167 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 [email protected] 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. INTRODUCTION 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, 2002). 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. MATERIAL AND METHOD 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. 168 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. 169 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. RESULT AND DISCUSSION 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. 170 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, 2001). 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. ACKNOWLEDGMENT This research was supported by Regional University of Blumenau. 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