From Local Ancestral Practices to Universal Antiviral Uses: Medicinal Plants Used among Indigenous Communities in Ecuadorian Highlands
Fernando Ortega, Marleen Haboud, Ernesto Farinango, Luis Farinango, Fernando Ortega

Abstract
This article summarizes the common uses of medicinal plants among the indigenous populations of three rural communities located in the Ecuadorian Highlands. Quichua and Spanish names of one hundred seven different medicinal plants have been provided by the elders of these communities as part of an effort to recover, maintain and share their knowledge and practices with the younger generations. Most plant species identified are used with medicinal purposes and prescribed for external and/or internal use. External use for the following ailments: skin abscesses, wounds, scabies, body pain, joint and bone pain, eye inflammation, toothache, colds, rainbow skin lesions, malaire, fright, among others. Internal use for: stomach pain, “internal” fever, body aches, anemia, diarrhea, menstruation cramps, cough, urinary inflammatory processes, “attacks and fainting”, and other disorders. At least four of the species advised for respiratory constrains have antiviral activity probably also useful to treat COVID 19.

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