Ong HG, Kim YD. Quantitative ethnobotanical study of the medicinal plants used by the Ati Negrito indigenous group in Guimaras island, Philippines. J Ethnopharmacol 2014;157:228-242.
Quantitative ethnobotanical study of the medicinal plants used by the Ati Negrito indigenous group in Guimaras island, Philippines
This study is (1) a documentation of medicinal plant use in traditional therapies, and (2) an evaluation of the medicinal plant knowledge and practices of the Ati Negrito indigenous people in Guimaras Island, Philippines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A semi-structured interview was conducted to 65 informants in order to determine the medicinal plants and their uses in traditional therapies. The plants were collected, identified and deposited as voucher specimens. Plant importance was determined using quantitative ethnobotanical indices such as Use Value (UV), Fidelity Level (FL) and Informant Consensus Factor (ICF). Descriptive and the inferential statistics Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to measure and compare the informants׳ medicinal plant use knowledge and practices.
This study was able to identify 142 medicinal plant taxa in 55 families used in 16 categories of diseases. Plants with the highest recorded UVs were Psidium guajava (2.52), Blumea balsamifera (2.15) and Cocos nucifera (2.06). A total of 24 species were found to have 100% FL values with Senna alata, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Breynia vitis-idaea recording the highest number of use-mentions (48) for treating white spot, boils, and child sleeplessness, malaise and fatigue, respectively. The highest ICF value (1.00) was cited for Category 6 (Diseases of the ear) and Category 16 (Factors that influence health status and services). Finally, significant differences in medicinal plant use knowledge were recorded when informants were grouped according to location, educational level, gender and age.
This documentation of medicinal plants and their uses shows the rich tradition in ethno-medicinal knowledge of the Ati Negrito indigenous people although results might also imply that knowledge is eroding. Nevertheless, this study could open an avenue for pharmacological research works, or serve as reference for future quantitative ethnobotanical investigations.