According to a new study in Tropical Conservation Science a surprising number of invertebrates are used in Brazilian traditional medicines, which are popular both in rural and urban areas. Researcher discovered that at least 81 species from five taxonomic groups are being used to treat a variety of illnesses in Brazil.
Insect species proved to be the most popular of invertebrate curatives, comprising over half of the species found in the study. Seventeen of the species were mollusks and 16 of them were crustaceans.
Unfortunately four of the species used in traditional medicine also appear on Brazil’s list of threatened species. For some of the species basic studies are lacking. The researchers suggest that conservation measures need to be considered for those species that are threatened and those that are in particular demand in Brazil due to concerns of overexploitation. In addition, the authors promote creating regulations to ensure sustainability.
CITATION: Alves, R. N. and Dias, T. L. P. 2010. Usos de invertebrados na medicina popular no Brasil e suas implicações para conservação. Tropical Conservation Science Vol. 3 (2):159-174.
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