Across the world, people rely on medicinal plants for their primary health needs, and scientists agree that one in four "modern" medicines derive from rainforest plants. Yet, the destruction continues apace and species become extinct every year. Our goal is to promote the conservation of medicinal plants in Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest, rescuing, documenting, and sharing traditional knowledge about their uses by promoting a sustainable income-based relationship between the community and forest.
The Atlantic Rainforest is one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots. Sadly, its extraordinary richness of species has been severely affected by deforestation, poor land management, and the effects of climate change. The forest suffers, and so do the forest people, including the women who are traditional guardians of the medicinal lore of the forest.
Our solution is threefold: 1-We work with local community members to research and catalog forest medicinal plants through an ethnobotanical study. 2-We promote research into sustainable products of the forest. We are distilling many native aromatic medicinal plants, studying their biochemical compounds, and coming up with soaps, shampoos, and deodorants made with these essential oils. 3-We exchange knowledge on medicinal plants about natural products.
Living in a patriarchal society, rural women are frequently unaware of their true value, unaccustomed and often unwilling to make their voices heard. Through celebrating their knowledge and fostering a sense of community, we help empower them to value themselves and their environment. By reviving traditional uses, and developing new ones, we are together creating economic opportunities, building their self esteem and encouraging them to play a more active role as guardians of the forest plants.