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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 5828021, 12 pages
Research Article

Artisanal Extraction and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Medicinal Use of Crabwood Oil (Carapa guianensis Aublet.) in a Peri-Urban Várzea Environment in the Amazon Estuary

1Programa de Pós Graduação em Biodiversidade Tropical, Universidade Federal do Amapá, Rodovia Juscelino Kubitschek, Km 2, Jardim Marco Zero, 68903-419 Macapá, AP, Brazil
2Embrapa Amapá, Rodovia Juscelino Kubitschek, 2600, Universidade, 68903-419 Macapá, AP, Brazil
3Universidade do Estado do Amapa, Avenida Procópio Rola 1346, Centro, 68900-081 Macapá, AP, Brazil

Received 18 March 2016; Revised 3 May 2016; Accepted 5 May 2016

Academic Editor: Jesus R. R. Amado

Copyright © 2016 Mariane Nardi et al. 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.


Várzea forests of the Amazon estuary contain species of importance to riverine communities. For example, the oil extracted from the seeds of crabwood trees is traditionally used to combat various illnesses and as such artisanal extraction processes have been maintained. The objectives of this study were to (1) describe the process involved in artisanal extraction of crabwood oil in the Fazendinha Protected Area, in the state of Amapá; (2) characterise the processes of knowledge transfer associated with the extraction and use of crabwood oil within a peri-urban riverine community; and (3) discern medicinal uses of the oil. The data were obtained using semistructured interviews with 13 community members involved in crabwood oil extraction and via direct observation. The process of oil extraction is divided into four stages: seed collection; cooking and resting of the seeds; shelling of the seeds and dough preparation; and oil collection. Oil extraction is carried out within the home for personal use, with surplus marketed within the community. More than 90% of the members of the community involved in extraction of crabwood oil highlighted the use of the oil to combat inflammation of the throat. Knowledge transfer occurs via oral transmission and through direct observation.