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Medicinal plants of two Mayan Healers from San Andres, Peten, Guatemala

Plantas medicinales de dos curanderos Mayas de San Andrés, Petén, Guatemala

Abstract

This study records 81 species of medicinal plants used in San Andrés, Petén. The primary source of information was an elderly Maya-speaking couple employed as traditional healers. Voucher specimens were collected, the majority from surrounding secondary forest; local names, medicinal uses, growth form, and habitat were noted. The plant families providing most species were Asteraceae and Rubiaceae. A lack of apprentices threaten continuation of this tradition in the community.

Resumen

Este estudio presenta informatión sobre 81 especies de plantas medicinales utilizadas en San Andrés, Petén. La principal fuente de informatión fue una pareja maya-parlante con muchos años de práctica como curanderos tradicionales en esta región. La mayoría de los especímenes fueron colectados en los bosques secundarios que rodean el poblado, a los que se les adicionó la description correspondiente en cuanto a nombres locales, usos medicinales, formas de crecimiento y habitats. La mayoría de los especímenes colectados pertenecen a las familias de la Asteraceae y la Rubiaceae. Este trabajo también provee evidencia de que la falta de aprendíces atentan contra la continuatión de estas tradiciones.

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Correspondence to Simon C. Comerford.

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Comerford, S.C. Medicinal plants of two Mayan Healers from San Andres, Peten, Guatemala. Econ Bot 50, 327–336 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02907342

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Key Words

  • Central America
  • ethnobotany
  • Guatemala
  • Maya
  • medical botany
  • medicinal plants
  • Peten
  • traditional medicine