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8th Edition of International Conference on

Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies

June 05-07, 2025 | Rome, Italy

Traditional Medicine 2024

Ethnobotany as an indicator of medicinal flora vulnerability in natural grasslands, Tapia, Uruguay: Collective feminine narratives

Speaker at Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies 2024 - Patricia Chaves de Oliveira
Federal university of western para, Brazil
Title : Ethnobotany as an indicator of medicinal flora vulnerability in natural grasslands, Tapia, Uruguay: Collective feminine narratives


Ethnobotany, as an interdisciplinary area that values and records the ancestral knowledge of native or traditional populations about the local flora, its use, medicinal properties, and its spiritual relationships, has an ethical and emic commitment to contribute to conservation of these systems of organic knowledge transmitted by orality for hundreds of years. In this context, there are the natural grasslands of the Pampa Biome in Uruguay and the rural communities that inhabit it and make ancestral use of it through a rich ethnoknowledge about medicinal plants. However, according to the report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Ministry of Living, Territorial Planning and Environment of Uruguay (2020), natural grasslands between 2000 and 2015 suffered a reduction in their surface area of 13.79% due to various anthropogenic pressures associated with the introduction of forestry, livestock, soybeans, and rice. Thus, the objective of this research was to know the medicinal grassland flora used by a group of women herb gatherers (Las Julianas) in the village of Tapia in Uruguay, from open dialogues to contribute to registration and appreciation of traditional knowledge associated with the local flora through a new protocol in Ethnobotany, the conversation circles, spaces for collective knowledge. The research was carried out in Tapia (34°34'00"S 55°45'03"W), a village located in the department of Canelones, part of the municipality of San Jacinto in Uruguay in La Cuenca Yasiry-Solís Chico. The interview was done in a conversation circle, as a collective space for knowledge, transmission, and promotion of this information, to a female group created in 2003 called Las Julianas composed of 5 rural women. The collective approach in this case prevailed over the individual and classical approach in ethnobotany studies, by decision of the interviewees themselves, who understand that rural botanical knowledge is collective knowledge and its transmission as well. The results showed the citation of 24 medicinal plants and 1 lichen distributed in 15 botanical families, being the Asteraceae family with 6 species. Some species such as calendula (Calendula officinalis var. parviflora Kuntze) and carqueja (Baccharis trimera var. carqueja DC) draw attention for the large number of medicinal uses. The calendula is used for healing infections, skin inflammations, improving the immune system, liver problems, and diabetes, while carqueja is used for controlling high blood pressure, cleansing the liver, and lowering cholesterol. A total of 22 medicinal properties were surveyed: 7 plants with digestive properties, 5 soothing plants, 4 plants with anti-inflammatory properties and 4 healing properties. Species with digestive properties such as Salvia officinalis subsp. Oxyodon, Mentha piperita, Lippia alba, Lippia sect. Aloysia, Marrubium vulgare subsp. Apulum, Matricaria chamomilla and Achyrocline saturejoides, are herbs occurring in natural grasslands of the Pampa Biome, with high intrinsic value for local populations. According to the narrative of the interviewees, the species Achyrocline saturejoides (Marcela) is already in reduced abundance, indicating vulnerability. Finally, the ethnobotany from this study brought some important indicators of threat to the rural medicinal flora in Uruguay, functioning here as an instrument of environmental conservation.

Audience Take Away Notes: 

  • In herbal medicinal Research, and could be use in prospect new products in the contexts of pharmaceutical companies
  • New product, new market, international market
  • yes, this research that other faculty could use to expand their research or teaching
  • yes, this provide a practical solution to a problem that could simplify or make a designer’s job more efficient


Agronomist, master’s in plant Physiology and PhD in Agrarian Sciences. She is a full Professor at Federal University of Western Pará (UFOPA). In the last 26 year has developed research in Plant Ecophysiology, Ethnobotany, Bioeconomy and Empowerment of traditional communities in the Amazon. She is professor at Institute of Biodiversity and Forests and at Graduate Program in Natural Resources of the Amazon. In recent decades, she has coordinated projects for local and regional development in the Pan Amazon under the funding of Organization for the Treaty on Amazon Cooperation (OTCA), Global Environment Facilities (GEF), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Ministry of Regional Development, the Ministry of Agrarian Development, CNPq and FAPESPA.