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Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas

Print version ISSN 1981-8122


MACIEL, Márcia Regina Antunes  and  GUARIM NETO, Germano. Juruena local healers and the plants and verbal blessings they use for healing in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Bol. Mus. Para. Emílio Goeldi. Ciênc. hum. [online]. 2006, vol.1, n.3, pp.61-77. ISSN 1981-8122.

Quack benediction has been used in Europe since the middle ages to treat lots of illness. In Brazil the bezendores appeared during the XVII century and interpretation of their knowledge, traditional use and management of plant resources are commonly addressed in ethnobotanical studies. Braziliam bezendores prescribe plants that can be used as medicine or as an amulet for personal protection. This use of plant material are present in the national popular culture. The present study was carried out at the municipality of Juruena, in Mato Grosso state, and it aimed to understand the importance of benzedeiras, to identify the plants used by them and how they are prescribed and manipulated. To reach the objectives we used techniques of participant-observation, semi-structured interviews and intentional samples. Additionally botanical material were collected and is deposited in the UFMT Herbarium. Four benzedeiras were interviewed between Septembrer/2002 and November of 2003 and they revealed an expressive botanical knowledge relating to quack benediction. They can benzer, prepare and prescribe teas, bottle preparative, medicinal baths and unguents. The illness cited by the benzedeiras was grouped as physical (for example, toothache, bellyache), and spiritual. A total of 87 ethno-species was mentioned arranged in 31 botanical families and between them it is important to pointing out erva-de-Santa-Maria (Chenopodium ambrosioides L.), chapéu-de-couro (Echinodorus macrophyllus Miq.), quina-do-mato (Strychnos sp.), ipê-roxo (Tabebuia heptaphylla (Vell.) Toledo), arruda (Ruta graveolens L.), guiné (Petiveria alliacea L.), comigo-ninguém-pode (Dieffenbachia picta L.). The popular medicine practiced by bezendeiras meets the necessities of people that is looking for the cure for its own problems. Values and cultural heritage are inserted in the "benzimento" and this culture is alive at Juruena

Keywords : Ethnobotany; Benzedeiras; Plant resources; Mato Grosso.

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