Medicinal plants used in the Nova Russia, Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest1
Zeni, A. L.B 1, 3; Bosio, F. 2.
1 Department of Natural Sciences/Institut of the Environmental Research, CP 1507, CEP 89010-971, Regional
University of Blumenau, SC; 2 Department of Natural Sciences; 3 Author for correspondence anazeni@furb.br
ABSTRACT: Medicinal plants used in the Nova Russia, Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest.This study focuses
on knowledge of medicinal plants among rural inhabitants of the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest. Forty-eight
interviews were made with the inhabitants of Nova Rússia, Blumenau city, Santa Catarina State. This area was
occupied by the Atlantic Rain Forest. Were collected and identified 110 plants species, belonging to 49
families and 98 genera. The mentioned methods to get the plants were used in the yards, friends and relatives
houses, in the forest or purchased. Many of these plants are cultivated or grew spontaneously in several
environments. The medicinal plants are frequently used by this community, demonstrating necessity to continue
researches to systematize this knowledge.
Key words: medicinal plants, Atlantic Rain Forest, ethnobotany.
Since the beginning of our civilization,
humanity have been used the medicinal plants to
protect their health and to cure theirs deseases, and
these plants constitute a true natural pharmacopeia.
During a lot of time the knowledge about medicinal
plants was transmitted from generation to generation,
constructing natural pharmacies, constituted of
plants found in natural habitats and exotic plants,
cultivated in the yards and gardens. These
informations about plants use and yours
therapeutically applications were accumulated during
centuries, and much of this knowledge find out
available (Di Stasi, 1996).
Nowadays, people are searching again
medicinal plants, without hope in traditional physic
or thinking have less collaterals effects than originated
from allopathic medicines. On the other hand,
academic interest related folk knowledge of plants
was increased after the observation that many of this
traditional knowledge have scientific evidence
(Farnswort, 1988).
This knowledge generally is preserved in
many traditional communities, indigenous, rural and
older people, because many times they do not have
access to allopathic physic, having as only alternative
the big biodiversity found near this people.
In Brazil, the most part this communities are
found into several ecosystems, like the, Amazon,
“Caatinga”, “Cerrado” and Atlantic Rain Forest, many
times in neighborhood of the parks and protected
areas. The population that lives in these areas has
been fundamental on conservation and preservation
of these areas, is very important work also aspects
of the environmental education in this communities.
The Atlantic Rain Forest is an ecosystem
presenting the biggest biodiversity of the world. There
are more than 20 thousand species of plants, being
50% are endemic, than they are species that do not
occur in another place of the world. Thus, is a second
ecosystem more menaced of planet, losing only for
Madagascar Forest Island (Schäefer & Prochnow,
This work had the objective realize an
ethnobotany research in community of Nova Rússia,
localized around of Nascentes do Garcia Natural
Park, recently instituted Serra do Itajaí National Park
by decree 4/06/2004 signed by President of Republic
on 07/06/2004, to knowledge plant used by this
population for therapeutically applications.
Localization of study area
This research was realized with inhabitants of a rural
community in Nova Rússia (FIGURE 1), Blumenau
city, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. This community is
localized around of Nascentes do Garcia Natural
Park, area occupied by Atlantic Rain Forest, known
as Atlantic Forest.
Recebido para publicação em agosto/2004
Aceito para publicação em julho/2006
Rev. Bras. Pl. Med., Botucatu, v.8, n.esp., p.167-171, 2006.
FIGURE 1: Localization of community Nova Rússia in Blumenau, Santa Catarina State, Brazil.
Rev. Bras. Pl. Med., Botucatu, v.8, n.esp., p.167-171, 2006.
FIGURE 2. Community of Nova Rússia
Experimental Delineation
This study is based on 48 interviews, adult
inhabitants up to 18 years old, using open-ended
questionnaire with 17 questions, about information
general of studied population (ethic origin, education
level) and about plants (plants used, where collect).
After were realized visits for interviewed, where were
collected plants mentioned and others information
about the use of these species. Species were
identified by Karin Esemann Quadros, Professor of
Botany – Regional University of Blumenau and stored
Herbarium Dr. Roberto Miguel Klein, same university.
Data were organized using Microsoft Excel program.
Garcia river, Nova Rússia.
(4) e Solanaceae (4). Remaining of plants are
distributed within others families. Was verified also
Di Stasi et al (2002) found similar results in a rural
community in Atlantic Rain Forest, where Asteraceae
and Lamiaceae were the families with the biggest
number of species than the others. Also in caiçaras
communities (Hanazaki et al, 2000; Begossi et al,
2002) were found similar results.
In this study was verified all population utilize
medicinal plants and, were identified 110 species
belonging 49 botany families and 98 genera. Similar
results were found in researches realized in Atlantic
Rain Forest (Di Stasi et al, 2002) and in “caatinga”
(Albuquerque & Andrade, 2002). Was observed in the
most part of ethnobotany research realized in several
areas that the total number of utilized species is
similar and, was verified that some this plants are
found in many communities studied. Knowledge and
use of plants reflect an increase vegetal diversity found
of Atlantic Rain Forest (Begossi et al, 2002).
Plants are used by treatment of several
diseases, like influenza, gastrointestinal and
respiratory problems, until neoplasies. The most
used part of the plants is leaf and the most utilized
treatment is infusion (used by 73% of inhabitants)
and decoction (50%). Amorozo (2002) found similar
results in Santo Antônio of Leverger, MT, Brazil.
In relation the botany families, presented the
most number of species used (FIGURE 3),
Asteraceae (14), Lamiaceae (11), Liliaceae (6),
Myrtaceae (6), Rosaceae 5), Rutaceae (4) Rosaceae
FIGURE 3. The most mentioned medicinal families
(species’ number).
Species more utilized by this community are
(TABLE 1) peppermint or hortelã (Mentha sp.), oregano
(Origanum vulgare L.), Common parsley or salsa
(Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A W. Hill)), boldo
(Plectranthus barbatus Andrews and Plectranthus
neochilus Schlechter), lemon balm or erva cidreira
(Melissa officinalis L), malva (Malva sylvestris L.),
lemon gras or cana-de-cheiro (Cymbopogom citratus
(DC) Stapf.), garlic or alho (Allium sativum L.), green
onion (Allium fistulosum L.), rosemary or alecrim
(Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and aniseed or erva-doce
(Foeniculum vulgare Mill.).
Rev. Bras. Pl. Med., Botucatu, v.8, n.esp., p.167-171, 2006.
TABLE 1: Species more used with therapeutical application in comunnity of Nova Rússia
* Plant don’t present flowers in Brazil (Castro & Chemale, 1995). ** Plant identified in field.
When asked about where to obtain
plants, inhabitants answered, yards (71%),
relatives and friends (21%), forest (6%) or they
buy in market and pharmacy (2%). From the total
of species mentioned (FIGURE 4), 44,6 %
growing spontaneously in yards, gardens, edge
of ways and forest; 52,7% are cultivated e 2,7%
are bought. Similar results were found in
community of Santo Antônio of Leverger, MT,
Brazil (Amorozo, 2002).
FIGURE 4: Spontaneously or cultivated plants (%).
Although there is a big diversity found in
Atlantic Rain Forest, was verified that plants more
used by this population are introduced species.
Same results were found by Begossi (2001) in
“caiçaras” communities in Atlantic Rain Forest:
several medicinal species are common exotic, like
Mentha spp., Artemisia absinthium, Coleus
barbatus, Foeniculum vulgare. Have been thought
that this is happening because species more used
are cultivated species, easiness in obtain these
plants is becoming the use more common.
Cultural aspects also can to influence in
use these plants. Between “caiçaras”, Begossi
(2001) verified that use of plants reflect portuguese
and indigenous influences. Area this study was
colonized by european immigrants, principally
germans and italians (60,4% inhabitants). Is known
that immigrants brought themselves some seeds,
young plants and also a high knowledge about them
(Berri, 1993). However, is possible to think a big
part of knowledge about use of native and
spontaneously species have been obtained next
indigenous of this area (Steenbock, 2003; Diegues,
Although the most used species found are
exotics, some people utilize many native species,
that community also has a knowledge about local
flora. Wisdom accumulated by local populations
establish a power tool for development of
preservation and conservation, that can be used in
planning and maintenance of these areas
(Albuquerque & Almeida, 2002). Therefore is
important the systematization of this knowledge,
and return back to the community, through of
environmental education programs, because thus
the use of plants can, beyond treatment of
sickness, be useful as an instrument of
preservation of natural environmental, ransoming
cultural aspects, self-respect and citizenship,
valorizing in this way, popular wisdom integrally.
This research was supported by Regional
University of Blumenau. We thank people of
community of Nova Rússia, SC, by
collaboration, attention and friendship; Karin
Esemann de Quadros, by botany identification
and Cynthia Hering Rinnert by identification of
some plants. We thank also Jorgeane Schaefer
by English revision this article.
Rev. Bras. Pl. Med., Botucatu, v.8, n.esp., p.167-171, 2006.
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Medicinal plants used in the Nova Russia, Brazilian Atlantic