Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 455–464 | Cite as

SNAKES USED IN ETHNOMEDICINE IN NORTHEAST BRAZIL

  • RÔMULO ROMEU DA NÓBREGA ALVES
  • GENTIL ALVES PEREIRA FILHO
  • YURI CLÁUDIO CORDEIRO DE LIMA
Article

Abstract

This paper documents zootherapeutic practices in Northeast Brazil. It is primarily based on field surveys carried out in fishing villages located in the States of Maranhão and Paraíba, where dwellers provided information on snake species used as medicine, body parts used to prepare the remedies, and the illnesses to which the remedies were prescribed. The species used as medicinal drug and their respective families were: Crotalus durissus (rattlesnake), Bothrops leucurus (‘lance head’, a venomous snake), and Lachesis muta (bushmaster) of the family Crotalidae; and Boa constrictor (boa constrictor), Epicrates cenchria (‘salamanta’), and Eunectes murinus (anaconda) of the family (Boidae). These zootherapeutical resources were used for the cure of 14 illnesses. The most commonly cited species were Crotalus durissus (n=26) e Boa constrictor (n=6), Apparently, the medicinal use of snakes does not pose a threat for their population in the studied sites.

Keywords

ethnoecology folk medicine traditional medical drugs zootherapy 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alves R.R.N., Rosa I.L., (2005). Why study the use of animal products in traditional medicines? Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 1: 5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alves R.R.N., Nishida A.K., 2003, Aspectos socioeconômicos e formas de percepção ambiental dos catadores de caranguejo-uçá Ucides cordatus cordatus (L. 1763) (Decapoda, Brachyura) do estuário do rio Mamanguape Interciencia 28(1): 3–43Google Scholar
  3. Alves R.R.N., Nishida A.K., 2002, A ecdise do caranguejo-uçá, Ucides cordatus (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura) na visão dos caranguejeiros Interciencia 27(3): 110–117Google Scholar
  4. Alves R.R.N., Nishida A.K., Hernández M.I.M., 2005 Environmental perception of gatherers of the crab ‘caranguejo-uçá’ (Ucides cordatus, Decapoda, Brachyura) affecting their collection attitudes Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 1:10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Amorozo M.C.M., 2001, Uso e diversidade de plantas medicinais em Santo Antônio do Leverger, MT, Brasil Acta Botanica Brasilica 16(2): 189–203Google Scholar
  6. Alino, P.M., Cajipe, G.J.B., Ganzon-Fortes, E.T., Licuanan, W.R.Y., Montano, N.E. and Tupas, L.M.: 1990, The use of marine organisms in folk medicine and horticulture: a preliminary study. Seaweed Information Center, University of the PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  7. Anyinam C., 1995, Ecology and ethnomedicine: exploring links between current environmental crisis and indigenous medical practices Soc Sci Med 40(3): 321–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baldwin M., 1995, The snakestone experiments. An early modern medical debate Isis 86(3): 394–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Begossi A., Braga F.M.S., 1992, Food taboos and folk medicine among fishermen from the Tocantins River Amazonana 12:101–118Google Scholar
  10. Bisset N.G., 1991, One man’s poison, another man’s medicine Journal of Ethnopharmacology 32: 71–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brazil V., 1934, Do emprego da peçonha em terapêutica Biologie medicale 1: 7–21Google Scholar
  12. Chizzoti A., 2000, Pesquisa em ciéncias humanas e sociais Cortez editora, São PauloGoogle Scholar
  13. Costa-Neto, E.M.: 1999, ‘Barata é um santo remédio: Introdução a zooterapia popular no Estado da Bahia, Editora Universitária da UEFS. Feira de Santana. 103 ppGoogle Scholar
  14. Costa-Neto E.M., Oliveira M.V., 2000, Cockroach is good for asthma: zootherapeutic practices in northeastern Brazil Human Ecology Review 7(2): 41–51Google Scholar
  15. Diegues, C.A. (Org.), Arruda, R.S.V., Silva, V.C.F., Figols, F.A.B. and Andrade, D.: 1999, Biodiversidade e comunidades tradicionais no Brasil: Os sabers tradicionais e a Biodiversidade no Brasil. NUPAUB-USP, PROBI-MMA, CNPq, São Paulo, 189 pGoogle Scholar
  16. Farnsworth N.R., Soejarto D.D., 1985, Potential consequence of plant extinction in the United States on the current and future availability of prescription drugs Economic Botany 39(3): 231–40Google Scholar
  17. Giorgi R., Bernardi M.M., Cury Y., 1993, Analgesic effect evoked by low molecular weight substances extracted from Crotalus durissus terrificus venom Toxicon 31(10): 1257–1265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Johannes R.E., 1993, Integrating traditional ecological knowledge and management with environmental impact assessment In: Inglis J.T. (eds), Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Concepts and Cases. International Program on Traditional Ecological Knowledge and International Development Research Centre, Ottwa, pp. 33–39Google Scholar
  19. Lev E., 2003, Traditional healing with animals (zootherapy): medieval to present-day Levantine practice Journal of Ethnopharmacology 86: 107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marques J.G.W., 1997, Fauna medicinal: Recurso do ambiente ou ameaça à biodiversidade? Mutum 1(1): 4Google Scholar
  21. Marques J.G.W., 1995, Pescando pescadores: Etnoecologia abrangente no baixo São Francisco Alagoano NUPAUBIUSP. São Paulo, pp. 304Google Scholar
  22. Marval E.Y., Aroucha-Piñango C.L., 1993, Efecto de algunos venenos y secreciones de animales sobre el mecanismo hemostático Interciencia 18(1): 10–15Google Scholar
  23. Mello L.G., 1995, Antropologia Cultural Editora Vozes, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  24. Paludo, D. and Klonowski, V.S.: 1999, ‘Barra de Mamanguape – PB: Estudo do impacto do uso de madeira de manguezal pela população extrativista e da possibilidade de reflorestamento e manejo dos recursos madeireiros’, Série Cadernos da Reserva da Biosfera, Mata Atlântica, MAB, UNESCO. 16, 7–54Google Scholar
  25. Posey, D.: 1986, ‘Etnoentomologia de tribos indígenas da Amazônia’ in B. Ribeiro (org.) Suma Etnológica 1, Petrópólis: Vozes, pp. 251–271Google Scholar
  26. Posey D.A., 1997, Exploração da biodiversidade e do conhecimento indígena na América Latina: desafios á soberania e à velha ordem In: Cavalcanti C., (eds), Meio ambiente, desenvolvimento sustentá el e políticas públicas. Cortez, São Paulo, pp. 345–368Google Scholar
  27. Rodrigues S.M.A., Gonçalves E.G.R., Mello J.D.M., Oliveira E.G., Hofer E., 2001. Pesquisa de bactérias do género Vibrio em feridas cutâneas de pescadores do Município de Raposa, MA Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 34(5): 407–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Seixas C.S., Begossi A., 2001, Ethnozoology of fishing communities from Ilha Grande (Atlantic forest coast, Brazil) Journal of Ethnobiology 21: 107–135Google Scholar
  29. Sturtevant W.C., 1964, Studies in ethnoscience. American Anthropologist 66(3): 99–131Google Scholar
  30. Vidal, W.C.L.: 2000, Identifcação e caracterização das interferências humanas na Área de Proteão A.mbiental da Barra do Rio amanguape, Litoral Norte do Estado da Paraíba, Brasil, MSc Dissertation, Programa Regional de Pós Graduação em Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente, Universidade Federal da ParaíbaGoogle Scholar
  31. Yau F.C.F., Wong K.L., Shaw P.C., But P.P.H., Wang J., 2002, Authentication of snakes used in Chinese medicine by sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) Biodiversity and Conservation 11: 1653—1662CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • RÔMULO ROMEU DA NÓBREGA ALVES
    • 1
    • 2
  • GENTIL ALVES PEREIRA FILHO
    • 1
  • YURI CLÁUDIO CORDEIRO DE LIMA
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, CCEN, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Zoologia)Universidade Federal da ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrasil
  2. 2.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual da ParaíbaCampinaBrasil
  3. 3.Departamento de Sistemática e EcologiaCCENJoão PessoaBrasil

Personalised recommendations