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Journal of the Selva Andina Biosphere

versão impressa ISSN 2308-3867versão On-line ISSN 2308-3859


POMBOZA-TAMAQUIZA, Pablo et al. Habitats and traditional uses of species of Urtica l. in the high basin of Rio Ambato, Tungurahua-Ecuador. J. Selva Andina Biosph. [online]. 2016, vol.4, n.2, pp.48-58. ISSN 2308-3867.

For hundreds of years the people of peasant and indigenous communities in the Andes have used nettle in the treatment of biological and spiritual diseases, nevertheless their uses are little documented in this particular region. The aim of the study was to register the main species of the genus Urtica L. (nettles), in villages in the upper basin of the river Ambato, Tungurahua Province, Ecuador, their uses and the local knowledge around them. Key informants (natural therapists) were selected to perform individual and group interviews. Plant samples were collected at specific places well known by the informants. The samples were preserved, soil samples were taken for analysis of pH and organic matter. Traditional uses of each species and the characteristics of the informants were documented. The results show that there are four species of nettles, three natives (U. flabellata, U. leptophylla and U. magellanica) and one introduced (U. dioica), growing on soils with pH ranges between 6.16 y 7.68 with a mean percentage of organic matter at 12.37%. Each has a preferential use, the permanence and contribution to the local knowledge is discussed.

Palavras-chave : Nettle; ancestral knowledge; traditional medicine; herbal medicine; native plants.

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