Medicinal Animals in Ethnoveterinary Practices: A World Overview

  • Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto
  • Lorena Cristina Pinto
  • Lívia Emanuelle Tavares Mendonça
  • José Silva Mourão
  • Washington Luiz Silva Vieira
  • Paulo Fernando Guedes Pereira Montenegro
  • Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves


Medicinal animals are used as a source of medicine in virtually all cultures. Such use is not restricted to humans, but also extends to the treatment of livestock diseases. Nevertheless, animal-based medicines in ethnoveterinary practices have been neglected and poorly described. This work assesses the global use of animals in traditional veterinary medicine, as well as the perspective of this field for future research. Our results indicated that at least 98 animal species, of which 95% are wild, are used in worldwide traditional veterinary medicine. A high diversity of animal parts/products is used as remedies in ethnooveterinary practices, fat being the most used product, followed by meat, skin/leather, bones, and honey. Several zootherapeutic products are prescribed to treat similar or identical diseases in animals and humans, confirming a trend of co-evolution between human Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Ethnoveterinary medicine (EVM).


Medicinal Animal Ethnoveterinary Medicine Animal Health Care Ethnoveterinary Practice Ethnoveterinary Knowledge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lorena Cristina Pinto
    • 2
  • Lívia Emanuelle Tavares Mendonça
    • 1
    • 3
  • José Silva Mourão
    • 3
  • Washington Luiz Silva Vieira
    • 4
    • 3
  • Paulo Fernando Guedes Pereira Montenegro
    • 4
  • Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves
    • 3
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Zoologia), Departamento de Sistemática e EcologiaUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaJoão Pessoa-PBBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia de Biomas Tropicais, Departamento de Evolução, Biodiversidade e Meio AmbienteUniversidade Federal de Ouro PretoOuro Preto-MGBrazil
  3. 3.Ethnozoology, Conservation and Biodiversity Research Group, Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual da ParaíbaCampina Grande-PBBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Ecofisiologia Animal, Departamento de Sistemática e EcologiaUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaPessoa-PBBrazil

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