Ethnobiological survey of plants and animals used for the treatment of acute respiratory infections in children of a traditional community in the Municipality of Barbalha, Ceará, Brazil

  • Izabel Cristina Santiago Lemos
  • Gyllyandeson de Araújo Delmondes
  • Ana Deyva Ferreira dos Santos
  • Enaide Soares Santos
  • Dayanne Rakelly de Oliveira
  • Patrícia Rosane Leite de Figueiredo
  • Dailon de Araújo Alves
  • Roseli Barbosa
  • Irwin Rose Alencar de Menezes
  • Henrique Douglas Melo Coutinho
  • Marta Regina Kerntopf
  • George Pimentel Fernandes
Keywords: Ethnobotany, Ethnomedicine, Acute respiratory infections, Natural products, Children's Health.

Abstract

Background: The use of natural resources for the treatment of acute respiratory infections in children is a widespread practice within traditional communities, especially by women by being the primary caregivers. This study aimed to perform ethnobiological survey of plants and animals used for the treatment of acute respiratory infections in children of a traditional community in the municipality of Barbalha, Ceará, Brazil. Methods: It is a descriptive exploratory study with a quantitative approach, developed in Sítio Santo Antônio, in the municipality of Barbalha, Ceará, Brazil. As a tool for data collection, was applied a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. Data analysis used descriptive statistics (simple and percentage rate) and the Relative Frequency of Citation.
Results: The research included a total of 54 informants. In total, there were 38 species cited. According to the Relative Frequency of Citation the following species were the most cited: Ocimum basilicum L. (0.59), Eucalyptus globulus Labill (0.59), Plectranthus amboinicus (L.) Spreng (0.42), Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit. (0.24), Allium aescalonicum L. (0.22) and Mentha arvensis L. (0.18). Among the symptoms  mentioned by the research subjects to treat the acute respiratory infections in childhood, there were: fever; cough; coughing with secretions; sore throat;  hoarseness; tiredness; nasal congestion.
Conclusions: It is important the knowledge about the usefulness of natural resources as alternative practices in diseases treatment, seeking to rescue popular knowledge used in the traditional community and fomenting the need to consider cultural aspects in the full practice to children´s health care.

Keywords: Ethnobotany; Ethnomedicine; Acute respiratory infections; Natural  products; Children's Health.

Published
2016-09-06
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0189-6016