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Acta Botanica Brasilica

versão impressa ISSN 0102-3306


MERETIKA, Adriana Heindrickson Cunha; PERONI, Nivaldo  e  HANAZAKI, Natalia. Local knowledge of medicinal plants in three artisanal fishing communities (Itapoá, Southern Brazil), according to gender, age, and urbanization. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.2, pp.386-394. ISSN 0102-3306.

This article analyzes some of the factors affecting the distribution of knowledge about medicinal plants of three artisanal fishing communities in Itapoá Municipality, in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Ninety semi-structured interviews were performed, which resulted in 109 cited plant species. The sample included both men (n=46) and women (n=44), in different age categories: 18-40 years old (n=18), 41-50 (n=21), 51-60 (n=28), and 61+ years old (n=23), and in three different communities: Barra do Saí (n=17), Itapema do Norte (n=31) and Pontal do Norte (n=42). Leaves are the plant parts most used by the communities (62%), and are obtained primarily through cultivation. Cordia curassavica (Jacq.) Roem. & Schult. (Boraginaceae) is the species most cited in the interviews, locally known as 'erva-baleeira' or 'erva-de-baleia'. The elderly have greater knowledge of species, but no gender differences were noticed. Less knowledge of plants was noticed in the more urbanized area when compared to the less urbanized areas. The most used plants are not related to the most frequent ailments. Medicinal plant use is an important resource for the health of these fishing communities, but it is declining mostly due to the lack of interest on the part of the younger members, and to improved access to public health services.

Palavras-chave : ethnobotany; artisanal fisheries; traditional knowledge.

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