Background: A broad spectrum of medicinal plants are used to treat livestock in rural areas of Brazil. The knowledge brought by the first European colonizers merged with traditional indigenous knowledge to treat domestic animals. With the advance of modern medicine, this knowledge is threatened to disappear. Ethnopharmacological studies in northeastern and the Amazon region of Brazil have been conducted, but influence of east Europeans and ethnopharmacological studies in south Brazil are scarce. To find out which plants are used for what purposes by farmers in the rural area of Ukrainian colonization of Palmital, middle west of Paraná state, Brazil.
Methods: A semi-structured interview was applied through a non-random sampling with residents with experience in animal husbandry following the “snowball” method. The collected information regarded local plant names, parts of plants used, mode of preparation, route of administration, domestic species and disease treated. The interviewees were encouraged to show the plants used. Photographs were taken and specimen were collected for the family, genus, species identification and storage. The ethnobotanical methods of the informant consensus factor (ICF) and use value (UV) were applied and calculated.
Results: 30 women and 20 men reported a total of 45 plant species belonging to 29 families to be used for ethnoveterinary practices. Medicinal plants were used mostly with cattle and goats for 12 different general veterinary uses, with the highest ICF for mastitis and for antiparasitic.
Conclusion: A list of native and introduced medicinal plants could be generated. Most plants were used to treat cattle health problems, as the most important livestock species bred in the community. Similar studies with European communities of immigrants in Brazil are unknown and could be a valuable source of information of how cultural blends translate themselves in the use of medicinal plants.