Utilitarian redundancy, plant evolutionary history, and medicinal plant use patterns among the Shipibo-Konibo in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest.
The research focuses on how the evolutionary relationship between medicinal plants may affect the therapeutic use, local preference and harvesting practices of the Shipibo-Konibo community of Paoyhan, an indigenous community, located in the Ucayali river region of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Interviews and group discussions with local plant experts were conducted and observed medicinal plant use. Then, a plant evolutionary tree and statistical models were used to examine the relationships between medicinal plant use patterns and local harvesting practices. Results showed that medicinal plants that have similar therapeutic uses by local people experience greater levels of harvest than medicinal plants with unique uses to treat a given illness. It showed how the evolutionary relationship between medicinal plants may affect local medicinal plant use patterns and harvesting practices.