Abstract Detail

Poster Session

Snively-Martinez, Amy E [1].

Medicinal plants used for diabetes care in rural Guatemala.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that is characterized by high blood glucose levels. In Guatemala, more than half (53%) the population lives in poverty and diabetes prevalence there is roughly 9.1% of the population, with little to no government assistance available for diabetes care. Medicinal plants are widely used in Guatemala to treat a variety of ailments, however little research has specifically studied the use of medicinal plants by rural and indigenous communities in Guatemala to treat diabetes despite its importance as a biodiversity hotspot and a high population (51%) of indigenous peoples. The objective of this research is to identify and describe the herbal preparations that are most commonly known and used in two rural areas of the Guatemala. Communities chosen for this study are located in two distinct geographical and cultural areas of Guatemala, a mangrove ecosystem located in the pacific lowlands and a humid montane forest of the western highlands. Semi-structured interviews, including free lists were conducted that included ethnomedical and ethnobotanical questions to elicit the plants and their preperations most commonly used for diabetes care. In Guatemala, medicinal plants often form part of a pluralistic medical system were home remedies are often sought before a visit to the clinic or a medical professional. In the study areas, it was found that people often resort of the use of medicinal plants on a daily basis to control their diabetes, since there is a general lack of access to diabetic medication. The most salient plants used for the control of diabetes include Moringa olifera, Hamelia patens and Anacordium occidentale.

1 - Washington State University, Anthropology, Pullman, WA, 99164, USA

medicinal plants
indigenous knowledge.

Presentation Type: Poster
Abstract ID:53
Candidate for Awards:None