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The role of botanical families in medicinal ethnobotany

Studies suggesting that medicinal plants are not chosen at random are becoming more common. The goal of this work is to shed light on the role of botanical families in ethnobotany, depicting in a molecular phylogenetic frame the relationships between families and medicinal uses of vascular plants quoted in Catalan-speaking territories. A total of 47,630 use reports were analysed. These uses are grouped in 120 botanical families. A Bayesian approach was used to estimate the over-and underused families in the medicinal flora. The ethnobotanicity index, at a specific level (14.44%), was calculated and also adapted to the family level (68.21%). Also two diversity indices to measure the richness of reported taxa within each family were calculated. The most-reported families are Lamiaceae and Asteraceae and the most reported troubles are disorders of the digestive and nutritional system. Based on the meta-analytic results, indicating hot nodes of useful plants at the phylogenetic level, specific ethnopharmacological research may be suggested, including a phytochemical approach of particularly interesting taxa.


More information:

Gras, A., Hidalgo, O., D’Ambrosio, U., Parada, M., Garnatje, T. & Vallès, J. 2021. The role of botanical families in medicinal ethnobotany: a phylogenetic perspective. Plants, 10(1), 163.

Author: Airy Gras

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