Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Ichthyofauna Used in Traditional Medicine in Brazil

By Ana Carla Asfora El-Deir, Carolina Alves Collier, Miguel Santana de Almeida Neto, Karina Maria de Souza Silva, Iamara da Silva Policarpo, Thiago Antonio S. Araújo, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves, Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque and Geraldo Jorge Barbosa de Moura


Fish represent the group of vertebrates with the largest number of species and the largest geographic distribution; they are also used in different ways by modern civilizations. The goal of this study was to compile the current knowledge on the use of ichthyofauna in zootherapeutic practices in Brazil, including ecological and conservational commentary on the species recorded. We recorded a total of 85 species (44 fresh-water species and 41 salt-water species) used for medicinal purposes in Brazil. The three most commonly cited species were Hoplias malabaricus, Hippocampus reidi, and Electrophorus electricus. In terms of conservation status, 65% of species are in the “not evaluated” category, and 14% are in the “insufficient data” category. Three species are in the “vulnerable” category: Atlantoraja cyclophora, Balistes vetula, and Hippocampus erectus. Currently, we cannot avoid considering human pressure on the population dynamics of these species, which is an essential variable for the conservation of the species and the ecosystems in which they live and for the perpetuation of traditional medical practices

Topics: Review Article
Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

Suggested articles


  1. A .B e g o s s i ,R .A .M .S i l v a n o ,B .D .D oA m a r a l ,a n dO .T . Oyakawa, “Uses of fish and game by inhabitants of an extractive reserve (Upper Juru´ a,
  2. (2001). A Cultura Pesqueira do Litoral Norte da Bahia: Etnoictiologia, Desenvolvimento e Sustentabilidade,
  3. (2003). A Question of Attitude: South Korea’s Traditional Medicine Practitioners and Wildlife Conservation, Traffic East Asia, Hong Kong,
  4. (2004). A zooterapia no Recife (Pernambuco): uma articulac ¸˜ ao entre as pr´ aticas e a hist´ oria,”
  5. (2011). A zooterapia popular no Estado da Bahia: registro de novas esp´ ecies animais utilizadas como recursos medicinais,”
  6. (1992). A.Begossi,“Food taboos atBuzios Island(Brazil):theirsignificance and relation to folk medicine,”
  7. (2006). A.C.O.SilvaandU.P.Albuquerque,“Woodymedicinalplants of the caatinga in the state of Pernambuco (Northeast Brazil),”
  8. (2008). Animais medicinais: conhecimento e uso entre as populac ¸˜ oes ribeirinhas do rio Negro,
  9. (2008). Animal products in traditional medicine from Attappady Hills of
  10. (2010). Animal species traded as ethnomedicinal resources in the federal district, central west region of
  11. (2005). Animal-based medicines: biological prospection and the sustainable use of zootherapeutic resources,”
  12. (2008). Animal-based remedies as complementary medicines in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe,
  13. (2011). Animal-based remedies as complementary medicines in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,
  14. (2006). Antinociceptive effects of tetrodotoxin (TTX) in rodents,”
  15. (2006). As pesquisas etnodirigid a sn ad e s c o b e r t ad en o v o sf ´ armacos de interesse m´ edico e farmacˆ eutico: fragilidades e pespectivas,”
  16. (2002). Aspectos da produc ¸˜ ao comercial de plantas medicinais nativas,” CPQBA-UNICAMP,
  17. (2007). BioEstat 5.0—Aplicac ¸˜ oes estat´ ısticas nas ´ areas das ciˆ encias bio-m´ edicas, Universidade Federal do Par´ a, Par´ a,
  18. (2002). C o s t a - N e t o ,C .V .D i a s ,a n dM .N .D eM e l o ,“ Oc o n -hecimento ictiol´ ogico tradicional dos pescadores da cidade de
  19. (2003). Cat´ alogo das Esp´ ecies de Peixes Marinhos do
  20. (2000). Cockroach is good for asthma: zootherapeutic practices in
  21. (2000). Conhecimento e usos tradicionais de recursos faun´ ısticos por uma comunidade Afro-Brasileira. Resultados preliminaires,”
  22. (1999). E.M.Costa-Neto,“Traditionaluseandsaleofanimalsasmedicines in Feira de Santana City,
  23. Estado da arte zooterapia popular no Brasil,” in Zooterapia: Os Animais na Medicina Popular Brasileira,E .M .C o s t a - N e t oa n dR
  24. (2001). Ethnozoology of fishing communities from Ilha Grande (Atlantic Forest Coast,
  25. (2009). Etnoictiologia de pescadores profissionaisartesanaisdosriosAraguaiaeGarc ¸asnosmunic´ ı-pios de Barra do Garc ¸a s ,M T ,P o n t a ld oA ra g u a i aeA ra g a r c ¸as,”
  26. (2009). F e r r e i r a ,A .V .B r i t o ,S .C .R i b e i r o ,A .A .F .S a r a i v a
  27. (2009). F e r r e i r a ,S .V .B r i t o ,S .C .R i b e i r o ,W .O .A l m e i d a ,a n dR
  28. (2009). Fauna used in popular medicine in Northeast Brazil,”
  29. (1996). Faunistic resources used as medicines by an Afro-brazilian community from Chapada Diamantina National Park,
  30. (2000). Faunistic resources usedasmedicinesbyartisanalfishermenfromsiribinhabeach, state of Bahia,
  31. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication,” version (06/2011),
  32. (1992). Food taboos and folk medicine among fishermen from the Tocantins River (Brazil),”
  33. (2006). From cnidarians to mammals: the use of animals as remedies in fishing communities in
  34. (1998). Immunonutrition: the role of ω-3 fatty acids,”
  35. (2004). Implications and applications of folk zootherapy in the state of Bahia,
  36. (2000). Introduced plants in the indigenous pharmacopoeia of northern
  37. (2000). Knowledge and use of biodiversity
  38. (2009). L´ e oN e t o ,S .E .B r o o k s ,a n dU .P .A l b u -querque, “Commercialization of animal-derived remedies as complementary medicine in the semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil,”
  39. (2005). o s a ,R .R .N .A l v e s ,K .M .B o n i f ´ acio et al., “Fishers’ knowledge and seahorse conservation in
  40. (2006). P a d e r a ,J .Y .T s e ,E .B e l l a s ,a n dD .S .K o h a n e ,“ T e t r o -dotoxin for prolonged local anesthesia with minimal myotoxicity,”
  41. (2006). Plants and animals utilized as medicines in the Ja´ u National Park (JNP),
  42. (2005). Primeiro registro da utilizac ¸˜ ao medicinal de recursos pesqueiros na cidade de
  43. (2007). public health: where do they meet?”
  44. (2011). R o s a ,T .P .R .O l i v e i r a ,F .M .O s´ orio et al., “Fisheries and trade of seahorses in Brazil: historical perspective, current trends, and future directions,”
  45. (2007). R.R.N.AlvesandI.L.Rosa,“Zootherapygoestotown:theuse of animal-based remedies in urban areas of
  46. (2008). Tetrodotoxin for moderate to severe cancer pain: a randomized, double blind, parallel design multicenter study,” J o u r n a lo fP a i na n d Symptom Management,
  47. (2011). The faunal drugstore: animal-based remedies used in traditional medicines in
  48. (2003). The impacts of forest degradation on medicinal plant use and implications for health care in eastern
  49. (2010). The medicinal animal markets in the metropolitan region of Natal City,
  50. (2007). The role of animal-derived remedies as complementary medicine in
  51. (2010). Trade of animals used in Brazilian traditional medicine: trends and implications for conservation,”
  52. (2003). Traditional healing with animals (zootherapy): medieval to present-day Levantine practice,”
  53. (2010). Um ch´ a de que?”. Animais utilizados no preparo tradicional de bebidas medicinais no agreste paraibano,”
  54. (2002). Uso e conservac ¸˜ ao de plantas e animais medicevais no Estado de Prnambuco (Nordeste do Brasil): um estudo de caso,”
  55. (2005). Why study the use of animal products in traditional medicines?”
  56. Zooter´ apicos utilizados em comunidades rurais do munic´ ıpio de Sum´ e,
  57. (2008). Zooterapia popular na Chapada Diamantina: uma medicina incidental?”
  58. (2007). Zootherapeutic practices among fishing communities in North and Northeast Brazil: a comparison,”

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.