Ethnobotany in Rayones, Nuevo León, México

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Ethnobotany in Rayones, Nuevo León, México

Estrada-Castillón E, Garza-López M, Villarreal-Quintanilla JA, Salinas-Rodríguez MM, Soto-Mata BE, González-Rodríguez H, González-Uribe DU, Cantú-Silva I, Carrillo-Parra A, Cantú-Ayala C
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2014 Sep 1;10(1):62
PubMed PMID: 25179469

Nuevo León en México
Nuevo León en México [Source: Yavidaxiu, Wikimedia Commons]
Eduardo Estrada-Castillón of Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and coauthors from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro conducted an ethnobotanical study in Rayones, Nuevo León, in northeastern México, to record knowledge and use of plant species among residents.

Based on interviews with 110 women and men from the region, Estrada-Castillón and his team recorded 252 species, 136 of them considered as medicinal. (Medicinal use was by far the most important use of plants overall, representing 71% of the total uses, followed by food [9%]).

Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosmarinus officinalis [Source: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen, Wikimedia Commons]
The most important medicinal plants (i.e., those with 10 or more uses) included Rosmarinus officinalis, Aloe vera, Trixis californica, Monarda citriodora, Litsea glaucescens, Turnera diffusa, Persea americana, Matricaria recutita, Tagetes lucida, Carya illinoinensis, Ocimum basilicum and Ruta chalepensis.

The authors note the rich diversity of ethnobotanical knowledge in Rayones, compared to other parts of Nuevo León:

“Surprisingly for us was to find that in Rayones, people knew more plants and more uses than in the central part (which includes six municipalities) and the southern part of the state of Nuevo León (which includes three municipalities). This is because both, men and women collected plants in field, and the rich plant diversity found in this area, since two important ecosystems, Sierra Madre Oriental (temperate) and the Chihuahuan Desert (arid) converge in this area. Interviewees mentioned that they collect and exchange plants with each other, and also, they exchange knowledge of plants and how they should be used. In Rayones as in the central and the southern region of the state of Nuevo Leon, the families Astraceae, Fabaceae, Cactaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Agavaceae are also the most diversified in wild species. The most diversified families with cultivated species are Rosaceae (mainly trees), Poaceae, Solanaceae, Rutaceae, and Cucurbitaceae. In Rayones, most of plants known and used by residents are herbaceous, wild and autochthonous species. The rich species diversity of wild genera such as Opuntia, Agave, Euphorbia and Acacia, as well as cultivated ones such as Citrus, Capsicum, Prunus, Cucurbita, and Allium, allow residents to use them in many different purposes. Several families such as Poaceae, Solanaceae, Cactaceae, Rosaceae, Fabaceae, Rutaceae, and Cucurbitaceae in Rayones as in other parts of México stand out as the most useful genera and species with different purposes in northeastern and southern of México.”

Read the complete article at PubMed.

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