Plants used by a Quilombola group in Brazil with potential central nervous system effects

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Rodrigues, E.
Carlini, E. A.
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This study focused on an ethnopharmacological survey among a group of Brazilian Quilombolas (descended from runaway slaves living in hideouts up-country) whose therapeutic practices involve a combination of healing ceremonies and prescription of medicinal plants consisting of the use of, at least, 48 plants with possible effect on the central nervous system (CNS), cited in 53 formulas prescribed for 17 therapeutic indications, the main ones being: to fortify the brain, for insomnia, as a sedative, for insanity, weight loss, and rejuvenation. the formulas consist of one to ten plants, and each plant may be recommended for up to seven different therapeutic indications, with evidence of non-specificity in the use of plants in this culture. of these 48 plants, only 31 could be identified to the species level as belonging to 20 taxonomic families, with the Asteraceae, Malpighiaceae, Cyperaceae, and Myrtaceae as the most important families. Only eleven of these species have been previously studied and appear in scientific literature. Some of these plants are at present under study in the Department of Psychobiology of the Federal University of São Paulo. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.
Phytotherapy Research. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, v. 18, n. 9, p. 748-753, 2004.