Economic Botany

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 75–84 | Cite as

The Ethnobotany ofPluchea carolinensis (Jacq.) G. Don (Asteraceae) in the Botánicas of Miami, Florida

  • Stephen HodgesEmail author
  • Bradley C. Bennett


2006 Botánicas, or herbal shops that cater to ethnic populations, are common in culturally diverse southern Florida. One of the most frequently found plants in these botánicas isPluchea carolinensis. This small shrub in the Asteraceae is a common species in disturbed sites in the region, especially in back mangrove habitats. The binomialP. symphytifolia has been misapplied toP. carolinensis and is considered a synonym forNeurolaena lobata. Both species have similar uses and common names.Pluchea carolinensis is called salvia in Latino botánicas and la choige in Haitian botánicas in Miami. Interviewees at 17 herbal shops provided information on the uses of the plant. The most frequently mentioned ailments treated withP. carolinensis were sore throats and catarrh. The plant also is employed to alleviate headaches, stomach ailments, flatulence, high blood pressure, rash, toothaches, and it is considered to be an antiseptic, anticoagulant, and anti-inflammatory. Teas and compresses were the most common mode of preparation. The medicinal uses ofP. carolinensis in southern Florida are similar to those reported elsewhere in the Caribbean and similar to the uses of otherPluchea species. The plant also plays a role in limpiezas or spiritual cleansings and is associated with the Santería deity Babalú Ayé.

Key words

Pluchea carolinensis botánicas southern Florida Santería medicinal plants 

El ethnobotánica de Pluchea carolinensis (Jacq). G. Don (Asteraceae) en las botánicas de Miami, Florida


Las botánicas, tiendas herbarias que proveen plantas medicinales y ritualistas, son comunes en la población culturalmente diversa de Florida del sur. Una de las plantas el más con frecuencia encontradas en estos botánicas esPluchea carolinensis. Este pequeño arbusto en el Asteraceae es una especie común con sitios desequilibrados en la región, especialamente cerca de manglares. El binomioP. symphytifolia ha sido aplicado mal aP. carolinensis y es considerado un sinónimo paraNeurolaena lobata Ambas especies tienen usos y nombres vulgares similares.Pluchea carolinensis se Hainan salvia en las botánicas Latina y la choige en las botánicas haitianas en Miami. Los entrevistados en diecisiete tiendas herbarias nos dieron información sobre los usos de laplanta. Las dolencias el más con frecuencia mencionadas trataron con P. carolinensis eran dolores de garganta y catarro. La planta también es empleada para aliviar dolores de cabeza, dolor de estómago, flatulencia, sangre alta, sarpullido, dolores de muelas, y, como se considera es un antiséptico, anticoagulante, y antünflamatorio. Los tés y las compresas eran el modo más común de la preparación. Los usos medicinales deP. carolinensis en Florida del sur son similares a aquellos relatados en otra parte en el caribeño y similar a los usos de otras especies dePluchea. La planta también desempeña un papel en limpiezas espirituales y se asocia con la deidad Santería Babalú Ayé.


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Natural Products and EthnobiologyFlorida International UniversityMiami
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Natural Products and EthnobiologyFlorida International UniversityMiami

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