Medicinal plants in a cocoa plantation in Guápiles, Costa Rica
Vol 2. No 2 (2010)
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Medicinal plants
plant diversity
biocultural diversity
cacao plantation

How to Cite

Contreras Arias, A., & Campregher, C. (2010). Medicinal plants in a cocoa plantation in Guápiles, Costa Rica. UNED Research Journal, 2(2), 231-237.


Costa Rica has a rich medicinal flora of several hundred species. These plants grow in several types of areas, some of which are cultivated. We document the diversity of species in and around a plantation of organic cocoa in Guácimo, Limón, Costa Rica. The plantation produces organic cacao which is exported to Europe. The local population -which lives and works on the plantation- collects a total of 61 medicinal plant species in their home gardens, cocoa plantations, border areas between plantations and roads, and riparian forests inside and near the plantation. None of these plants were found in all four areas. Gardens had the highest diversity. This confirms the importance of gardens and poli-cultivated fields for the conservation of agro-biodiversity and biocultural diversity. Furthermore, we documented 10 species with other important uses, of which one is in danger of extinction. The local population does not have specific knowledge on the preparation and effects of many medicinal plants in their areas: education is needed in this area.
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