Economic Botany

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 159–162

Tree ash as an Ayoreo salt source in the Paraguayan Chaco

  • Guillermo Schmeda-Hirschmann

DOI: 10.1007/BF02908207

Cite this article as:
Schmeda-Hirschmann, G. Econ Bot (1994) 48: 159. doi:10.1007/BF02908207


The Ayoreo, an Amerindian group of the Paraguayan Chaco, use ash from several plant species as sources of salt. The elemental composition of the ash ofMaytenus vitis-idaea, Lycium nodosum, Trithrinax schizophylla and another sample which serve as salt sources are reported and the use of vegetal salts by indigenous South American populations is discussed. The relatively high sodium content ofM. vitis-idaea may explain the widespread use of this species as a salt source by Chaco Amerindians.

Key Words

tree ashelemental compositionAyoreoParaguayan ChacoMaytenus vitisidaeaLycium nodosum

Empleo de cenizas vegetales como sal entre los Ayoreo del Chaco Paraguayo


Los Ayoreo, un grupo Amerindio del Chaco Paraguayo, emplean como sal las cenizas deMaytenus vitis-idaea, Lycium nodosum yTrithrinax schizophylla. Se informa la composición elemental de las cenizas deM. vitis-idaea, L. nodosum y una muestra de sal vegetal, y se discute el empleo de sales vegetales por grupos indígenas Suddmericanos.

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Schmeda-Hirschmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad de TalcaDepartamento de Ciencias BiológicasTalcaChile