Medicinal plants in the diet of woolly spider monkeys (Brachyteles arachnoides, E. Geoffroy, 1806) - a bio-rational for the search of new medicines for human use?

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Petroni, Liege M. [UNIFESP]
Huffman, Michael A.
Rodrigues, Eliana [UNIFESP]
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The present study aimed to compare the plant food diet of woolly spider monkeys (Brachyteles arach-noides) inhabiting Intervales State Park in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with medicinal plant species used by humans in the surrounding areas of the park. The diet of a group of woolly spider monkeys living in an Atlantic for-est area was recorded during 43 months of fieldwork. Fifty-three species (87 food items) were recorded. Plant specimens were collected and identified at the University of Sao Paulo and the Botanical Institute of Sao Paulo State. Using semi-structured interviews, ethnomedicinal data were also collected from four preselected respondents regarding the human therapeutic value of these plants. The study showed that 24.5% (13/53) of these species are used by residents around the park for medicinal purposes. Of these thirteen, seven species also have validated pharmacological properties, and three are utilized by local residents for similar medicinal purposes. Overlap in the plant food/medicinal diet of woolly spider monkey populations elsewhere were also noted, suggesting potential overlap in their medicinal value for humans and primates. The similarities between the ingestion of plants by primates and their medicinal use by humans provide a bio-rational for the search of bioactive plants in the primate diet. Further detailed investigation of their pharmacological and phytochemical value is warranted. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. on behalf of Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacognosia.
Revista Brasileira De Farmacognosia-Brazilian Journal Of Pharmacognosy. Curitiba-Pr, v. 27, n. 2, p. 135-142, 2017.