natural resources. The municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira in the department of Boyacá, Colombia, are examples where conversion of forest areas into agriculture land and reforestation with exotic species have destroyed large areas of natural forest including high plateau, upland, and montane forest. Furthermore, many multiple-use plants have been overexploited [7, 8]. This situation has caused loss of a number of native species (pers. comm. local key informants 2009). Studies on medicinal plant use have been conducted in different localities within Boyacá [9, 10], but none in the regions of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira. Therefore, the present study was carried out within these municipalities. The aims of this study were to identify the medicinal plant species, to determine their origin (native or introduced to Colombia), to record their medicinal uses (targeted illnesses, ways of administration), and based on personal observations and inspired by previous studies [46] to assess the value of native and introduced plant species to members of local communities. The latter objective was evaluated by the null hypotheses (H1-2) H1: native and introduced medicinal plant species are of equal importance and H2: healers and amateur healers do not differentiate in their preferences between native and introduced medicinal plant species.

Methods

Study areas

The study took place in the municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira in department of Boyacá, Colombia (Figure 1). The municipalities are located on the Eastern slope of the Cordillera Oriental (Eastern Andean range) and their terrain comprises rugged areas with peaks, steep canyons, and valleys. Both study areas belong to the humid subtropical zone [7, 8]. The altitude range from 500–2500 m a.s.l. in Campo Hermoso and 1875–3600 m a.s.l. in Zetaquira. Temperatures range between 12–35°C.
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Fig1_HTML.jpg
Figure 1

Main map showing locations of the municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira in department of Boyacá. Inset map: outlines of the municipalities and villages visited in the rural areas. The scale is uniform within the inset map; for true relative positions of the municipalities see main map.

Climatic differences and mountainous topography lead to a diversity of natural vegetation, livestock pastures, and crops within the study areas [7, 8]. Campo Hermoso is located at 132 km from Tunja the capital of the department and 143 km from Bogotá. Zetaquira is located at 69 km away from Tunja, and at 126 km away from Bogotá.

The economy of the municipalities is based on cattle ranching and agriculture; the latter often by smallholders practicing subsistence economy. The main products in Zetaquira are coffee, beans, sugarcane, maize, plantain, manioc and ‘arracacha’ (Arracacia xanthorrhiza Bancr.) [11]. The coffee production is located near the villages at intermediate altitudes. Until 2008, coffee was a main crop in Zetaquira. However, climate change has decreased feasibility of coffee production in recent years (pers. comm.: Domingo Mendoza, responsible of the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia, office in Zetaquira). Campo Hermoso is basically a cattle ranching region with large areas of pastures [7]. Besides, maize, beans, manioc and vegetables and, at smaller scale, sugarcane is cultivated for subsistence. There are no conspicuous economic differences between the two municipalities [7, 8].

Data collection and free, prior informed consent (FPIC)

The field work was conducted from October 2008 to January 2009. Data collection included a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in order to allow for triangulating and cross-checking [12]. Applied and complementary ethnobotanical methods [13] were used to acquire information on how local people related to the medicinal plant resources in the two municipalities. The project was presented to the local authorities and to the communities during initial meetings. Objectives and methods were approved in both municipalities.

Selection of villages and identification of informants

Within each municipality representative villages were visited. Ten villages were chosen according to distance to the main urban centre, the presence of a representative flora, and residential areas of the healers and herbalists, who were purposefully included in the sampling. In Zetaquira the villages studied were: La Esperanza, Guanata, Centro Rural and Hormigas; and in Campo Hermoso: Papayal, Huerta Vieja, Palmichal, Los Cedros, Macanalito and Teguas.

Participation of local people was essential to several stages of the research process [12]. Thus, key informants in the municipalities were contacted in the first stage. Their collaboration was crucial for selecting and planning the visits to the villages.

Each municipality was visited three times during the study in order to establish and maintain communication with the local informants, to identify additional informants, and later to apply quantitative and qualitative tools. The informants from the villages were selected using stratified random sampling. Interviewees in the study all belonged to farmers' communities.

Application of questionnaires, in-depth interviews and semi-structured interviews

Questionnaires were designed to collect information on the main local medicinal plant uses. The questions were answered by a selected group (n = 9) of old women in Patanoa Rincon in Zetaquira. Interviews were structured in two groups: in depth interviews and semi-structured interviews, which were done with individual informants in order to maintain data independence [13]. In depth interviews were answered by healersa and amateur healersb. In-depth interviews were carried out in order to collect information on their knowledge on plant use and their services offered to locals. Semi-structured interviews addressed farmers (n = 41). Their distribution across age and sex is shown in Table 1. Semi-structured interviews helped to collect data on traditional plant knowledge and use. For all interviews, vouchers of local medicinal plant species was used as a stimulus for interviewees to elaborate on known and used plants [14].
Table 1

Distribution of informants who answered semi-structured interviews in the municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, including totals, percentage of interviewees native to the municipality, and age classes

   

Age class

Municipality

Total

% native

20 to 40

41 to 60

>60

Campo Hermoso

16

81

1

7

8

Zetaquira

25

80

6

11

8

Homegardens, gardens and solaresc were visited during the interviews. Plant specimens were collected together with the informants when obtainable. From the list of mentioned plants, those that were not cultivated at home were grouped in a separate list.

Disease was defined by interviewees as a period of disequilibrium in the body due to deterioration of organs and functions. Disequilibrium could also be caused by bacteria and viral infection. The diseases described during the study were grouped into categories as it is shown in Table 2.
Table 2

Categories of diseases with the respective descriptions recorded in the municipalities of Zetaquira and Campo Hermoso

Category

Diseases

Digestive system

Inflamations of intestine, intestinal obstipation, intestinal obstipation in newborns, diarrhoea, apendicitis, stomach aches, enhance stomach function, gastritis, stomach ulcer, against stomach acids, liver cleanser, hepatitis, against bad breath, againts umbilical, hernia, diabetes, high bilirubin in new born, tooth pain, mouth driedness, sensitive gums

Bacterial,parasitic and mycotic infections

Inflamations and skin infections, erisipela, againts acne and feet`s fungus, against warts, infections in throat, gripe, intestinal parasits, eye inflamations and infections, eye dust, mouth infections, againts hair lice, typhus, denge

Musculoskeletal system

Rheumatism, colds and spams in muscles and tendons, fractures in bones, back pain

Nervous system

Memory loss, nervous system tonics, nervous tension, children with problems to fall asleep, tiredness and weakness, body dryness

Inmune system

Fevers, yellow fever

Integumentary system

External and internal inflamations, allergies, infected wounds, excema, spots, rashes in adults, diaper rash

Reproductive system

Prostata complaints, weak uterus, cramps in uterus and menstrual pains, uterus cleanser, menstrual disorders, healing of uterus after giving birth, to prevent extra bleeding during child delivery, to enhance lactation

Circulatory system

Cardiac problems as hypertrophy, hipertension complaints, blood cleanser and tonic, antihemorragic, to stop nose bleeding in children

Respiratory system

Sinusitis, to enhance lungs function, asthma, coughs

Urinary system

Children bladder complaints, kidney and bladder complaints in adults

Cancer

Stomach cancer, skin cancer, cancer in general

Accidents

Ofidic accidents

Specific conditions

Headaches, general indisposition, againts flies, to lose weight, hidropisy, againts hair loss, hair treatments

Other

Food, condiment herb

Field walks

A field walk with key informants was conducted in each municipality in order to identify environmental characteristics of medicinal plant species. The field walk in Campo Hermoso took place along a 5 km transect. In Zetaquira, it was conducted along a 4.5 km transect. Both transects traversed hills and sloping terrain, agricultural lands, and pastures for cattle ranching with some spots of secondary forests.

Systematics of plant species

Taxonomic identification was mainly conducted by experts at the Colombian National Herbarium (COL) and at the herbarium of Universidad Tecnológica de Tunja and, the Colombian Amazonian Herbarium (COAH) [15]. Collected specimens were deposited at COL, at the non-profit organization Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute Villa de Leyva branch, Colombia (FMB), and at the Herbarium, Botany Group, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen (CP), for future references. Additionally, specimens were deposited with the local authorities of each municipality, for reference and further studies at the local level.

Data analysis

Different measures of knowledge described by interviewees can be seen in ethnobotanical research. Therefore, it was decided to carefully evaluate the measure of knowledge to be used in the data analysis of the present study.

Plant species mentioned by the informants could be associated with one or several diseases, with one or more uses, or with both diseases and uses. Hence, it was possible to sum up two-way combinations of plant species (with use or disease) or three-way combinations (with use and disease). Since species often were only associated with one or the other, the different combinations might relate to substantially different measures of knowledge. Further, native and introduced species were distinguished, so that it was possible to observe differences of use between the two groups of plant species.

Spearman rank-correlation coefficients [16, 17] of the different indices of interviewees' knowledge were calculated (Table 3). As the knowledge indices were highly correlated, (correlation coefficient 0.87) it was decided to use plant-disease-use combinations, because they appeared to be the most comprehensive measure.
Table 3

Spearman rank correlations of different variants of knowledge indices. Correlation coefficients are given above the diagonal; corresponding p-values below the diagonal

 

Plant-Disease-Use-Comb. total

Plant-Disease-Use-Comb. native

Plant-Disease-Comb.total

Plant-Disease-Comb.native

Plant-Use-Comb. total

Plant-Use-Comb. native

Plants mentioned

Plant with use

Plants at home

Total no. of uses

Total no. of diseases

Plant-Disease-Use-Comb. total

 

0.87

0.97

0.84

0.97

0.81

0.92

0.94

0.69

0.85

0.82

Plant-Disease-Use-Comb. native

< 0.001

 

0.85

0.94

0.83

0.94

0.80

0.85

0.55

0.82

0.76

Plant-Disease-Comb. total

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.87

0.96

0.81

0.93

0.95

0.72

0.83

0.81

Plant-Disease-Comb. native

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.81

0.88

0.79

0.83

0.55

0.81

0.82

Plant-Use-Comb. total

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.85

0.94

0.95

0.70

0.83

0.80

Plant-Use-Comb. native

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.80

0.82

0.52

0.78

0.70

Plants mentioned

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.95

0.76

0.82

0.78

Plant with use

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.74

0.84

0.78

Plants at home

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.59

0.57

Total no. of uses

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 

0.84

Total no. of diseases

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

< 0.001

 
In order to assess the interviewees’ valuation of the medicinal plant species, use-value indices (UV) [18] were calculated as follows: The plant-disease-use combinations mentioned by the informants were counted. Use value (UV) was calculated by the formula [19]:
UV = U n https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Equ1_HTML.gif
(1)

where U = plant-disease-use combination, and n = total number of interviewees in each municipality. Since the informants were interviewed only once, it was decided to interpret each plant-disease-use combination mentioned by each informant as an event.

Furthermore, estimated UVs and actual UVs were calculated for each species following the procedure described above.

In addition, estimated and actual Family Use Values (FUV) were calculated in order to identify the significance of medicinal plant families in the municipalities. For this purpose, Equation 1 was adapted in accordance with the literature [20]:
FUV = UVs ns https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Equ2_HTML.gif
(2)

where UVs = use values of the species, and ns = total number of species within each family.

Wilcoxon-Mann–Whitney tests [16, 17] were used to test for differences between introduced and native medicinal plant species in their estimated and actual UV within the two municipalities.

Finally, similarities of use of introduced and native medicinal plant species between the municipalities were calculated using the Jaccard Index [21, 22].

Results

Medicinal plant species and plant characteristics

Interviews and questionnaires supplied a list of a total of 80 medicinal plant species used in the treatments of ailments within the municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira. Of these, 78 species were taxonomically identified. Results are based on the 78 identified species of which 35 were native species and 43 introduced (Table 4), belonging to 74 genera and 41 floristic families. The families with the highest numbers of species reported as medicinal were: Asteraceae (10 species), Lamiaceae (7), Apiaceae, Rutaceae and Verbenaceae (each 4), and Malvaceae, Solanaceae and Urticaceae (each 3).
Table 4

List of medicinal plant species reported in Zetaquira and Campo Hermoso including ethnobotanical characteristics

   

Index Use Values (estim./ actual)

   

Species, family, voucher ID, and vernacular names

Life form, Habitat/ place of collection

Status, place of Origin

Zeta-quira

Campo Herm.

Part Used

Use

Preparation, mode of administration

Justicia filibracteolata Lindau Acanthaceae ALCG 62 Chuchuhuaza

shrub cultivated in homegarden

native Colombian Andes3

0.48/ 0.04

0.06/ 0.00

bark and leaves (B)

rheumatism (B)

concoction with Allium sativum and Aristolochia ringens in extract in alcohol/ oral -U1- (Z), concoction with Cannabis sativa in extract in alcohol -U2-/ oral (B), decoction/ oral (C)

Trichanthera gigantea (Bonpl.) Nees (s) Acanthaceae ALCG 125 Cafetero, Quiebrabarrigo

small tree wild in edge of route

native to Northern South America8

0.32/ 0.20

0.19/ 0.00

leaves and stems (B)

inflammations and skin infections (B) fevers (Z) to lose weight (Z)

decoction/ topical-baths (B) decoction/ topical-baths (Z); fresh extract by maceration/ oral (Z) infusion/ oral (Z)

Sambucus nigra L.* º Adoxaceae•Caprifoliaceae ++ ALCG 68 Sauco Elder or Elderberry

tree cultivated in solar

introduced Europe-West Siberia-North Africa 5

0.72/ 0.24

0.56/ 0.25

leaves and flowers (B)*2 flowers (B)º 2 leaves and branches (B) flowers and shoots (Z) leaves and branches (B)

gripe (B) eye inflammations and infections (B) fevers (B) tiredness and weakness (Z) respiratory complaints (B) respiratory complaints (Z) headache (Z) against hair lice (C)

concoction with Citrus limon juice in decoction/ oral (B) extract in decoction or destilation (in a glass bottle)/ topical- eye baths (B) decoction/ topical in baths (B) decoction/ topical, baths (Z) decoction/ oral (B) concoction with milk in decoction/ oral (Z) decoction/ oral (B) decoction/ oral (Z) fresh extract from maceration/ topical on the head before the sunrise starts (Z) fresh extract from maceration/ topical for washing the hair (C)

Furcraea macrophylla Baker, Hook (e-CH) Agavaceae Fique,cabuya Fique

succulent rosette forming tall herb cultivated in a farmland

native Boyaca-Colombia7

0.00/ 0.00

0.25/ 0.13

root (C)

rheumatism (C) muscles and tendons complaints (C) Hidropisy (C)

decoction/ oral (C) use of fibres of leaves to tie them on the affected part/ topical (C) decoction of a piece of leaf/ oral (C)

leaves (C)

Chenopodium ambrosioides L. (s) Amaranthaceae ALCG 80 Paico Epazote Wormseed

herb ascendent cultivated in small garden

native Central Andean range and south of western range in Colombia 7

0.40/ 0.12

0.44/ 0.38

leaves (B) leaves and stems (B)

stomach complaints (B) intestinal parasites (B)

infusion or decoction/ oral (B) fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (B)

Althernanthera lanceolata (Benth.) Schinz Amaranthaceae ALCG 113 Planta del cáncer or Sanguinaria

herb cultivated in small garden

introduced American tropics and subtropics, Asia, Africa and Australia12

0.16/ 0.16

0.48/ 0.25

leaves and branches (B) leaves (C) leaves (Z)

healing of wounds (B) skin cancer (C) stomach ulcer (C) cancer in general (C) cancer in general (Z) fevers (Z)

decoction/ oral and decoction/ topical-baths (B) decoction/ topical baths (C) decoction in milk/ oral (C) decoction / oral (C) fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (Z)

Eryngium foetidum L.*

herb cultivated in homegarden

native South Mexico to Bolivia Colombian Andeans and Orinoquia5

0.00/ 0.00

0.06/ 0.06

root (C)

hepatitis (C) condiment herb (C)

decoction/ oral (C) combination with food/ oral (C)

Apiaceae

leaves (C)*2

ALCG 167

Cilantrón,cilantro cimarrón

Mexican coriander, shadow beni

Apium graveolens L. *

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Europe and West Asia 13, Europe 5

0.20/ 0.24

0.25/ 0.19

leaves and stems (B)*2

intestinal obstipation (B)

decoction/oral(B)

Apiaceae

infusion/oral(B)

Apio

stomach ache (B)

combination with food/oral(B)

Celery,celeriac

condiment herb (B)

infusion/oral(B)

relaxant (B)

decoction/oral(Z)

to regulate menstruation (Z)

Foeniculum vulgare Mill.* º

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Mediterranean Europe5

0.16/ 0.16

0.06/ 0.06

leaves and stems (B)

to enhance lactation (B)

decoction in milk or “aguadepanela”-U3-/ oral (B)

Apiaceae

ALCG 89

condiment herb (B)

combination with food/ oral (B)

Hinojo

Fennel, Bronze Fennel,

Sweet cumin12

Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nyman ex A.W. Hill*

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Eastern Mediterranean Western Asia Mediterranean Europe 8

0.44/ 0.36

0.50/ 0.25

leaves (B)*2

cardiovascular complaints as high blood pressure (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

to chew leaves/ oral (B)

combined with food/ oral (B)

Apiaceae

enhance stomach function (B)

infusion/ oral (C)

ALCG 87

infusion/ oral (Z)

Perejil

againts bad breath (B)

Parsley

condiment herb (B)

kidney complaints (C)

intestinal pain (C)

againts menstrual pain (Z)

Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don.

short lived herb cultivated in pod

introduced Madagaskar 8

0.00/ 0.00

0.06/ 0.06

flowers (C)

againts eye infections and irritations (C)

infusion/ topical-baths (C)

Apocynaceae

ALCG 158

Vicaria

Madagascar periwinkle

Philodendron sp.

sufrutex wild in edges of secundary forest

unknown Africa and Asia and America around the equador 7

0.04/ 0.04

0.00/ 0.00

leaves and stem (Z)

skin infections and inflamations (Z)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-rub part affected

Araceae

ALCG 103

Hidra or Yedra

Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced South East Asia, Australia 8,13

0.20/ 0.16

0.31/ 0.25

tuberous root (B)

gastritis (B)

concoction of blended root with milk/ oral (B)

Araceae

stomach ulcer (B)

ALCG 106

food (B)

carbohydrate source food/ oral (B)

Malanga

Taro

Aristolochia ringens Vahl.

Twiner/climber Wild in river bank

introduced native to Brazil 15

0.64/ 0.04

0.75/ 0.00

leaves and stems (B)

rheumatism (B)

concoction with Cannabis sativa, Erythroxylum coca and Justicia filibracteolata in extract in alcohol/ topical and oral (B), maceration in extract in alcohol/ topical and oral (Z)-U2- maceration/ topical in emplast (B)

Aristolochiaceae

ofidic accidents (B)

ALCG 78

Bejuco de Guaco

Gaping Dutchman`s Pipe

Aloe vera (L.) Burman f. * º

Short stem-med suculent plant cultivated in pods

introduced arabic peninsula 8

0.64/ 0.60

0.63/ 0.63

gel from leaves (B) * 2 º 2

asthma (B)

fresh gel is blended single or in concoction with egg or with honey and juice of Citrus limon/ oral (B)

Asphodelaceae

caugh (B)

Zábila

fever (B)

Aloe

headache (B)

fresh gel/ topical-emplast over head-front (Z)

healing wounds and

fresh gel/ topical-emplast over head-front (B)

skin spots (B)

fresh gel/ topical-emplast over head-front (Z)

external inflamations (B)

hair treatment (B)

massaging (B)

stomach cancer (Z)

fresh gel in concoction with honey/ oral (Z)

Bidens pilosa L. *

herb wild in pastures with bushes composition

native\ From the centrum to the south of the Andeans of Colombia3

0.00/ 0.04

0.00/ 0.00

leaves (Z)*2

skin infections (Z) rashes (Z)

maceration/ topical-emplast (Z)

Asteraceae

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

ALCG 144

Chipaca

Spanish needle,black jack

Onoseris onoseroides (Kunth) Robins

tall herb wild in slope hills and between bushes on open pastures

introduced Central America and naturalized in Colombia 3

0.00/ 0.00

0.13/ 0.00

leaves (B)

against bleedings (C)

fresh leaves directly on the wound/ topical (C)

against uterus complaints (C)

Asteraceae

infusion/ oral (C)

ALCG 139

pains in muscles (Z)

maceration/ topical-emplast (Z)

Santa María

Conyza filaginoides (DC.) Hieron

herb spontaneous in solar with some cultivated trees

native Central Colombian Andeans 3

0.04/ 0.00

0.00/ 0.00

leaves and stems (Z)

skin infections and rash (Z)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-massage (Z)

Asteraceae

ALCG 110

Venadillo

Pyrethrum parthenium (L.)

herb cultivated in small garden

introduced Eurasian, meridional-boreal3

0.36/ 0.28

0.00/ 0.00

leaves º2*2 and stems (Z)*2

intestinal complaints (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Sw.

relaxant (Z)

fresh maceration/ emplast (Z)

* º

flowers (Z)

uterus cramps (Z)

Asteraceae

ALCG 75

Manzanilla

Feverfew

Wild chamomille

Galinsoga parviflora Cav.

herb cultivated in homegarden

native Colombia, South America3,8

0.08/ 0.04

0.19/ 0.06

leaves (B)

againts excess of stomach acids (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

Asteraceae

leaves and stems (C)

condiment herb (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

ALCG 90

against white plaques in mouth (C)

fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (C)

Guacas

intestinal parasits (C)

Matricaria chamomilla L. * º

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Iran and Europe 3,8,17

0.32/ 0.32

0.38/ 0.38

leaves and flowers (B)

stomach complaints (B)

decoction or infusion (B)

leaves, stems and flowers (B)

relaxant (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

Asteraceae

rheumatism (Z)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-massage (Z)

ALCG 96

colds, spams and cramps in muscles (C)

Manzanilla dulce

decoction/ oral and fresh extract by maceration/ topical-massage (C)

Roman chamomile,

German chamomile

Taraxacum officinales F.H.Wigg.

herb spontaneous in a farm with a large patch of secondary forest

introduced Europe3

0.16/ 0.12

0.25/ 0.06

leaves (B)

cardiovascular complaints (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

* 2

infusion/ oral (C)

* º

kidney complaints (C)

Asteraceae

enhance lungs function (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

ALCG 104

rheumatism (Z)

decoction/ oral (Z)

liver cleanse (Z)

Diente de león

maceration/ topical-emplast (Z)

Dandelion

infusion/ oral (Z)

Artemisia absinthium L. *

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Europe3 and West Asia

0.32/ 0.16

0.19/ 0.13

leaves (B)

stomach ache (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

(e-CH)

leaves (Z)

liver cleanser (C)

infusion/ oral (C)

Asteraceae

leaves and stems (Z)

to prevent extra blood flow during child delivery (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Ajenjo

infusion/ oral (Z)

Absinthe wormwood,

againts inflamations and infections (Z)

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

grand wormwood

Calendula officinalis L. * º

short-lived plant cultivated in pod

introduced South and East Europe3

0.60/ 0.24

0.31/ 0.19

flowers (B)

external-internal inflamations (B)

Decoction / topical, baths (B)

Asteraceae

*2 º 2

gastritis (C)

decoction / oral (B)

ALCG 57

leaves and flowers (C)

skin infections (Z)

infusion of leaves and flowers in concoction with drops of Crotons' sage/ oral (C)

Caléndula

Pot Marigold, Scotch Marigold

leaves and stems (Z)

menstrual cramps (Z)

maceration of leaves/ topical (Z)

decoction/ topical,baths (Z)

Ambrosia cumanensis Kunth

herb cultivated in homegarden

native Colombian Andeans3

0.88/ 0.40

1.12/ 0.81

leaves and stems (B)

gripe (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

Asteraceae

rheumatism (B)

fresh plant in maceration / topical in cataplasm (B)

ALCG 63

branches (Z)

children bledder complaints (B)

Altamisa

concoction with Mentha suaveolens

Western Ragweed or Perennial Ragweed

menstrual cramps (Z)

and Ruta graveolens in infusion/ oral (Z)

colds and spams in muscles (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical to rub body (C)

stomach ache (C)

decoction/ oral (C)

intestinal complaints (C)

against flies (Z )

branches are placed in dogs beds against flies (Z)

Anredera cordifolia Tenore

Vine wild in edges of secondary forest with enought shadow and moisture

native SouthAmerica (Colombia,Ecua-dor, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia,Brasil,Salvador)13

0.24/ 0.16

0.12/ 0.13

leaves and stems (B)

fevers (B)

decoction or infusion/ oral (B)

Basellaceae

respiratory complaints (C)

fresh extract by maceration in water/ topical-baths (Z)

ALCG 109

Rubacá

skin infections (Z)

decoction/ oral (C)

muscles and tendons inflamations,edemas (Z)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-emplast or massage (Z)

Crescentia cujete L. 3,; *

tree cultivated in homegarden

native North Central America, Mexico and Belice, Colombian Andes,Amazons and Caribean3

0.00/ 0.00

0.06/ 0.06

young fruit (C)*2

caugh (C)

fresh extract or juice/ oral (C)

Bignoniaceae

asthma (C)

Totumo

Calabash tree

Jacaranda cf. copaia (Aubl.) D.Don

tree cultivated in solar

native Colombian Andeans and Orinoquia3

0.20/ 0.12

0.94/ 0.69

bark (B)

Intestinal complaints (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

Bignoniaceae

leaves (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

leaves (C)

Kidney complaints (Z)

infusion/ oral (C)

ALCG 69

branches (C)

rheumatism (C)

concoction with fresh maceration-Eucalyptus globulus and Allium sativum in extract in alcoholU2 / oral topical (C)

Gualanday

gripe (C)

fevers (C)

denge (C)

decoction/ oral (C)

skin infections (C)

see concoction with Urtica dioica and Rosmarinus officinalis (C)

circulatory complaints (C)

mouth dryness (C)

Symphytum officinale L.

herb cultivated in garden

introduced Europe, West Asia 9

0.12/ 0.12

0.06/ 0.13

leaves (B)

rheumatism (C)

infusion/ oral (C)

Boraginaceae

headache (C)

concoction with Rosmarinus officinalis in decoction/ oral (Z)

ALCG 173

prostate complaints (Z)

Comfrey

Quaker Comfrey, boneset

Cannabis sativa L.

herb cultivated

introduced North West of Himalayan mountains, Asia7

0.12/ 0.00

0.19/ 0.06

leaves (B)

rheumatism (B)

concoction with Justicia filibracteolata in extract in alcoholU2/ oral (B),

Cannabaceae

ALCG 172

      

concoction with Aristolochia ringens, Erythroxylum coca and Justicia filibracteolata in extract in alcohol/ topical and oral (B)

Marihuana

Marijuana,Hemp,Cannabis

maceration in extract in alcohol/ topical and oral (Z)U2

Clusia aff. ellipticifolia Cuatr.

small tree cultivated in an edge of pastures plot

native Colombian Andes and Amazons5

0.08/ 0.00

0.13/ 0.00

fruits (C)

against warts (C)

fresh fruit juice/ topical directly on skin (C)

leaves (Z)

back pain (Z)

Clusiaceae or Guttiferae

heated leaves/ topical directly on the back (Z)

ALCG 122

Gaque

Tradescantia zebrina Heynh.

herb cultivated in small garden

introduced Neotropical Guatemala and Mexico13 probably Panamá8

0.04/ 0.08

0.00/ 0.00

leaves and flowers (Z)

diabetes (Z)

decoction/ oral (Z)

Commelinaceae

rheumatism (Z)

maceration/ topical-emplast (Z)

ALCG 115

Suelda con suelda roja or cinta

Wandering jew

Callisia monandra (Sw.) Schult. & Schult f.

herb wild in edge of secondary forest with enought shadow and moisture

native to Caribean territories20 including Colombia

0.12/ 0.00

0.19/ 0.13

leaves and stems (B)

fracture bones (B)

maceration/ topical-emplast (B)

rheumatism (Z)

maceration/ topical-emplast (Z)

Commelinaceae

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

ALCG 118

Suelda con suelda blanca

Cojite morado

Sechium edule (Jacq.) Sw.

climbing vine plant cultivated in homegarden

introduced Central America and Mexico 8

0.08/ 0.08

0.06/ 0.00

fruit (B)

hipertension complaints (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

Cucurbitaceae

ALCG 151

Guatilla

Alligator pear,pear squash

Cupresus lusitanica Mill.

tree cultivated in small garden

introduced Europe7 naturalized in Mexico24

0.28/ 0.04

0.13/ 0.00

branches (B)

rheumatism (B)

decoction/ topical-baths (B)

Cupressaceae

caughs and asthma (B)

concoction with Eucalyptus globulus and Solanum nigrum in concentrated extract by decoction/ oral (B)

ALCG 129

against bledder complaints in children (C)

Pino ciprés

Mexican cypress,Cedar of Goa

tiredness and weakness (Z)

maceration/ topical-emplast (C)

kidney complaints (Z)

concoction with Eucalyptus globulus in decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

decoction/ oral (Z)

Equisetum giganteum L.*

herb wild in strem edge

native Central and South America Central part of Colombian Andeans7

0.28/ 0.00

0.19/ 0.00

leaves and stem (B)*2

skin infections and inflamations (B)

decoction/ topical-baths (B)

Equisetaceae

decoction/ oral (Z)

ALCG 156

root (C)

kidney complaints (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

Cola de caballo

horsetail

againts rheumatism and osteoporosis (C)

concoction with Furcraea macrophylla in decoction/ baths (C)

Erythroxylum coca Lam.

Shrub or small tree Cultivated in solar

native Colombia and South America5

0.08/ 0.08

0.44/ 0.25

leaves and branches (B)

rheumatism (B)

concoction with Cannabis sativa, Aristolochia ringens and Justicia filibracteolata in extract in alcohol/ topical and oral (B)

Erythroxylaceae

rheumatism (C)

ALCG 73

leaves (C)

tiredness and

Coca

leaves (B)

weakness (B)

leaves (Z)

relaxant (B)

decoction/ oral (C)

tooth pain (Z)

infusion/ oral (B)

fresh maceration/ topical on the tooth (Z)

Croton Funckianus Muell. Arg.

tree wild in edge of route

native Colombian Andes5

0.00/ 0.00

0.06/ 0.06

leaves (C)

tooth pain (C)

maceration/ topical-emplast (B)

Euphorbiaceae

ALCG 120

Sangregado

Mimosa pudica L.

herb wild in open pastures

native South and Central America7

0.12/ 0.12

0.56/ 0.00

leaves (B)

tooth pain (B)

fresh maceration/ topical-emplast (B)

Fabaceae

rheumatism (C)

decoction/ topical-bath (C)

ALCG 175

for helping children to fall asleep (C)

Dormidera

Sensitive Plant, Mimosa

Senna obtusifolia (L.) Irwin & Barnaby

shrub spontaneous in a sideroad

introduced 48 lower states, Virgin Islands,Puerto Rico23

0.12/ 0.08

0.50/ 0.06

branches (B)

fever (B)

decoction/ topical-bath (C)

Fabaceae

leaves (C)

gripe (C)

concoction with Trichanthera gigantea and Cestrum mariquitense in decoction/ topical-bath (Z)

ALCG 161

branches (C)

headache (C)

decoction/ oral (C)

Alcaparro

branches (B)

for healing uterus after giving birth (C)

fresh extract by

Sicklepod

to stop noise bleeding in children (Z)

maceration/ topical-massage or bath (C)

decoction/ topical-bath (C)

decoction in milk/ topical-bath (Z)

Juglans neotropica Diels

tree cultivated in solar within a secondary forests well drened

native Amazons, Orinoquia Central Andes Range7

0.40/ 0.20

0.00/ 0.00

leaves (Z)

allergies (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

(e-CH/Z)

leaves and branches (Z)

diaper rash and other skin complaints as acne and feets' fungus (Z)

decoction/ topical in baths (Z)

Juglandaceae

leaves (Z)

uterus cleaning (Z)

decoction/ topical in hip baths (Z)

ALCG 67

 

Cedro Nogal

Colombian walnut

Melissa officinalis L.* º

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Europe and Asia3

0.88/ 0.72

0.75/ 0.62

leavesº2 and stems (B)*2

gripe (B)

decoction/ oral (B) or fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (B) or infusion/ oral (B)

Lamiaceae

fevers (B)

ALCG 92

relaxant (B)

Toronjil

stomach ache (B)

Common balm

intestine complaints (B)

Ocimum campechianum Mill.

herb cultivated in homegarden

native North, Central and Northern South America23

0.28/ 0.16

0.63/ 0.31

leaves (B)

Intestinal complaints (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

Lamiaceae

seeds (B)

eye dust (B)

one seed is placed in the eye/ topical (B)

ALCG 74

leaves (Z)

gripe (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Albahaca

Basil, Wild mosquito plant

Mentha viridis L.

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Europe 3

0.36/ 0.20

0.50/ 0.38

leaves (B)

gripe (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

Lamiaceae

stomach ache (B)

infusion or decoction/ oral (B)

ALCG 91 Menta

inflammations of intestine (B)

fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (C)

Spearmint

infusion/ oral (B)

Satureja brownei (Sw.) Briq.

herb cultivated in small garden

native South America, Colombian Andean Ranges3

0.60/ 0.20

0.19/ 0.06

leaves and stems (B)

against bledder complaints in children (B)

maceration/ topical-emplast (B)

Lamiaceae

condiment herb (B)

combination with food/ oral (B)

ALCG 130

stomach ache (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Poleo

enhance blood cleaning (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Origanum majorana L.*

herb cultivated in solar

introduced Asia menor13

0.36/ 0.28

0.06/ 0.00

leaves (Z)*2

stomach aches and

infusion or decoction/

Lamiaceae

ALCG 76

intestine complaints (Z)

oral (Z)

Mejorana

prostata complaints (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

knotted marjoram,sweet marjoram

kidney complaints (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Rosmarinus officinalis L.* º

woody herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Península Ibérica, Western Mediterranean3

0.44/ 0.44

0.31/ 0.19

leaves (B)

lungs complaints (B)

infusion/ oral (C)

* 2 º 2

tooth pain (B)

decoction in milk/ oral (Z)

(e-Z)

leaves and stems (B)

hipertension complaints (B)

maceration/ topical-emplast on tooth (B)

Lamiaceae

against hair loss (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

ALCG 149

muscles pain (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-massage (C)

Romero

rheumatism (C)

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

Rosemary

stomach ache (Z)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-massage (C)

tiredness (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Mentha suaveolens Ehrh.

herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Europe3

1.20/ 1.04

0.94/ 0.94

leaves (B)

stomach ache (B)

infusion or decoction/ oral (B)

Lamiaceae

shoots (Z)

 

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (B)

ALCG 127

leaves and stems (Z)

 

infusion or fresh extract by maceration/ oral (B)

Yerbabuena blanca

leaves (Z)

headaches (B)

concoction with Allium sativum cloves, in concentrated extract by decoction/ oral (Z)

Round leaved mint

leaves and stems (Z)

intestinal inflamations (B)

intestinal parasits (Z)

concoction with Piper cf.bogotense, Trichanthera gigantea and Phytolacca rivinoidesin decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

against infections and inflamations (Z)

fevers (Z)

infusion/ oral (Z)

concoction with Ambrosia cumanensis and Ruta graveolens in decoction/ oral (Z)

menstrual cramps (Z)

diaper rash (Z)

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

Persea americana Mill.

tree cultivated in solar

native Central and South America7

0.04/ 0.04

0.25/ 0.13

shoots (C)

gripe (C)

decoction and concoction with fresh extract of Verbena littoralis and Citrus limon juice/ oral (C)

apendicitis (C)

Lauraceae

shoots (Z)

sensitive gums (Z)

decoction/ oral (C)

ALCG 100

fruit (C)

against dry hair (C)

maceration/ topical (Z)

Aguacate

fruit (Z)

regulator of digestion (Z)

maceration/ topical-massage (C)

Avocado, butter pear

combination with food/ oral (Z)

Allium fistulosum L.

gregarious herb cultivated in homegarden

introduced Siberia ; Altai montains in Siberia7

0.12/ 0.08

0.31/ 0.19

roots (B)

intestinal obstipation (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (C)

Liliaceae

leaves (B)

stomach ache (B)

decoction/ oral (Z)

Cebolla larga

leaves (B)

condiment herb (B)

combination with food (B)

Scallion, green onion

young leaf (C)

against intestinal obstipation in newborns (C)

fresh leaf as suppository/ rectal (C)

roots (C)

lost of memory (C)

leaves (B)

fever (Z)

decoction/ oral (C)

maceration/ topical-emplast on head-front (Z)

Allium sativum L. * º

herb cultivated in pod

introduced Southwestern Asia; Central Asia 7

0.32/ 0.04

0.12/ 0.06

bulbus (B) *2 º 2

gripe (C)

concoction with alcohol-Aguardiente U2/ oral (C)

Liliaceae

fevers (C)

decoction/ oral (C)

Ajo

againts intestinal worms (C)

concoction with alcohol-Aguardiente-U2/ oral (Z)

Garlic

againts amebiasis (Z)

concoction with shoots of Menta suaveolens in concentrated extract by decoction/ oral (Z)

rheumatism (Z)

concoction with Justicia filibracteolata and Aristolochia ringens in extract in alcohol U1- (Z)

Althaea officinalis L. º

herb cultivated in pod

introduced Mediterranean5

0.08/ 0.04

0.38/ 0.00

leaves (C)

kidney complaints (C)

infusion/ oral (C)

Malvaceae

flowers (C)

caugh (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (Z)

Malva

leaves (B)

stomach

infusion/ oral (Z)

Marsh mallow

ache (Z)

fever (Z)

Anoda cristata (L.) Schl.

herb wild in open pastures

introduced Mexico and part of Central America5

0.00/ 0.00

0.19/ 0.13

leaves and stems (C)

fever (C)

concoction with Senna obtusifolia in extract from maceration/ topical-bath or rub body (C)

Malvaceae

healing wounds and againts spots (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-rub skin (C)

ALCG 170

decoction/ topical-bath (C)

Patechula (Campo Hermoso)

Escobo (Zetaquira)

Spuded anoda,crested anoda

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.

shrub and groundcover cultivated in small garden

introduced China11,13

0.12/ 0.08

0.31/ 0.19

leaves (C)

intestinal obstipation (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (C)

Malvaceae

leaves and flowers (C)

fever (C)

concoction with Cestrum mariquitense in decoction/ topical-bath (C)

ALCG 164

leaves (Z)

againts hair loss (C)

decoction/ topical-bath (C)

Rosado

flowers (Z)

nervous system tonic (Z)

fresh extract by blending/ oral (Z)

Hibiscus

eye inflamations (Z)

fresh extract in water/ topical-eye-bath (Z)

Psidium guineense Sw.

small tree spontaneous in a private pastures plot

native Tropical America, native to Colombia5

0.12/ 0.08

0.44/ 0.31

leaves and branches (B)

skin infections and recover wounds (B)

decoction/ topical-baths (C)

maceration/ topical-emplast (Z)

decoction or infusion/ oral (B)

infusion/ oral and decoction/ topical-baths (C)

Myrtaceae

intestinal complaints (B)

decoction/ topical-baths (C)

concoction with other eight bitter plants in decoction/ topical-steam baths (C)

ALCG 121

against umbilical hernia (C)

Guayabo Zapatero or Cimarrón

rheumatism (C)

against colds and cramps in uterus (C)

Brazilian guava, wild guava

Eucalyptus cf. globulus Labill. * º

tall tree wild in edge of secondary forest

introduced South East of Australia and Tasmania 6 ,10

0.56/ 0.00

0.44/ 0.19

leaves (B)* 2

gripe (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

concoction with Jacaranda copaia and Allium sativum in decoction/ topical-baths (C)

fevers (C)

concoction with fresh maceration-Jaccaranda copaia and Allium sativum in cloves extract in alcoholU2 / oral (C)

caughs and asthma (B)

rheumatism (B)

concoction with Solanum nigrum and Cupresus lusitanica in concentrated extract by decoction/ oral (Z)

tiredness and weakness (Z)

decoction/ topical-baths (B)

concoction with Cupresus lusitanica in decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

º 2

branches (C)

leaves (B)

branches (B)

leaves (Z)

Myrtaceae

ALCG 128

Eucalipto

Gum tree, Silver-leaved

mountain gum

Cattleya schroederae Rchb. F.

Epiphytic herb cultivated in solar

native Colombia8

0.00/ 0.00

0.69/ 0.63

leaves (C)

typhus (C)

fresh extract by maceration of one leafe/ oral (C)

denge (C)

extract by blending in concoction with water/ oral (C)

fever (C)

fresh extract by maceration of a piece of leafe in concoction with water/ oral (C)

intestinal

complaints (C)

Orchidaceae

ALCG 165

Lirio

Easter orchid, Baron schroeder´s

cattleya

Petiveria alliacea L. *

herb cultivated in small garden

native Andean(specially Peruvian Amazonas), Caribean and South east of Colombia 7

0.00/ 0.00

0.25/ 0.25

leaves (C)*2

stomach cancer (C)

infusion/ oral (C)

decoction/ oral (C)

extract by maceration/ topical-rinsing mouth out/ (C)

against lacerations in mouth (C)

infusion/ oral (C)

Phytolaccaceae

headache (C)

ALCG 136

Anamú

Anamú plant

Phytolacca rivinoides Kunth & C.D.Bouché

shrub spontaneous in a solar

native Central and South America, Colombian Andeans7

0.08/ 0.00

0.38/ 0.25

leaves and branches (B)

rheumatism (C)

decoction/ topical-baths (C)

concoction with Mentha suaveolens,Piper bogotense and Trichanthera giganteain decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

erisipela (C)

inflamations and skin infections (C)

Phytolaccaceae

inflamations and skin infections (Z)

ALCG 146

Guaba, Cargamanto

Piper hispidum Sw.

shrub cultivated in solar/it can also occur in wild

native Central and South America and native to Caribean territories20

0.00/ 0.00

0.44/ 0.38

leaves and stems (C)

high blood presure (C)

fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (C)

fevers (C)

concoction with Verbena littoralis in decoction/ topical-bath (C)

Piperaceae

tiredness and weakness (C)

decoction / topical-bath (C),steam baths/ topical(C)

ALCG 85

rheumatism (C)

Cordoncillo negro

Jamaican pepper

Piper cf. bogotense C.DC.

shrub cultivated in solar/it can also occur in wild

native North of South America 12

0.08/ 0.00

0.50/ 0.25

leaves (C)

high blood presure (C)

fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (C)

fevers (C)

extract in water/ oral (C)

concoction with Mentha suaveolens and Phytolacca rivinoides in decoction/ topical-bath (Z)

leaves and stems (Z)

mouth dryness (C)

skin infections and inflamations (Z)

Piperaceae

ALCG 81

Cordoncillo blanco

Plantago major L.*

herb spontaneous in homegarden

introduced Europe and Asia3

0.32/ 0.16

0.81/ 0.31

leaves (B)*2

eye dust and infections (B)

decoction/ topical eye bath (C)

fresh extract by destilation in glass bottle/ topical-eye drops (Z)

Plantaginaceae

gastritis (B)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (B)

decoction/ oral (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (Z)

decoction/ oral (C)

decoction/ oral (C)

fresh maceration in concoction with honey/ topical-emplast (C)

liver cleanser (B)

concoction with Calendula officinalis and Solanum nigrum in decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

kidney complaints (C)

fever (C)

eczema (C)

healing wounds (Z)

ALCG 374

Llantén

Common plantain

Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf.*

herb cultivated in solar

introduced India 2

0.56/ 0.60

0.44/ 0.50

leaves (B)*2

stomach aches (B)

infusion or decoction/ oral (B)

Poaceae

infusion/ oral (Z)

decoction/ oral (Z)

decoction/ oral (C)

intestine complaints (Z)

gripe (Z)

ALCG 77

prostata complaints (C)

Limonaria or limoncillo

West Indian,Lemon grass,

oil grass

fevers (C)

Rumex crispus L.

herb wild in open pastures

introduced Europe7, West Asia 20

0.08/ 0.04

0.19/ 0.00

leaves (B)

fevers (B)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-baths (Z)

kidney complaints (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (C)

heated leaves/ topical directly on the lower belly (Z)

liver cleanser (C)

intestinal inflamations (Z)

Polygonaceae

ALCG 148

Romaza, Lengua de vaca

Curled dock

Rubus glaucus Benth.

sub-shrub cultivated in homegarden

native from Mexico to Ecuador and from center to south of Colombian Andeans7

0.28/ 0.00

0.50/ 0.13

shoots and fruits (B)

rheumatism (B)

decoction/ oral and decoction/ topical-baths (B)

against skin infections and inflamations (C)

decoction/ topical-baths and infusion/ oral (C)

decoction/ topical-baths (C)

decoction/ oral (Z)

Rosaceae

shoots (Z)

against rashes (C)

against spots (C)

caughs (Z)

ALCG 126

Moras

Andean blackberry

Citrus aurantium var. Amara L.

small tree cultivated in homegarden

introduced Southern Vietnam13 , Southeast Asia5

0.20/ 0.20

0.69/ 0.25

fruit (B)

relaxant (B)

steam baths/ topical (B)

infusion/ oral (C)

decoction/ topical-for rinsing mouth (B)

headache (C)

steam baths/ topical (C)

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

decoction/ oral (Z)

mouth infections (B)

rheumatism (B)

body dryness (Z)

leaves (Z)

Rutaceae

Naranjo agrio

Bitter orange,Seville orange

Citrus maxima (Burm. ex Rumph.) Merr.

small tree cultivated in homegarden

introduced South East Asia 5,13

0.36/ 0.24

0.25/ 0.19

fruits (B)

gripe (B)

juice,alone or in combination with aguadepanela-U3-/ oral (B)

stomach ache (B)

decoction of shoots/ oral (C)

juice in combination with water / oral (B)

inflamations because infections (C)

decoction / topical-baths (C)

juice in combination with water/ oral (Z)

shoots (C)

headache (Z)

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

fevers (Z)

rheumatism (Z)

fruits (B)

fruits and branches (C)

Rutaceae

fruits (Z)

fruits and branches (Z)

ALCG 98

Limón mandarin

Pommelo, Pumelo

Ruta graveolens L.*

herb cultivated in small garden

introduced Canarian Islands Europe meridional5

1.24/ 1.08

0.75/ 0.50

leaves (B)

to strengthen uterus (B)

fresh choped leaves combined

with boiled egg/ oral (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

decoction/ topical-bath (Z)

fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (C)

leaves, flowers and stems (B)*2

against cramps in uterus and menstural pains (B)

infusion/ oral (Z)

Rutaceae

rheumatism (Z)

intestinal parasits (C)

cardioregulator (Z)

leaves and stems (C)

ALCG 86

leaves (Z)

Ruda

Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F. (e-Z)

small tree cultivated in homegarden

introduced Himalaya and Indochina5

0.52/ 0.20

1.00/ 0.63

fruits (B)

gripe (B)

juice alone or in combination with water or aguadepanela/ oral (B)

fevers (B)

juice in combination with water/ oral (B)

against infections in throat (B)

juice/ to gargle-topical (B)

juice in combination with water/ oral (B)

Rutaceae

stomach complaints (B)

a fresh hitted-hot fruit/ to massage-topical (C)

fruit pieces mixed with salt in water/ to do baths-topical (C)

ALCG 93

intestine complaints (B)

fresh fruit pulp/ to rub the head-topical (C)

juice in combination with water/ oral (Z)

Limón ácido

rheumatism (C)

againts excema (C)

headache (C)

to prevent high blood presure (Z)

Lemon,Citrus

Physalis peruviana L.

shrub cultivated in homegarden

introduced Northern South America-Peru 3

0.16/ 0.04

0.19/ 0.00

fruits (B)

eye dust and infections (B)

fresh extract from maceration/ topical-eye drops (B)

Solanaceae

a variation is a concoction with honey (C)

ALCG 163

Uchuba,Guchuba

Cape gooseberry

Solanum nigrum L. *

sub shrub spontaneous in solar

introduced Eurasia 13,23

0.20/ 0.04

0.19/ 0.00

fruits and leaves (B)*2

diabetes (C)

infusion/ oral (C)

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

concentrated extract by decoction/ oral (Z)

inflamations and skin infections (Z)

Solanaceae

respiratory complaints (Z)

ALCG 157

Yerbamora(Zetaquira)

Almoraduz(Campo Hermoso)

black night shade

Cestrum mariquitense Kunth

shrub cultivated in solar

native Tropical America 13 Boyacá and Cundinamarca-Colombia 3

0.08/ 0.08

0.50/ 0.25

leaves (B)

sinucitis (B)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical-noise drops (B)

fevers (B)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (B)

concoction with Hibiscus rosa sinenesis in decoction/ topical-baths (C)

headache (C)

fresh extract by maceration/ oral (C

Solanaceae

ALCG 102

Tinto

Cecropia sp.

tree wild in secondary forest

native Colombian Andes7

0.08/ 0.00

0.06/ 0.00

leaves (Z)*2

cardiac complaints as hypertrophy (B)

concoction with alcohol-dye/ oral (B)

Urticaceae •

Cecropiaceae ++

Yarumo

Pumpwood, trumpet tree

Urera baccifera (L.)

herb spontaneous in a farm with a large patch of secondary forest

native Central and South America Central Andeans and Orinoquia in Colombia 7

0.20/ 0.08

0.25/ 0.06

leaves and branches (B)

rheumatism (B)

decoction/ topical baths (B)

infusion/ oral (C)

allergies (B)

Gaudich ex Wedd. Urticaceae

leaves (C)

blood circulation tonic (C)

ALCG 99

Ortiga mayor, Pringamoza

Urtica dioica L.* º

herb spontaneous in a farm with a large patch of secondary forest

introduced eurasian, meridional-boreal, native of Britain 18

0.44/ 0.32

1.12/ 0.63

leaves and stems (B)

rheumatism (B)

fresh-maceration/ topical in cataplasm (B)

allergies (B)

decoction / topical in baths (B)

Infusion/ oral (B)

blood cleaner and tonic (B)

fresh extract by maceration/ topical to rub skin (C)

infusion/ oral (C)

concoction with Jacaranda copaia and Rosmarinus officinalis in decotion/ oral (C)

Urticaceae

leaves (B)*2

antihemoragic (B)

skin infection and inflamations (C)

leaves and stems (C)

gripe (C)

mouth dryness (C)

ALCG 66

leaves (C)

Ortiga Blanca or Ortiga menor

Great Nettle or Stinging Nettle

Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E.Brown*

shrub cultivated in homegarden

native to Colombia 5,25

0.68/ 0.56

0.75/ 0.56

leaves (B)*2

stomach complaints (B),

decoction / oral (B)

decoction/oral (C),infusion/oral (Z)

infusion/oral (Z)

diarrhoea (B)

tiredness and weakness (C), (Z)

Verbenaceae

childbirth (Z)

ALCG 72

Pronto alivio

Bushy,Matgrass

Lippia citriodora (Lam.) Kunth*

shrub cultivated in homegarden

native Colombian Andean range 8

0.48/ 0.36

0.25/ 0.13

leaves (B)*2

stomach and intestinal complaints (B)

infusion/ oral (B)

decoction/ oral (B)

relaxant (B)

infusion/ oral (Z)

general indisposicion (Z)

Verbenaceae

ALCG 70

Cidrón

Lemon Scented Verbena

Lantana camara L.

herb wild in open pastures

native to Caribean territories including Colombia, Continental US and Hawai20

0.20/ 0.08

0.25/ 0.25

leaves and stems (B)

high bilirubin in newborns (B)

decoction/ topical-baths (B)

infusion/ oral (C)

decoction in milk/ oral and decoction/ topical-baths (C)

hepatitis (C)

decoction/ topical-baths (Z)

yellow fever (C)

hepatitis (Z)

Verbenaceae

flowers (C)

flowers, stems and leaves (C)

ALCG 117

leaves and stems (Z)

Florota

Cambara de Espinto or Pricky Lantana

Verbena littoralis Kunth *

herb cultivated in solar

native western and central Andean ranges5

0.96/ 0.40

0.88/ 0.63

leaves and stems (B)

fevers (B)

decoction/ topical baths (B)

 

fresh extract by maceration in water/ oral (Z)

gripe (B)

concoction with Calendula officinalis and Piper hispidum in decoction/ topical baths (C)

concoction with Piper hispidum in decoction/ topical in baths (C)

infusion/ oral (Z)

rheumatism (Z)

rheumatism (C)

tiredness and weakness (C)

Verbenaceae

ALCG 79

Verbena blanca

Vervain, owi

Viola odorata L.*

Acaule herb Cultivated in small garden

introduced Europe, Austral Asia and Boreal Africa 5

0.04/ 0.00

0.00/ 0.00

leaves*2 and stems (Z)

cough (Z)

infusion/oral (Z)

Violaceae

asthma (Z)

ALCG 111

Violeta

Sweet violet/common violet

       

B: Both municipalities; C: Campo Hermoso; Z: Zetaquira.

U1 A glass bottle is filled with plant(s) parts, red grape wine usually and, it is buried under the ground during a month.

U2 A similar process as it is described in U1, with the variation of the use of aguardiente, which is the introduced alcoholic drink similar to spirit (snaps).

U3 Aguadepanela is a traditional colombian homemade drink.The ingredients are water and panela, that is an unrefined food product of which the main component is sugarcane juice.

* Reported in Colombian Vademecum, 2008;* 2 Plant material of interest reported in Colombian Vademecum, 2008.

º Reported in WHO,2009; º 2 Plant material of interest reported in WHO, 2009.

http://www.tropicos.org

++ http://​www.​ipni.​org/​ipni/​plantnamesearchp​age.​do.

(e-CH/Z) Endangered plant species according to the perceptions of the locals in Campo Hermoso (CH) and/or Zetaquira (Z).

1 Rothmaler Werner, 1994.

2 Antolinez González J. C. et.al ,2008.

3 Garcia Barriga Tomo III1992.

4 De Fraume Melida, 1988.

5 Garcia Barriga Tomo II,1992.

6 Fonnegra,2007.

7 Garcia Barriga Tomo I 1992.

8 Perez-Arbelaez 1978.

9 Centro de Educacion No Formal FUNIBA.

10 Carlos Paez Perez, 1964.

11 http://​www.​Botanical.​com.

12 http://​www.​zipcodezoo.​com/​plants/​.

13 http://​www.​en.​wikipedia.​org.

14 http://​www.​mansfeld.​ipk-gatersleben.​de.

15 http://​www.​flowersofindia.​net.

16 http://​www.​mobot.​org.

17 Soloiki M et al., 2008.

18 http://​www.​botanicus.​org (Missouri Botanical Garden).

19 http://​www.​issg.​org (global invasive species database).

20 http://​www.​cbif.​gc.​ca/​itis (Integr. Taxonomi Inf. Sys.).

21 Missouri Bot. Garden 2007 in Colomb. Vademecum.

22 a.o. (tropicalforages.info).

23 http://​plants.​usda.​gov/​java/​profile?​symbol=​SEOB4#.

24 http://​www.​conifers.​org/​cu/​cup/​lusitanica.​htm.

25 Vera et. al. in Revista Cubana de plantas medicinales 2010.

26 http://​zipcodezoo.​com/​Key/​Plantae/​Cecropia_​Genus.​asp.

27 http://​plants.​jstor.​org/​flora/​flos003208.

Twenty-nine of the identified species and the genus Cecropia Loefl. were included in the list of medicinal plants evaluated and accepted in the Colombian pharmacopeia [23]. Thirteen species were reported in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) monographs on selected medicinal plants [24] (Table 4).

During interviews and meetings interviewees were able to reflect about the local resources of medicinal plant species, their importance and, additionally, to discuss factors that may have increased or reduced plant diversity, such as logging, over- exploitation and difficulties of cultivation. Some interviewees reported that they found it difficult to treat certain diseases because they failed to find the plant species needed. An example is Brownea ariza Benth., a native species, which locals consider extinct in the Campo Hermoso area. This species was used as a haemostat, i.e. to stop bleeding, and as laxative. Another example is Juglans neotropica Diels., a native species, used as fungicide and bactericide, which was reported to be endangered in both municipalities (Table 4 and 5). Due to the lack of samples it was not possible to scientifically identify all the species reported as threatened and disappearing by the interviewees.
Table 5

Plant species reported as disappeared or endangered within the municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira

 

Campo Hermoso

Zetaquira

Disappeared species

Brownea ariza

Fraxinus udhei

Ananas comosus

Schizolobium parahybum

Parietaria officinalis

Chrysophyllum colombianum

Furcraea sp.

‘Alma negra’

Malva sp.

 

‘Gualola’

 

‘Mano de León’

 

‘Bejuco de roca’

 

Endangered Species

Furcraeae macrophylla

Citrus limon

Artemisia absinthium

Saccharum officinarum

Ocimum campechianum

Juglans neotropica

Juglans neotropica

Rosmarinus officinalis

Ceroxylum quindiuense

 
 

Cedrela spp.

 

According to informants’ reports and the subsequent calculations of average UVs the most popular medicinal species, in the municipality of Campo Hermoso were Urtica dioica (0.88), Jaccaranda copaia (0.81) and Citrus limon (0.81) while in Zetaquira the most popular species were Ruta graveolens (average UV = 1.16), Melissa officinalis (0.8), and Aloe vera (0.6). Across both municipalities, the most common and popular medicinal plant species were Mentha suaveolens, Ambrosia cumanensis Kunth, and Verbena littoralis (Table 4).

In relation to life form and habitat, the collected plant species could be assigned to 10 categories shown in the Figure 2 (Table 4). Of the native species 40% were found in natural habitats whereas 27% of the introduced species were found as naturalised in the wild.
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Fig2_HTML.jpg
Figure 2

Life form and habitats of medicinal plant species reported in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira. Gregarious herbs in home gardens refers to cultivated plants; Home gardens include also solares; Short-lived herbs and other herbs in pots are also cultivated; singular instances refers to: a wild twining plant along riverbanks, a succulent tall herb on farmland, a wild vine at shady and moist edges of secondary forests, a succulent plant in pots, a tree cultivated in garden.

The naturally occurring and naturalised species were distributed widely within families. For example, Asteraceae (2 herbs), Acanthaceae (1 tree). Aristolochiaceae (1 twiner) and Commelinaceae (2 vines) (Table 4).

Traditional plant use in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira

Traditional plant uses in the municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira are represented in Figures 3, 4, 5, 6. The total number of medicinal plants uses described by informants was higher in more remote Campo Hermoso than in Zetaquira.
https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Fig3_HTML.jpg
Figure 3

Number of plants used in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira by categories of diseases.

https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Fig4_HTML.jpg
Figure 4

Total numbers of uses of plant parts or combinations of plant parts reported in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira.

https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Fig5_HTML.jpg
Figure 5

Number of ways of preparation reported for medicinal plants in Campo Hermoso, Zetaquira or in both municipalities.

https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-23/MediaObjects/13002_2012_Article_323_Fig6_HTML.jpg
Figure 6

Ways of administration reported in Campo Hermoso, Zetaquira or in both municipalities.

Common diseases, such as colds, but also a small number of difficult or complicated diseases, such as cancer, were reported to be treated. The majority of plants mentioned by the informants were reported to be effective in curing the diseases they were applied to. Additionally, most of the informants mentioned the importance of using folk traditions, e.g. prayers, during treatments in order to ensure the effect of the medicinal plant.

The diseases described by interviewees were grouped in 14 categories (Table 2). The five categories of ailments/diseases with the highest numbers of plants reported in both municipalities were associated with: the digestive system, infections, musculoskeletal, the nervous system, and the immune system. The corresponding most popular medicinal plant species are shown in Table 6. Significant dissimilarities between municipalities occurred in treatments of musculoskeletal, immune and urinary systems, and cancer where the total numbers of plants mentioned in more remote Campo Hermoso was almost double the number of Zetaquira. The category with the highest number of medicinal plant species reported from Zetaquira was ‘reproductive system’ with 11 plants. There were no plant species specifically reported for the treatment of the two parasitic, epidemic, local diseases of Chagas (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi) and Malaria (Paludism). Only two species, Cattleya schroederae Rchb.f. and Jaccaranda cf. copaia, were reported for the treatment of Dengue, a viral, epidemic mosquito transmitted disease also affecting these populations (Table 4).
Table 6

Most commonly treated categories of diseases with the most popular plant species used for their treatments

Disease category

No. of plants reported in both municipalities

Popular plant species used in treatments

Digestive system

35

Melissa officinalis

Cymbopogon citratus

Apium graveolens

Infections from bacteria, parasites or fungi

16

Mentha suaveolens

Citrus limon

Jaccaranda copaia

Muskuloskeletal system

13

Verbena littoralis

Urtica dioica

Aristolochia ringens

Nervous system

10

Melissa officinalis

Matricaria chamomilla

Lippia citriodora

Immune system

9

Aloe vera

Melissa officinalis

  

Verbena littoralis

Regarding the plant parts used, leaves were the plant part most frequently reported for remedy preparations, in both municipalities. Other commonly used plant parts were, in descending order of total counts in both municipalities: combination of leaves with stems (36), fruits (16), combination of leaves with branches (9), branches (5), roots (4), and combination of leaves with flowers (3). Other combinations of different plant parts were mentioned only rarely. The use of seeds was not popular in either of the municipalities (Figure 4).

In both municipalities, similar numbers of applications were reported for Cymbopogon citratus, Plantago major, Petroselinum crispum and Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E.Br. These species received the highest scores for application of leaves. Most popular species with the highest applications of leaves were: Cattleya schroederae (4) and Piper cf. bogotense C.DC. (3), in Campo Hermoso, and Origanum majorana L. (3) in Zetaquira (Table 4).

Eighty different ways of preparation of remedies with medicinal plant species were described. They were grouped according to the type of processing: thermic methods, alcoholic extracts or fresh use. Other ways of preparation of the remedies, such as the combination with food and with other plants (concoction) were also mentioned and thus counted. Practices according to beliefs included the effect of moon or sunlight, esoteric ways and specific ways to treat pets. These additional ways of preparing traditional remedies were included in one group named ‘other’ (Figure 5).

The most popular way of administration remedies was oral followed by the topical in both municipalities (Figure 6). Among the most popular topical ways of administration, ‘baths’ yielded the highest scores (13 counts) in both municipalities, 26 in Campo Hermoso and 25 in Zetaquira. Massage was the second most popular in Campo Hermoso, while ‘emplast’ was the second most popular in Zetaquira.

Healers and amateur healers unanimously reported that bitter plants were denominated ‘hot plants’ (‘plantas calientes’, in Spanish), while plants with sweet flavour were denominated ‘cold plants’ (‘plantas frias’). These terms suggested the level of caution with which the medicinal plants should be used. Bitter plants should be used in small doses at low frequency because most of them can produce eye or heart problems. Bitter plants should be used orally only in situations caused by musculoskeletal complaints. Further, they recommended to initially use topical treatments and, in the most general sense, to follow a diet when using medicinal plants. Popular plants used for the purposes outlined above in the localities are described in Table 4.

Table 7 shows the plant species with the highest values obtained in aUV according to the sum of the values from both municipalities. In addition, eUV are also included.
Table 7

Plant species according to the highest actual index use values obtained in both municipalities

Scientific name (Voucher number)

aIUV all

aIUV Zq

aIUV CH

eIUV all

eIUV Zq

eIUV CH

Medicinal uses

Mentha suaveolens Ehrh. * (ALCG 127)

1

1.04

0.94

1.10

1.20

0.94

stomach ache(B), headaches(B), intestinal inflammations(B), intestinal parasites(Z), fevers(Z), menstrual cramps(Z), diaper rash(Z)

Ruta graveolens L. *(ALCG 86)

0.85

1.08

0.50

1.05

1.24

0.75

against cramps in uterus and menstrual pains(B), rheumatism(Z), intestinal parasites(C), cardio-regulator(Z)

Melissa officinalis L. * (ALCG 92)

0.68

0.72

0.63

0.83

0.88

0.75

gripe(B),fevers(B),relaxant(B),stomach ache(B), intestine complaints(B)

Aloe vera (L.) Burman f. *˚

0.6

0.63

0.63

0.64

0.64

0.63

asthma (B), cough(B), fever(B), headache(B), healing wounds and skin spots(B), external inflammations(B), hair treatment(B), stomach cancer(Z)

Ambrosia cumanensis Kunth (ALCG 63)

0.4

0.81

0.98

0.88

0.88

1.13

gripe(B), rheumatism(B), children bladder complaints(B), menstrual cramps(Z), colds and spams in muscles(C), stomach ache(C), intestinal complaints(C), against flies(Z)

Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E.Br. (ALCG 72)

0.56

0.56

0.71

0.68

0.68

0.75

stomach complaints(B), diarrhoea(B), tiredness and weakness(C)/(Z), childbirth(Z)

Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf. * (ALCG 77)

0.6

0.50

0.51

0.56

0.56

0.44

stomach aches(B), intestine complaints(Z), gripe(Z), prostate complaints(C), fevers(C)

Verbena littoralis Kunth (ALCG 79)

0.4

0.63

0.93

0.96

0.96

0.88

fevers(B), gripe(B), rheumatism(Z)/ (C), tiredness and weakness(C)

Urtica dioica L. * (ALCG 66)

0.32

0.63

0.71

0.44

0.44

1.13

rheumatism(B), allergies(B), blood cleaner and tonic (B), anti-haemorrhagic(B), skin infection and inflammations(C), gripe(C), mouth dryness(C)

Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F. * (ALCG 93)

0.2

0.63

0.71

0.52

0.52

1.00

gripe(B), fevers(B), infections in throat(B), stomach and intestine complaints(B), rheumatism(C), eczema (C), headache(C), to prevent high blood pressure(Z)

Jacaranda cf. copaia (Aubl.) D.Don (ALCG 69)

0.12

0.69

0.49

0.2

0.2

0.94

Intestinal complaints(B), Kidney complaints(Z), rheumatism(C), gripe(C), fevers(C), dengue(C), skin infections(C), circulatory complaints(C), mouth dryness(C)

Matricaria chamomilla L. *(ALCG 96)

0.32

0.38

0.34

0.32

0.32

0.38

stomach-complaints(B),relaxant(B), rheumatism(Z),colds, spams and cramps in muscles (C)

Rosmarinus officinalis L. *(ALCG 149)

0.44

0.19

0.39

0.44

0.44

0.31

lungs complaints(B), tooth ache(B), hypertension complaints(B), against hair loss(B), muscles pain (C) rheumatism(C), stomach ache(Z), tiredness(Z)

Petroselinum crispum (Mill. Nyman ex A.W. Hill*(ALCG 87)

0.36

0.25

0.46

0.44

0.44

0.50

cardiovascular complaints as high blood pressure(B), enhance stomach function(B), halitosis(B), condiment herb(B), kidney complaints(C), intestinal pain(C), against menstrual pain(Z)

Lippia citriodora (Lam.) Kunth (ALCG70)

0.36

0.13

0.39

0.48

0.48

0.25

stomach and intestinal complaints(B), relaxant(B), general indisposition(Z)

Mentha viridis L. * (ALCG 91)

0.2

0.38

0.41

0.36

0.36

0.50

gripe(B), stomach ache(B), inflammations of intestine(B)

Sambucus nigra L. *(ALCG 68)

0.24

0.25

0.66

0.72

0.72

0.56

gripe(B), eye inflammations and infections(B), fevers(B), tiredness and weakness(Z), respiratory, complaints(B), head ache(Z), against hair lice(C)

Cattleya schroederae Rchb.f. (ALCG 165)

0

0.63

0.27

0

0

0.69

typhoid(C), dengue(C), fever(C), intestinal complaints(C)

Calendula officinalis L. * (ALCG 57)

0.24

0.19

0.49

0.6

0.6

0.31

external-internal inflammations(B), gastritis(C), skin infections (Z), menstrual cramps(Z)

Ocimum campechianum Mill. (ALCG 74)

0.16

0.31

0.41

0.28

0.28

0.63

intestinal complaints(B), eye dust (B), gripe(Z)

Chenopodium ambrosioides L. (ALCG 80)

0.12

0.38

0.41

0.4

0.4

0.44

stomach complaints(B), intestinal parasites(B)

Citrus maxima (Burm. ex Rumph.) Merr. *(ALCG 98)

0.24

0.19

0.32

0.36

0.36

0.25

gripe(B), stomach ache(B), inflammations because infections(C), headache(Z), fevers(Z), rheumatism(Z)

Apium graveolens L. * ˚

0.24

0.19

0.22

0.2

0.2

0.25

intestinal obstipation(B), stomach ache(B), condiment herb(B), relaxant(B), to regulate menstruation(Z)

Plantago major L*.(ALCG 374)

0.16

0.31

0.51

0.32

0.32

0.81

eye dust and infections(B), gastritis(B), liver cleanser(B), kidney complaints(C), fever(C), eczema(C), healing wounds(Z)

Citrus aurantium var. amara L. *˚

0.2

0.25

0.39

0.2

0.2

0.69

relaxant(B), headache(C), mouth infections(B), rheumatism(B), body dryness(Z)

Includes also estimated index use values.

*Introduced plant species; ˚No specimen collected; (C) Campo Hermoso; (Z) Zetaquira; aIUV Actual Index Use Value; eIUV Estimated Index Use Value; all-aIUV/eIUV Sum of all values corresponding to actual or estimated uses.

Differences and similarities among plant groups and families

UVs of introduced plant species were significantly higher than native species in the more accessible municipality of Zetaquira (Table 8), while there were no significant differences between the two groups in the more remote municipality of Campo Hermoso and nor in the two municipalities combined.
Table 8

Results of Mann–Whitney-Wilcoxon tests of differences in Index Use Values (IUV) among native and introduced medicinal plants. Med. = Median; Nat. = Native; Int. = Introduced

 

Campo Hermoso

Zetaquira

Both Municipalities

Index

Med. Nat.

Med. Int.

P

Med. Nat.

Med. Int.

P

Med. Nat.

Med. Int.

P

Actual IUV

0.13

0.13

0.677

0.04

0.14

0.005

0.09

0.12

0.095

Estimated IUV

0.25

0.25

0.750

0.12

0.20

0.047

0.22

0.23

0.237

Numbers of plant species for which estimated and actual UVs could be calculated did not differ greatly between the two municipalities (Table 9). Nevertheless, totals of actual UV of introduced species were higher in Zetaquira than in Campo Hermoso. Totals of actual UV of native species were higher in Campo Hermoso than in Zetaquira. Totals of common plant species including introduced and native ones were very high in both municipalities.
Table 9

Numbers of introduced and native medicinal plant species for which estimated and actual Index Use Values could be calculated

Origin

Index Use Value

Campo Hermoso

Zetaquira

Both

Introduced

Actual

4

10

25

 

Estimated

2

3

38

Native

Actual

11

5

18

 

Estimated

7

2

26

There were many similarities in the use of both introduced and native plant species between the municipalities (Table 10).
Table 10

Jaccard-index similarity (%) between Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira municipalities for medicinal plant species with estimated and actual Index Use Values

Index Use Value

Introduced

Native

Estimated

88

74

Actual

64

53

Estimated Family Use Values (FUV) were higher than actual family use values in almost all cases (Table 11). Estimated and actual FUV were commonly higher for Campo Hermoso than for Zetaquira. Plant families represented by high numbers of plant species did not always have high FUVs, i.e. Asteraceae and Apiaceae. Some families, of which only one plant species was reported, surprisingly obtained high values, e.g. Aristolochiaceae which had the highest estimated use value. Another interesting case was the Asphodelaceae which yielded high actual use values. Furthermore, Asphodelaceae and Poaceae coincided in having high actual use values in both municipalities.
Table 11

Family Use Values (FUV) of most popular plant families calculated from estimated and actual Index Use Values of species and number of native and introduced species per family

Family

Native

Introd.

FUV est. CH

FUV est. Zq

FUV est. Both

FUV act. CH

FUV act. Zq

FUV act. Both

Asteraceae

4

6

0.26

0.28

0.27

0.16

0.16

0.16

Lamiaceae

2

5

0.48

0.59

0.55

0.36

0.43

0.40

Apiaceae

1

3

0.22

0.20

0.21

0.14

0.19

0.17

Rutaceae

0

4

0.67

0.58

0.62

0.39

0.43

0.41

Verbenaceae

4

0

0.53

0.58

0.56

0.39

0.35

0.37

Malvaceae

0

3

0.29

0.07

0.15

0.10

0.04

0.07

Solanaceae

1

2

0.29

0.15

0.20

0.08

0.05

0.07

Urticaceae

2

1

0.48

0.24

0.33

0.23

0.13

0.17

Acanthaceae

2

0

0.13

0.40

0.30

0.00

0.12

0.08

Alliaceae

0

2

0.22

0.22

0.22

0.13

0.06

0.09

Amaranthaceae

1

1

0.44

0.28

0.34

0.31

0.14

0.21

Bignoniaceae

2

0

0.50

0.10

0.26

0.38

0.06

0.18

Commelinaceae

1

1

0.09

0.08

0.09

0.06

0.04

0.05

Myrtaceae

1

1

0.44

0.34

0.38

0.25

0.04

0.12

Phytolaccaceae

2

0

0.31

0.04

0.15

0.25

0.00

0.10

Piperaceae

2

0

0.47

0.04

0.21

0.31

0.00

0.12

Adoxaceae

0

1

0.56

0.72

0.66

0.25

0.24

0.24

Aristolochiaceae

0

1

0.75

0.64

0.68

0.00

0.04

0.02

Asphodelaceae

0

1

0.63

0.64

0.63

0.63

0.60

0.61

Plantaginaceae

0

1

0.81

0.32

0.51

0.31

0.16

0.22

Poaceae

0

1

0.44

0.56

0.51

0.50

0.60

0.56

Bold = plant families with higher number of species (>2); italics = plant families with two plant species; underlined = plant families with one species but high FUV. Est. = estimated; act. = actual; CH = Campo Hermoso; Zq = Zetaquira; both = both municipalities together.

The list of the most popular medicinal plant species based on median of actual and estimated Use Values, among amateur healers and healers is shown in Table 12.
Table 12

Most popular species among healers and amateur healers

Amateur healers

Healers

Calendula officinalis L.

Jacaranda copaia (Aubl.) D.Don

Citrus Limon (L.) Burm.F

Aristolochia ringens Vahl.

Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nyman ex A.W. Hill

Ruta graveolens L.

Chenopodium ambrosioides L.

Lippia alba (Mill) N.E. Brown

Ruta graveolens L.

Althernanthera lanceolata Benth.

Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf

Psidium guinense Sw.

Mentha suaveolens Ehrh.

Rubus glaucus Benth.

Allium sativum L.

 

From the amateur healers’ list, 87% species were introduced including six herbs and one shrub, while only 13%, i.e. one herb, was native. In the case of healers, 57% in the list of preferred species were native, which included two trees and two shrubs, while the remaining 43% were introduced, i.e. two herbs and one vine (Table 4).

Discussion

Significance of the use of medicinal plants within the municipalities

The patterns in traditional knowledge and medicinal plant use described in this study is in accordance with other studies [2527] in the high number of introduced species mostly herbs. Especially for the more accessible municipality of Zetaquira the use of native species was rarely reported.

Rapid adoption of introduced species in traditional medicine can be understood as a response to new opportunities arising with globalisation. Inefficacy of native species may lead to experimentation with introduced species. Introduced species enrich the arsenal of species used in treatments and are often seen as very powerful [2830]. Adoption of introduced species may be seen as a way to reshape and re-vitalise traditional practices, which in many places provide an important alternative to the official health care services within developing countries.

The effectiveness of treatments with popular introduced plant species that are used world-wide indicates the need to promote and further the studies on the use and effectiveness of these plant species [23, 24]. In the Colombian pharmacopoeia list of officially accepted plants for medicinal use 44% of the total of 149 species are introduced [23, 31].

The flip-side of the coin is that with the adoption of introduced medicinal plant species peoples’ interest in cultivating native species decreases. In this study most of the popular medicinal plant species (UV >0.5) were introduced with the exception of Verbena littoralis and Ambrosia cumanensis (Table 4 and 7). Furthermore, a number of native species with multiple uses, e.g. timber but also medicinally, are currently endangered or have disappeared from the regions indicating that over- exploitation has taken place [27].

The high similarities between estimated and/or actual UV (> 50%) for introduced and native plant species showed little difference in the lists of medicinal plants between the municipalities. For introduced species, similarity values were the highest (Table 10). These results are comparable to the findings of De Ameida et al. [28] who worked with rural communities in the Northeast Brazil.

Overexploitation of medicinal plant species, including a large number of native species, has been discussed extensively. Njoroge et al. [32] found that Carissa edulis (Forssk.) Vahl, a native wild species of Ethiopia [33], is a priority species used in the treatment of several ailments, especially for stomach pains, a common disorder in the Mwingi District, Kenya. Presently, this species is threatened by overuse. Similarly, other scholars have reported that plant species most popularly used by communities depend on the kind of local diseases that people face [2], which could be a parameter to identify possible species that could become endangered by overexploitation in combination with knowledge on plant parts used, harvest techniques, demand and prices.

The most frequent diseases in the study sites according to local reports from the health centre service [34] were related to the digestive system and infections caused by bacteria, parasites or fungi. The present study shows that the highest valued species were related to exactly these diseases. Of these, the top five were all introduced (Tables 4 and Table 7) confirming that communities make use of specific plant species including introduced ones.

The large number of plant species used in the treatment of complaints of the digestive system, infections and nervous system in both municipalities, is comparable to other findings from studies involving farmer communities in other localities in department of Boyacá. For example, Lagos [9] found that stomach-complaints occupy the category of illnesses which is treated with the highest number of medicinal plant species, followed by complaints of the nervous system. At the same time, these results are comparable to findings from other places. In the municipalities of the city of Imbituba, Santa Catarina, Brazil Zank and Hanazaki [35] found, that digestive complaints were the disease category with the highest therapeutic applications of medicinal plants. Furthermore, Neves et al. [36], who studied various groups of the community of Trás-os-Montes, Portugal, including farmers, reported that illnesses related to the digestive system were most popularly treated with medicinal plants.

Life form, habitat and proximity to cities facilitate popularity of introduced species

It has been demonstrated in several studies [28, 37, 38], that life form and habitat specification determine the use of medicinal plant species. The reason usually mentioned is that herbs, of which a large number are introduced, are easy to cultivate and maintain in small gardens or pots near to or in the houses. Examples of species whose popularity can be related to life form and the ease of cultivation are Ruta graveolens that has a high medicinal value in Zetaquira, and Urtica dioica that is a highly valuable herb in Campo Hermoso. Opposed to the introduction of easily cultivated herbs, a number of ecological factors diminish advantages of cultivation and maintenance of some native plant species.

Among the most popular species of amateur healers (eight species), seven species (87.5%) were introduced, of which six were herbs and only one a shrub (Table 12). In contrast, among healers the tendency to use native species, usually trees or shrubs, is higher: 57% of their most popular species was native and included two herbs and one vine. Since healers are specialised in the use of medicinal plants, they are in most cases willing to cultivate a diversity of species, including trees and shrubs with medicinal values, in their home gardens and on other cultivated lands. Hence, cultivation could explain the popularity of native woody species within the group of healers.

The high significance of introduced plant species according to UV (Table 8) in Zetaquira closer to the capital of the department, Tunja, could be an indication of the influence of distance to modern cities and acculturation upon the adoption of new medicinal plant species. These findings are comparable to results obtained by other studies, e.g. in Brazil, Argentina and Manus Island (Papua New Guinea) [28, 39, 40]. Inhabitants of Campo Hermoso, which is more remote and follows rural traditions, have higher knowledge on medicinal plant use. Furthermore, there are more healers in Campo Hermoso. Hence, the null hypothesis of similarity between plant knowledge and use between municipalities is falsified.

High presence of pharmacologic components in herbs and popularity of genera

The high presence of pharmacologic components in herbs makes them attractive for treatments of different diseases [27]. Specifically the high composition of alkaloids in leaves facilitates medicinal uses as has been indicated by the popularity of these plant parts within several communities [9, 25, 27, 36] and also in the present study. Furthermore, a number of phytochemical studies have proven remarkable alkaloid and oil content in herbal leaves [4143] which may provide alternatives for the pharmaceutical industry. Taxa with large numbers of useful herbs contribute to the tendency of using leaves and introduced plant species. For example, the genus Mentha, one of the most popular taxa in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira and, was reported to be used in treatments of digestive complaints, colds, fevers, skin infections, inflammations and headaches (Table 4). Mentha ssp., introduced to the American continent, is widely popular in folk medicine [9, 35, 44] and contribute to the popularity of introduced plant species.

Popularity of plant families

Popularity may also reflect world-wide presence of large plant families, such as the Lamiaceae. Contrary, Schippmann et al. [1], suggest that popularity of plant families is related to the local availability of the species. Studies in diverse localities as for example in Loja province, Ecuador [45], Imbituba, Santa Catarina, Brazil [35], Sierras de Córdoba, Argentina [46], and Banbungo, Cameroon [27] have found Asteraceae and Lamiaceae with high numbers of plant species used locally. These findings are comparatively similar to the results obtained by ethnobotanical studies carried out in the department of Boyacá, e.g. the studies of Lagos [9] in five municipalities in the central part of Boyacá, and a study carried out in the municipality of San José de Paré by Toscano [10]. The results indicate a large availability of species belonging to the Asteraceae and Lamiaceae in this region. At the same time, these results are comparable to the global pattern suggested by Moerman [47] who considered that Asteraceae and Lamiaceae are among the most used plant families in traditional medicine world-wide.

In relation to the popularity of Asteraceae, Garcia Barriga [48] reported that this family is the taxonomic group of plant species with the highest use in traditional medicine in Colombia. Nevertheless, the large range of distribution of this family may explain part of the popularity of this taxonomic group in folk medicine [27].

Furthermore, plant families, such as the Apiaceae, Apocynaceae and Guttiferae, of which there are examples of species with medicinal use in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, are part of the list of plant families with high numbers of traditionally used species worldwide [1].

However, 85% of the medicinal species identified in this study have been described and reported as medicinal in Colombia [11, 4850]. Of these species, 54% are introduced. This indicates that transmission of knowledge on introduced medicinal species has been successful in Colombia and in the studied municipalities. Similar situations have been observed and discussed in other countries as Brazil [28] where it was observed that knowledge of introduced plant species within farmers communities has been well established.

Promotion, conservation and sustainable use of native medicinal plant species may be facilitated by including shrubs and trees into local agroforestry systems. A number of these species, apart from being medicinal, offer also other kind of uses, e.g. as food, source of wood and shade. Such multiuse plants are often valuable to locals [31].

Conclusions

A total of 80 medicinal plant species were recorded. Of these, 78 species were taxonomically identified of which 35 were native species and 43 were introduced belonging to 74 genera and 41 floristic families. Among the native species 40% were found in natural habitats while twenty-seven per cent of introduced species were found as naturalised in the wild. The families with the highest numbers of species reported as medicinal were: Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Apiaceae, Rutaceae, Verbenaceae, Malvaceae, Solanaceae and Urticaceae. Most applications of medicinal plants are related to diseases of the digestive and respiratory systems, and infections. Leaves are the most popular plant part used. Decoctions and oral administration are the most common practices.

The total of medicinal plants uses described by informants was higher in the more remote Campo Hermoso than in the more accessible Zetaquira. UVs of introduced plant species were significantly higher than native species in the more accessible municipality of Zetaquira, while there were no significant differences between the two groups in the more remote municipality of Campo Hermoso and nor in the two municipalities combined.

The list of the most popular medicinal plant species for healers and amateur healers respectively showed that 87% of the species from the amateur healers’ list were introduced including mainly herbs while in the case of healers, 57% of the species of mainly trees and shrubs. Conversion of forests for agriculture and cattle ranching is depleting local forest resources and a number of medicinal plants were reported as disappearing or locally extinct. Only about 50% of the native medicinal species were found in cultivation. Agroforestry may provide an option for integrating agriculture with cultivation of native trees, shrubs and lianas, not otherwise cultivated. Educational programs could raise awareness in relation to conservation and maintaining use of native species.

Consent

Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this report and any accompanying images.

Endnotes

a Group of experts on the use of local medicinal plant species who offer local people treatments using medicinal plants.

b Group of people who are interested in the use of medicinal plants, but do not work as professional healers.

c Local term to refer to large home gardens with inclusion of a variety of trees and shrubs.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the collaboration of the local communities and authorities from the municipalities of Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira. We especially thank the interviewees and the participants in community meetings. The staff of the Colombian National Herbarium and of the Herbarium at Universidad Pedágogica y Tecnológica de Colombia is gratefully acknowledged for their help in the identification of the plant material. Finally, we thank DANIDA and the OTICON fund for the grants supporting the field work.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Agriculture and Ecology, University of Copenhagen
(2)
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen
(3)
Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen

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