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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
BRUNING, Maria Cecilia Ribeiro; MOSEGUI, Gabriela Bittencourt Gonzalez and VIANNA, Cid Manso de Melo. The use of phytotherapy and medicinal plants in primary healthcare units in the cities of Cascavel and Foz do Iguaçu - Paraná: the viewpoint of health professionals. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.10, pp.2675-2685. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012001000017.
Phytotherapy and the use of medicinal plants are part of the practice of folk medicine, which complements treatment traditionally employed for the lower income population. This work analyzed the knowledge of health managers and professionals who work in primary health care (PHC) about phytotherapy in the cities of Cascavel and Foz do Iguaçu in the State of Paraná. An exploratory, descriptive, and qualitative study using a structured questionnaire was conducted between February and July 2009. A health manager manifested interest in introducing the program. The other professionals interviewed did not receive training during undergraduate studies or within the Basic Health Units (BHU) where they work. Six professionals (60%) reported having access to information on phytoterapy through folk wisdom, one (10%) via training in a BHU, two (20%) from journals, four (40%) from the media and four mentioned more than one source. In Foz do Iguaçu, in the BHU where the therapy is deployed, the professionals were not consulted before its implementation. To include phytotherapy in the BHUs of these two cities, it is necessary to train the professionals on the topic, including cultivation and prescription, thereby enhancing the rational use of these medicines.
Keywords : Medicinal plants; Phytotherapy; Health professionals.