LADIO Ana Haydee
The usefulness of edible and medicinal Fabaceae in Argentine and Chilean Patagonia: environmental availability and other sources of supply.
MOLARES, SOLEDAD; LADIO A H
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Año: 2012 p. 1 - 12
Fabaceae is a family of great ethnobotanical importance in indigenous and urban communities throughout the world. This work presents a revision of the use of Fabaceae as a food and/or medicinal resource in Argentine-Chilean Patagonia. It is based on a bibliographical analysis of 27 ethnobotanical sources and catalogues of regional flora. Approximately 234 wild Fabaceae species grow in Patagonia, mainly (60%) in phytogeographically arid environments, whilst the remainder belong to Sub-Antarctic forest. It was found that 12.8% (30 species), mainly woody, conspicuous plants, are collected for food or medicines. Most of the species used grow in arid environments. Between 35% and 55% of the total grow in more than one gathering environment, possibly due to the repetition of exotic species. Cultivation and purchase/barter enrich the Fabaceae offer, bringing it up to a total of 63 species. The richness of native and exotic species, and the existence of multiple strategies for obtaining these plants, indicates hybridization of knowledge and practices. Only 22% of the total species used are mentioned in both contexts of food and medicine, reflecting low use complementation. This study suggests a significant ecological appearance and a high level of availability in shops and exchange networks of Fabaceae in Patagonia, highlighting the need to consider the full set of environmental and socioeconomic factors in research related to the use and cultural importance of plants in regional contexts.