Ethnobotanical study of the medicinal plants from Tlanchinol, Hidalgo, México
The people in Mexico still depend upon the use of medicinal plants to treat simple health problems, including those who live in regions like Tlanchinol Hidalgo, where it is still possible to find people who speak the pre-Hispanic Nahua language. This area is surrounded by rain forest, which is more or less well conserved, so ethnopharmacological field studies are quite relevant. The cultural knowledge about the use of medicinal plants converge with the richness in the surrounding flora making this region ideal for the selection of traditionally used medicinal plants. To present the results of an ethnopharmacological field survey conducted in the municipality of Tlanchinol Hidalgo, Mexico analyzed with two different quantitative tools, with the aim of selecting the most important species used in traditional medicine. Direct interviews with the people were performed in several short visits to the municipality of Tlanchinol Hidalgo. The plants were collected, and the species were determined. The interviews were analyzed with two quantitative tools. First, the factor informant consensus highlighted the agreement in the use of plants and the fidelity level defined as: the ratio between the number of informants who independently suggested the use of a species for the same major purpose and the total number of informants who mentioned the plant for any use. Furthermore, we analyzed the use-mentions for the plants. The results of the factor informant consensus showed that the gastrointestinal category had the greatest agreement, followed by the respiratory and dermatological categories. The most important species according to their fidelity are: Coleus blumei, Plantago australis and Lippia dulcis for the gastrointestinal category; Borago officinalis, Foeniculum vulgare, and Eucalyptus globulus for the respiratory category; and Ageratum houstonianum and Solanum nigrescens for the dermatological category. As a result of the present study, we recommend the plants listed in Table 2 for further ethnopharmacological studies, especially Lippia dulcis var Mexicana.