Title

Zapotec and mixe use of tropical habitats for securing medicinal plants in Mexico

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Frei, B, Sticher, O & Heinrich, M 2000, 'Zapotec and mixe use of tropical habitats for securing medicinal plants in Mexico', Economic Botany, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 73-81.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02866601

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Medicinal plants are essential in the medical systems of the Mixe and Zapotec. In this study ethno-ecological strategies, employed by the two neighboring Indian groups in Mexico, for obtaining medicinal plants are analyzed. The indigenous classification of the environment is notably different from the Western one and distinguishes six dissimilar principal 'zones' or land use types. Most ethnomedically important species are cultivated in the 'house garden' or gathered in the community or its immediate surroundings. The house garden, for example, contributes 31.8% and 26.2% of all medical taxa for the Mixe and Zapotec, respectively. These ethnobotanical data on the indigenous uses indicate that anthropogenic types of vegetation yield the largest percentage of medicinal taxa.