The aim of the present study was to investigate the use and storage of medicinal plants in the Arruda quilombo community in the state of Ceará, Brazil. Semi-structured interviews were conducted for the determination of traditional knowledge. The qualitative-quantitative collective subject discourse method was used for the data analysis, focusing the discussion on six categories. The Chi-square test with a 5% level of significance was used to analyze the relationship between the age of the interviewee and the postharvest care of medicinal plants. The majority of the quilombo community (76.19%) cultivates the medicinal plants used. Among this total, 57.14% of the interviewees store the plants in plastic bags and do not establish an expiration date. On health risks, 97.62% of the community members reported medicinal plants are natural and therefore cause no harm. Thus, the population is unaware of the care required for storing medicinal plants or the administration of a safe dose. The statistical analysis revealed that the storage of medicinal plants and ingestion of home-remedy phytotherapeutic medications by pregnant women is not associated with age group.
Key words: Safe use, storage, toxicity, medicinal plants.
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