Medicinal plants used in the Huasteca Potosina, México

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Aug 30;143(1):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.06.035. Epub 2012 Jun 28.


Ethnopharmacological importance: Medicinal plants have been a source of medicinal compounds since ancient times. This study documented the use of plant species in traditional medicine in the municipality of Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, México.

Materials and methods: Direct interviews were performed with inhabitants from Aquismón. The interviews were analyzed with two quantitative tools: (a) the informant consensus factor (ICF) that estimates the level of agreement about which medicinal plants may be used for each category and (b) the relative importance (RI) that determines the extent of potential utilization of each species.

Results: A total of 73 plant species with medicinal purposes, belonging to 37 families and used to treat 52 illnesses and 2 cultural filiations were reported by interviewees. Nineteen mixtures with medicinal plants were reported by the interviewers. Matricaria recutita was the most used plant for combinations (five mixtures). The results of the ICF showed that diseases of the digestive and respiratory systems had the greatest agreement. The most versatile species according to their RI are Ruta graveolens, Tagetes erecta, Ocimum basilicum and Erigeron karwinskianus.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that plant species play an important role in healing practices and magical-religious rituals among inhabitants from Huasteca Potosina. Further studies with medicinal flora, including mixtures, from Aquismón are required for the experimental validation of their traditional uses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Digestive System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Magnoliopsida*
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Mexico
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Preparations