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WHITE-OLASCOAGA, Laura; JUAN-PEREZ, José Isabel; CHAVEZ-MEJIA, Cristina  and  GUTIERREZ-CEDILLO, Jesús Gastón. Medicinal plants in San Nicolas, Malinalco County, State of Mexico. Polibotánica [online]. 2013, n.35, pp.173-206. ISSN 1405-2768.

The main objective of the present study was to determine aspects about habitat, function and management of the plant resources employed in traditional medicine, at the community of San Nicolás, located at south of the State of México. For identifying traditional knowledge about the plants management for diseases treatment, interviews were applied to men and women, between 20 and 60 years old. From January 2010 to January 2011, field work was performed, with participative observation over the studied area. Over the studied geographic space, the presence of 165 species, were registered corresponding to 147 genus and 70 families of vascular plants. The medicinal species were grouped on 13 classes or categories, according to the type of disease for which they were employed, and it was registered the structure or vegetal organ that was utilized from each plant. The categories of medicinal plant that showed the highest frequencies of utilization are related to digestive and respiratory systems diseases treatment and with diseases related to nutrition and endocrinal system, and those of the nominated Cultural Filiations Syndromes. Related to the geographical space where the species were collected, 45.4% are species that develop in natural ecosystems and 54.5% are plants that prosper over familiar agroecosystems, locally named familiar orchard. In relation to the type of management, 34.5% of the species are cultivated over these systems, while the rest are wild. The biogeography analysis, allows to determine that 76.4% of the species present natural distribution in America, and 23.6% has been introduced. Over this geographic space, the collection of vegetable species with medicinal application is not restricted to natural environments, data show that the major numbers of species that are obtained for medicinal uses, live and develop over familiar agroecosystems and orchard. This implies new challenges, due to these ecological systems are being utilized for several finalities; and this causes in situ loss of genetic material and consequently, loss of biodiversity over this territory in the Mexican sub tropic.

Keywords : medicinal plants; traditional medicine; family agroecosystems.

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