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The Local Migration of Plant-Based Medicines from Rural Communities to Gral. E. Aquino, Paraguay

DOI: 10.4236/nr.2018.912027, PP. 429-447

Keywords: Seasonal Use, Importance Values, Yerba Mate, Urban/Rural, Ethnobotany

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Abstract:

Rural Paraguay presents interesting opportunities for investigating the subtle differences in the use of medicinal plants across seasons and the urban versus rural dichotomy in a local setting. This study investigates three aspects of plant-based medicinal use in rural Paraguay: 1) seasonal differences and 2) differences between urban and rural residents and 3) the source of medicinal plants used to treat thirteen common ailments. Interviews performed in January through March 2015 and repeated in June through August 2015 revealed small differences between seasons and between places of residence but a larger homogeneity in the two populations, a homogeneity that stems from the recent migration of urban residents from nearby rural communities. We also found that the important cultural and preventive medicinal use of plant-based additions to yerba mate contributes to the similarities between the urban and rural populations. The findings suggest the continued strength of medicinal plant use going into the near future.

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