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Economic Botany

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 29–42 | Cite as

A consensus ethnobotany of the Q’eqchi’ Maya of Southern Belize

  • Virginie Treyvaud Amiguet
  • John Thor Arnason
  • Pedro Maquin
  • Victor Cal
  • Pablo Sanchez Vindas
  • Luis Poveda

Abstract

An ethnobotany study in collaboration with Q’eqchi’ Maya healers of Southern Belize led to a collection of 169 medicinal plant species, belonging to 67 different families. The data show the use of a majority of species from primary or secondary semi-evergreen rainforests of Southern Belize, rather than weedy species. The medicinal uses of the plants were grouped into 17 usage categories. The frequency of use for each plant and the informant consensus factor for each usage category reveals a consensus among the healers on the use of plant species as well as on the diseases treated. These results suggest a well-defined medicinal tradition.

Key Words

Medicinal plants Belize Q’eqchi’ Maya traditional medicine consensus 

Un consensus ethnobotanique des Mayas Q’eqchi’ du sud du Belize

Resumen

Une étude ethnobotanique en collaboration avec les guérisseurs Mayas Q’eqchi’ du Sud du Belize a mené à la récolte de 169 espèces de plantes médicinales appartenant à 67 families différentes. Les données montrent l’utilisation d’une majorité d’espèces provenant des forêts tropicales humides primaires ou secondaires du Sud du Belize, plutôt que de mauvaises herbes. Les utilisations médicinales de ces plantes ont été classées dans 17 catégories d’usage. La fréquence d’utilisation de chaque plante et le facteur de consensus calculé pour chaque catégorie d’usage révèle un haut degré de consensus parmi les guérisseurs aussi bien pour l’utilisation des plantes que pour les maladies traitées par ces dernières. Ces résultats suggèrent une tradition médicinale bien définie.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginie Treyvaud Amiguet
    • 1
  • John Thor Arnason
    • 1
  • Pedro Maquin
    • 2
  • Victor Cal
    • 2
  • Pablo Sanchez Vindas
    • 3
  • Luis Poveda
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OttawaStation A, OttawaCanada
  2. 2.Belize Indigenous Training InstitutePunta Gorda, Toledo DistrictBelize
  3. 3.Herbario Juvenal Valerio RodriguezUniversidad NationalHerediaCosta Rica

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