Full Length Research Paper
A total of 96 plant species belonging to 84 genera and 46 families were documented and identified as anti-infective herbal remedies in Northern Peru. Most species used were Asteraceae (18 species, 18.95%), followed by Fabaceae and Euphorbiaceae (7.37% and 5.26%). The most important anti-infectious families are somewhat over-represented in comparison to the overall medicinal flora, while some other medicinally important families (e.g. Lycopodiaceae, Cucurbitaceae) are completely missing from the anti-infective portfolio. The majority of herbal preparations were prepared from the leaves of plants (31.34%), while the whole plant (18.66%), flowers (12.69%) and stems (17.16%) were used less frequently. In almost 67% of the cases fresh plant material was used to prepare remedies. Only about 55% of the remedies were applied orally, while the remaining ones were applied topically. Over half of all remedies were prepared as mixtures of multiple ingredients. The information gained on frequently used traditional remedies against infectious disease agents might give some leads for future targets for further analysis in order to develop new drugs. However, more detailed scientific studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the remedies employed traditionally.
Key words: Ethnobotany, traditional medicine, wounds, inflammation, infectious disease.
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