Medicinal plants of ethnopharmacological relevance in Sierra de Ancasti, Catamarca, Argentina


  • Gustavo J. Martínez IDACOR (Conicet)/Museo de Antropología (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba). Hipólito Yrigoyen 174, Córdoba. República Argentina



Ancasti, medicinal flora diversity, criollos-serranos


The aim of this work is to document the knowledge, significance, and uses of medicinal plants in the rural population of Ancasti, Catamarca, Argentina, considered an area of great biodiversity. The community defines itself as criollos-serranos and its subsistence economy is associated with traditional livestock production systems and small-scale agriculture. The techniques used in ethnobiology were adopted as a methodological framework. Informants were selected intentionally based on their expertise or by snowball sampling. The specific information about the topic was gathered by records and documentation of species, open interviews and specific semi-structured surveys, participant observation and records of a rapid rural diagnosis. For quantitative analysis, two indices were applied, including: Relative Importance (RI), and Informant Consensus Factor (ICF). A total of 209 medicinal plant and 5 species of fungi belonging to 70 families were recorded. Asteraceae was dominating with 25 species. Herbs were leading with a 45% contribution, followed by shrubs. The RI index highlights species like Rosmarinus officinalis, Vachellia caven and Cestrum parqui, also others rarely referred to in previous studies, as in the case of Lithraea molleoides. The medicinal flora in Ancasti, Catamarca is highly diverse and remained scarcely explored so far. Its composition accounts for a set of species and applications that are shared with those of other regions of central and northwestern Argentina, highlighting the presence of intercultural contacts.s


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How to Cite

Martínez, G. J. (2021). Medicinal plants of ethnopharmacological relevance in Sierra de Ancasti, Catamarca, Argentina. Journal of Medicinal Herbs and Ethnomedicine, 7, 18–46.