Ethnobotanical surveys have proved plant usage in the treatment of oral diseases; however, in areas where cocoa farming influenced socioeconomic reality there is a lack of information about preservation of traditional knowledge related to oral conditions treatment. Family Health Strategy (FHS) users and community experts were interviewed with socioeconomic characteristics and ethnobotanical information being obtained through a semi-structured questionnaire. Plants informed by participants were harvested and lower socioeconomic conditions were statistically associated with medicinal plant usage. Lower level of education showed a tendency to influence medicinal plant use. Religious belief, gender or ethnicity and indigenous ancestry were not associated with medicinal plant usage. Of the 66 medicinal plants informed by interviewees from the FHS services, 12 were confirmed by experts for use in oral conditions. Leaves root and bark were used as decoction infusion or crushing/grinding for mouthwash ingestion or gargle. The most cited indications of oral conditions were inflammation and toothache. Plants most mentioned were Dysphania ambrosioides, Schinus terebinthifolius, Plantago major, Piper hayneanum, Anacardium occidentale, Zingiber officinale, Punica granatum, Mimosa pudica, Gossypium barbadense, Cajanus cajan, Bidens pilosa and Hyptis pectinata. Fifty-four species were recorded on the virtual information system. Overall, the results indicated that in the municipality studied the community is able to withstand exclusionary factors and pass on the ability to meet their own health needs with medicinal plants to future generations. The information herein may support public policies establishment in the region and bring benefits to excluded communities in relation to oral diseases.
Key words: Municipality of Una, oral diseases, ethnobotany surveys, medicinal plants.
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