Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

El uso de las plantas medicinales y el conocimiento para los residentes basado en la edad y la educación



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Publication Date

December 2006


Approximately 80% of the world population relies on medicinal plants from the forest, home gardens, or market as a primary form of healthcare (Alcorn 1995). However, increased development and deforestation in recent years may be compromising the practice of natural medicine among the inhabitants of many developing countries. Interviews with 33 residents of Monteverde, Cost Rica examine both the current level of knowledge concerning natural medicine and its practice based upon age and educational level. Statistically significant positive linear relationships were found between both utilization and knowledge of medicinal plants and age. Knowledge and utilization of medicinal plants decreased weakly with increasing educational level; however age may be a confounding variable, as education was correlated with age. Despite the lower number of natural treatments cited by the youngest participants, the practice of natural medicine is indeed still prevalent among residents of Monteverde, demonstrated by the average number of ailments for which participants used medicinal plants, 11 out of 16. As the species of plants cited are mostly exotics or garden-variety natives, the results of this study do not have strong implications for conservation. Nevertheless, considering the lack of affordability of pharmaceutical products, it is fortunate that medicinal plant knowledge has survived in this community. Aproximadamente el 80% de la población mundial recurre a las plantas medicinales del bosque, los jardines, o en el mercado como una forma primaria de mantenerse con salud (Alcorn, 1995). Sin embargo, en los últimos años ha aumentado el desarrollo y la deforestación que pueden poner en peligro la práctica de la medicina natural entre los habitantes de muchos países en desarrollo. Entreviste a 33 residentes de Monteverde, Costa Rica para examinar el nivel de conocimiento sobre la medicina natural y su práctica con respecto a la edad y el nivel de educación.


Botany, Medical, Botanica, Medicina, Sociology and economics, Sociologia y economia, Medicinal plants, Plantas medicinales, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde, CIEE Fall 2006, CIEE Otoño 2006


Student affiliation : Department of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University Born Digital

Subject: topical

Botany, Medical; Botanica, Medicina; Sociology and economics; Sociologia y economia; Medicinal plants; Plantas medicinales; CIEE Fall 2006; CIEE Otoño 2006

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Medicinal plant use and knowledge for Monteverde residents based on age and education



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