A brief review of the medical use of fauna in Brazil: conservationist, historical, and pharmacological aspects

Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto, Washington L. S. Vieira, Paulo Fernando Guedes Montenegro, Humberto Nóbrega Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves


The treatment of human and animal aliments by using drugs based on extracts obtained from animals, or ultimately derived
from them, is known as zootherapy. Although this is a relatively common practice, studies on this subject are relatively
scarce when compared to those that are focused on traditional plant-based medicines. In Brazil, 326 animals are exploited
for medicinal purposes, most of which are wild species. The number of literature records on the medicinal uses of animals
is much lower than those on the use of medicinal plants and their implications, which suggests the need to develop more
research on the topic. Among the many factors that highlight the importance of a greater understanding of zootherapy, are:
historical perspectives, aspects related to conservation, the validation of traditional medicines, and the difficulties in
developing research on the medicinal fauna. In this study, we provide a brief discussion of each topic.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/scb71


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