Medicinal plants uses of the Tacana, an Amazonian Bolivian ethnic group

G. Bourdy, S. J. DeWalt, L. R. Chávez De Michel, A. Roca, E. Deharo, Victoria Muñoz Ortiz, L. Balderrama, C. Quenevo, Alberto José Gimenez Turba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


We present the results of an ethnopharmacological investigation of a Bolivian lowland ethnic group, the Tacana. The Tacana have a long tradition of exchange with highland communities. Though facing rapid acculturation, highlighted by the loss of the Tacana language among the younger generations, the knowledge and uses of medicinal plants are still alive. Of the approximately 450 different plant species collected during this survey, 33% had medicinal uses. We present an overview of the traditional Tacana ethnomedicine and pharmacopoeia. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-109
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all of the Tacana informants for their help and desire to share their world with us. We would also like to thank Olinka Pelaud and Xenia Villavicencio, for their help in the translation. A contract was signed between CIPTA (Consejo Indigeno de los Pueblos Tacanas), and UMSA (Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia) for the execution of this project. Research work was financed by FONAMA (Fondo Nacional para el Medio Ambiante), IRD, UMSA, the Ministry of French Cooperation, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Saara DeWalt.


  • Amazonia
  • Bolivia
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Medicinal plants
  • Tacana


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