Economic Botany

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 249–254 | Cite as

Distribution of Herbal Remedy Knowledge in Tabi, Yucatan, Mexico


Distribution of Herbal Remedy Knowledge in Tabi, Yucatan, Mexico. The distribution of herbal remedy knowledge among a group of people is studied for two main reasons: (1) to identify plants that are promising for pharmacological analysis, and (2) to examine the factors that lead to herbal remedy knowledge erosion as opposed to dynamism in the acquisition of knowledge. The goal of this particular study, which is aligned with the second reason, is to establish the variation in herbal remedy knowledge among the Yucatec Maya in Tabi, Yucatan, Mexico. Free listing and cultural consensus analysis revealed that knowledge about a few medicinal plants and herbal remedies was distributed widely among the Yucatec Maya in Tabi, whereas the majority of knowledge was idiosyncratic. This finding was consistent with other studies of herbal remedy knowledge distribution among indigenous groups in Latin America and Africa. Assessing patterns in the distribution of herbal remedy knowledge is an important next step in determining the degree of dynamism or erosion in knowledge acquisition and transmission in Tabi.

Key Words

Yucatan Mexico Yucatec Maya traditional medicine medicinal plants herbal remedies knowledge distribution socially acquired knowledge cultural consensus analysis 

Distribución del conocimiento de los remedios herbales en Tabi, Yucatán, México. La distribución del conocimiento de remedios herbolarios entre grupos de personas se ha estudiado por dos razones principales: primero, para la identificación de plantas prometedoras en el análisis farmacológico y segundo, para examinar los factores que contribuyen a la erosión del conocimiento de estos remedios en lugar de la adquisición dinámica del conocimiento. El reto de este estudio, el cual esta alineado con la segunda razón, es establecer la variación en el conocimiento de dichos remedios entre los mayas yucatecos de la comunidad de Tabi, Yucatán, México. El listado libre y el análisis de consenso cultural revelaron que el conocimiento de pocas plantas medicinales y remedios herbolarios se distribuyó extensamente entre los mayas yucatecos de Tabi, mientras que la mayoría del conocimiento de los remedios fue idiosincrásico. Este resultado fue consistente con otros estudios de la distribución del conocimiento de remedios herbolarios entre grupos indígenas de América Latina y África. La evaluación de los patrones en la distribución del conocimiento de estos remedios será el próximo paso para determinar el grado de dinamismo o erosión en la adquisición y transmisión del conocimiento en Tabi.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family and Community MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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