Medicinal plants of the brazilian cerrado: knowing to preserve


  • Lucinéia dos Santos Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Amanda Martins Viel Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Leandro Fagundes Tarosso Universidade de São Paulo
  • Luciano da Silva Momesso Universidade Paulista
  • Dario Abel Palmieri Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Kamille Daleck Spera Universidade Estadual Paulista



Popular knowledge, Scientific knowledge, Valuation about the biome.


The Cerrado is the second largest biome in Brazil and presents an immeasurable and still underexplored ecological diversity. Despite the exuberance of its endemic species, it is one of the 25 global hotspots, due to a high natural biodiversity wealth along with an expressive environment destruction. In this study, we surveyed the knowledge on medicinal use of Cerrado plants held by individuals living in a predominantly Cerrado region. A semi-structured individual questionnaire for qualitative socio-economic characterization and medicinal use of plants was applied to Public Health Service users of the city of Assis, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Assis Regional Hospital (Protocol 4812010). Out of 149 respondents, 90.6% reported knowledge and/or use of plants for therapeutic purposes. Among 115 mentioned plant species, only 11.4% belong to the Cerrado. We also evaluated how matching were the reported uses and the respective published data from scientific studies on the plants’ medicinal properties. It was verified that for the few Cerrado plants cited, the respondents described several medicinal applications not scientifically described. More precisely, 60.5% of all medicinal applications were not found in the scientific literature. Besides that, many of the therapeutic effects described in the literature for the Cerrado species were not cited by the interviewed population. Our results indicate a relative unawareness of people on the medicinal potential of the native species of their residence region. We suggest that strengthening connection between popular and scientific knowledge, along with spreading such knowledge, could contribute for an improved valuation about the Cerrado biome and consecutive preservation of it.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

SANTOS, L. dos ., VIEL, A.M., TAROSSO, L.F.., MOMESSO, L. da S., PALMIERI, D.A.. and SPERA, K.D., 2020. Medicinal plants of the brazilian cerrado: knowing to preserve . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 556–567. [Accessed26 February 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v36n2a2020-42784. Available from:



Biological Sciences