Traditional plants of Ecuador used in herbal medicine

A study conducted by researchers from the Temple University in Philadelphia, and Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo in Riobamba, Ecuador explored different traditional plants used in herbal medicine by ancestral healers in the Chimborazo province. The study titled Medicinal plants used in traditional herbal medicine in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador focused on the curative properties of 10 most used medicinal plants in the Chimborazo province to treat different illnesses and other medicinal uses.

  • The study, which spanned from February 2012 to December 2014, involved direct interviews with 84 out of 503 traditional healers registered in 2012 from the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador.
  • The researchers took note of different variables such as names of the plants frequently mentioned by the healers; the diseases they cured; the origin of the plants; and the parts of the plants frequently used for healing purposes.
  • The survey showed that the use of medicinal plants by women was higher (66.7 percent) than by men (33.3 percent).
  • Based on the findings, chamomile was the medicinal plant most employed in the Chimborazo province. The medicinal effects of the plant are due to the activity of their flavonoids with antioxidant properties. The rest of the 10 most frequently used medicinal plants in Chimborazo include nettle, ragweed, rue, eucalyptus, plantain, feverfew, borage, field horsetail and mallow.
  • These medicinal plants have been used for centuries to cure illnesses such as stomach ache, body pain, sore throat and cough, fever, inflammation, bleeding and injuries, and for body purification and cleansing the body of negative energy.

The practice of using medicinal plants in traditional healing has been passed from generation to generation for centuries. Through the study, the researchers confirmed that native Ecuadorians have a vast variety of traditional medicinal practices that are of great value to the people and a big part of their culture.

See the full text of the study at this link.


Journal reference:

Morales FCA, Padilla S, Falconí F. MEDICINAL PLANTS USED IN TRADITIONAL HERBAL MEDICINE IN THE PROVINCE OF CHIMBORAZO, ECUADOR. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines, 2016;14(1):10–15. DOI:

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