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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 648469, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/648469
Research Article

Ethnobotany in Intermedical Spaces: The Case of the Fulni-ô Indians (Northeastern Brazil)

1Botany Post-Graduation Program, Biology Department, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Dom Manoel de Medeiros street, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Applied Ethnobotany Laboratory, Biology Department, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Dom Manoel de Medeiros street, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 30 May 2011; Accepted 21 July 2011

Academic Editor: Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega Alves

Copyright © 2012 Gustavo Taboada Soldati and Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We analyzed the Fulni-ô medical system and introduced its intermedical character based on secondary data published in the literature. Then we focused on the medicinal plants known to the ethnic group, describing the most important species, their therapeutic uses and the body systems attributed to them. We based this analysis on the field experience of the authors in the project Studies for the Environmental and Cultural Sustainability of the Fulni-ô Medical System: Office of Medicinal Plant Care. This traditional botanical knowledge was used to corroborate the hybrid nature of local practices for access to health. We show that intermedicality is a result not only of the meeting of the Fulni-ô medical system with Biomedicine but also of its meeting with other traditional systems. Finally, we discuss how traditional botanical knowledge may be directly related to the ethnogenesis process led by the Fulni-ô Indians in northeastern Brazil.