Gesneriaceae:
Ethnobotany
 

 

Though Gesneriaceae do not contain significant and widely used medicinal plants, a number of species have been (or still are) widely used by the indigenous people of tropical America and Asia. First detailed studies on gesneriad ethnobotany were carried out by Kvist (1986) and Kvist & Holm-Nielsen (1987) in Ecuador. A survey on medicinally used neotropical gesneriads was given by Wiehler (1995). At present, a compilation of worldwide ethnobotanically and medicinally used Gesneriaceae is made by Eberwein, Kvist & Weber (in prep.). Uses are extremely manifold, and no principal or predominant use of Gesneriaceae can be quoted.

Here a few examples from the larger genera:

Species Use Country

Aeschynanthus parviflorus

Fertility promotion

Nepal

Besleria calantha

Against snakebites

Ecuador

Columnea sulfurea

Against diarrhoea

Belize

Codonanthe crassifolia

For curing colds and cough

Central America

Cyrtandra pendula

Against fever, after childbirth

Malaysia

Didymocarpus aromaticus

Aromatic tea

North India, Nepal

Drymonia serrulata

Curing skin eczema

Ecuador

Kohleria hirsuta

Remedy for kidney afflictions

Colombia, Venezuela

Loxostigma griffithii

To cure venereal diseases

China

Sinniniga tubiflora

Purgative

Argentina

 
 

Previous Section

Next Section