Ethnobotanical research in Cava de' Tirreni area, Southern Italy.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:To best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative ethnobotanical study with the aim of documenting the local knowledge and practices of using plants for curing diseases in the Cava de' Tirreni area, Salerno Province, Campania Region, Italy. The present ethnobotanical field study, carried out during 2016-2017, documents the local uses of 119 plant species for medicinal, food and domestic purposes. METHODS:Ethnobotanical data were documented from 70 informants: field data were collected and information on the uses of plants was gathered through semi-structured and structured interviews with persons who still retain traditional ethnobotanical knowledge. Documented data were evaluated using the quantitative ethnobotanical index of use value (UV). RESULTS:Overall, the informants native of the area were interviewed and 277 use-reports have been recorded. The scientific names, local names, plant part used, preparation and administration processes are reported and compared with practices in other Southern Italian regions. In total, 101 species are documented as medicinal, 36 as food or food aromatizer, 29 for domestic and handicraft uses, 10 in veterinary medicine. More or less 64% of all species have more uses and over half of the food plants (23 species) are also used for medicinal purposes. CONCLUSIONS:The comparison of the documented species and their uses with ethnobotanical literature of other Italian regions reveals that the traditional plant knowledge in this area shows strong similarities with adjacent Southern Italian areas. Some of the recorded species and administration processes however seem to be unique for the zone.
Project description:Present paper offers considerable information on traditional uses of medicinal plants by the inhabitants of Hafizabad district, Punjab-Pakistan. This is the first quantitative ethnobotanical study from the area comprising popularity level of medicinal plant species intendedby using relative popularity level (RPL) and rank order priority (ROP) indices.Ethnobotanical data were collected by interviewing 166 local informants and 35 traditional health practioners (THPs) from different localities of Hafizabad district. Demographic features of informants; life form, part used, methods of preparation, modes of application and ethnomedicinal uses were documented. Ethnobotanical data were analyzed using quantitative tools, i.e. Relative frequency citation (RFC), use value (UV), informant consensus factor (ICF) fidelity level (FL), RPL and ROP indices. A total of 85 species belonging to 71 genera and 34 families were documented along with ethnomedicinal uses. Solanum surattense, Withania somnifera, Cyperus rotundus, Solanum nigrum and Melia azedarach were the most utilized medicinal plant species with highest used value. The reported ailments were classified into 11 disease categories based on ICF values and highest number of plant species was reported to treat dermatological and gastrointestinal disorders. Withania somnifera and Ranunculus sceleratus with maximum FL (100%), were used against gastrointestinal and urinary disorders, respectively. The RPL and ROP values were calculated to recognize the folk medicinal plant wealth; six out of 32 plant species (19%) were found popular, based on citation by more than half of the maximum number of informant viz. 26. Consequently, the ROP value for these species was more than 75. The comparative assessment with reported literature revealed 15% resemblance and 6% variation to previous data;however79% uses of the reported species were recorded for the first time. The diversity of medicinal plant species and associated traditional knowledge is significant in primary health care system. Medicinal plant species with high RPL values should be screened for comprehensive phytochemical and pharmacological studies. This could be useful in novel drug discovery and to validate the ethomendicinal knowledge.
Project description:Most of traditional knowledge about plants and their uses is fast disappearing because of socio-economic and land use changes. This trend is also occurring in bio-cultural refugia, such as mountain areas. New data on Traditional Ethnobotanical Knowledge (TEK) of Italian alpine regions were collected relating to three valleys (Cogne, Valsavarenche, Rhêmes) of the Gran Paradiso National Park. Extensive dialogues and semi-structured interviews with 68 native informants (30 men, 38 women; mean age 70) were carried out between 2017 and 2019. A total of 3918 reports were collected, concerning 217 taxa (including 10 mushrooms, 1 lichen) mainly used for medicinal (42%) and food (33%) purposes. Minor uses were related to liquor making (7%), domestic (7%), veterinary (5%), forage (4%), cosmetic (1%) and other (2%). Medicinal plants were used to treat 14 ailment categories, of which the most important were respiratory (22%), digestive (19%), skin (13%), musculoskeletal (10%) and genitourinary (10%) diseases. Data were also evaluated by quantitative ethnobotanical indexes. The results show a rich and alive traditional knowledge concerning plants uses in the Gran Paradiso National Park. Plants resources may provide new opportunities from the scientific point of view, for the valorization of local products for health community and for sustainable land management.
Project description:Studies on medicinal ethnobotany in rural areas and communities are important for documentation and generation of indigenous knowledge on the medicinal use of plants, as well as identification of new botanicals of pharmacological significance. This paper presents, for the first time, the quantitative ethnobotanical uses of medicinal plants in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. The ethnobotanical survey was carried out by conducting semistructured interviews with 70 informants/collaborators. Data were analyzed using various quantitative indices, namely, Ethnobotanical Knowledge Index (EKI), Species Popularity Index (SPI), Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC), Cultural Importance Index (CII), Informant Consensus Factor (F<sub>IC</sub>), Fidelity Level (FL), and Species Therapeutic Index (STI). A total of 87 plant species belonging to 43 families were documented along with their medicinal uses. Euphorbiaceae is the most implicated family (9%) of the plants documented, and herbs (36%) were the prevalent life form while leaf (46%) was the most used plant part. Fevers are the most common diseases treated with the medicinal plants with 1012 use-reports, followed by skin diseases with 314 use-reports while the most common mode of preparation is decoction (37%). <i>Telfaria occidentalis</i> has the highest SPI and RFC (0.99, 0.99) while <i>Khaya grandifoliola</i> has the highest CII of 1.91. The community has EKI of 0.57 indicating a good knowledge of medicinal plants around them. Species such as <i>Citrus aurantifolia, Khaya grandifoliola</i>, and <i>Ocimum gratissimum</i> have high quantitative indices suggesting that they are effective in the treatment of various diseases in the community and therefore should be considered for pharmacological studies to validate their folkloric usages.
Project description:The traditional knowledge about plants and their uses in Turkey is disappearing in recent years because the new generations of villagers migrate to big cities for a better life. Afyonkarahisar located at the intersection of roads and phytogeographical regions (Mediterranean, Iran-Turan, and Euro-Siberian) has more than 2500 plant species. This richness of plant diversity promotes the indigenous commuity for the traditional use of wild plants. The aim of the study is to show wild plants' ethnobotanical usages associated with medicinal, food, fodder, and household goods in 31 settlements within the boundaries of Afyonkarahisar province.The ethnobotanical data were collected from 46 informants by means of semi-structured interviews from 2012 to 2014. Ethnobotanical uses of plants of the study area were conducted in the vicinity of Afyonkarahisar (5 districts, 8 towns, 15 villages, and 3 neighborhood centers).One hundred and thirty plant taxa belonging to 39 families were recorded and collected. Hundred and seventy-eight different uses of these plants were documented and used generally for medicinal (84), food (68), fodder (16), household goods (3), dyes (3), handicrafts (3) and religious (1).This study provides interesting uses of plants in the local community of Afyonkarahisar and its surrounding area, in what purpose they make use of plants, how they make use of them and obtained results will contribute to economy of villagers. Since the local people, especially in villages, are poor and do not have health care, they use the plants to treat illnesses, food, fodder, household goods and other uses (evil eye). Also this study will light the way for posterity for next generations.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>This study has focused on the Garrigues district, one of the most arid regions in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula), which, in general terms, has remained unexplored from the ethnobotanical point of view. This area, of 22,243 inhabitants, comprises 33 municipalities distributed across 1123.12?km<sup>2</sup>. The natural vegetation is dominated by holm oak forests and maquis called 'garriga', the latter giving its name to the district. During the last few decades, this landscape has been transformed by agricultural activities, nowadays in recession. The main aim of this work was to collect and analyse the ethnoflora of this area in order to fill a gap in the ethnobotanical knowledge in Catalonia.<h4>Methods</h4>The followed methodology was based on semi-structured interviews. The obtained data have been qualitatively and quantitatively analysed and compared with other available ones.<h4>Results</h4>Data were gathered from 68 interviews involving 101 informants, whose ages range from 24 to 94, the mean being 73.07. The number of taxa reported in this study was 420, belonging to 99 botanical families. The interviewed informants referred 4715 use reports (UR) of 346 useful taxa, 1741 (36.93) of them corresponding to medicinal uses, 1705 (36.16%) to food uses, and 1269 (26.91%) to other uses. This study has inventoried, apart from individual plant uses, 260 plant mixtures, of which 98 are medicinal and 162 food. In the present study, 849 vernacular names with 116 phonetic variants have been collected, as well, for 410 taxa. The informant consensus factor (F<sub>IC</sub>) obtained for our interviewees is 0.93, and the ethnobotanicity index is 23.47% for the studied area. Apart from plants belonging to the typical Catalan, Iberian or European ethnofloras, the present work contributes information on some plants from semiarid or arid regions, such as Artemisia herba-alba and Plantago albicans, much rarer in the ethnobotany of the quoted areas.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of this study reveal the persistence of ethnobotanical knowledge in the prospected area and the importance of filling the existing gaps in the ethnofloristic sampling of the Catalan territories. The almost complete dataset, now including some arid territories, will allow us to carry out a global analysis and to provide an accurate overview.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>This research was performed in an area belonging to the province of the city of Bologna (Emilia-Romagna region, Northern Italy). The purpose of the present survey was to record the local knowledge concerning traditional uses of wild food plants and related practices, such as gathering, processing, cooking, therapeutic uses, with the aim of preserving an important part of the local cultural heritage.<h4>Methods</h4>Thirty-nine people still retaining Traditional Local Knowledge (TLK) were interviewed between March-April 2012 and September-October 2013 by means of open and semi-structured ethnobotanical interviews. For each plant species mentioned, we recorded the botanical family, the English common name, the Italian common and/or folk names, the parts of the plant used, the culinary preparation, and the medicinal usage. The relative frequency of citation index (RFC), a tool that measures the local cultural importance of a plant species, was also included.<h4>Results</h4>The folk plants mentioned by the respondents belonged to 33 botanical families, of which the Rosaceae (14 plants) and the Asteraceae (9 plants) were the most representative. The species with the highest RFC index (0.77) were Crepis vesicaria subsp. taraxacifolia (Thuill) Thell and Taraxacum officinale Weber. Eleven folk plants were indicated as having therapeutic effects. T. officinale Weber, C. vesicaria subsp. taraxacifolia (Thuill) Thell and Sonchus spp., which are used as food, were reported to be depurative, blood cleaning, refreshing, diuretic and laxative. The most commonly used species was Urtica spp, which was also the most frequently cited for medicinal uses.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The present survey documented the wild food plant traditional knowledge of an area belonging to the province of the city of Bologna (Emilia-Romagna region, Northern Italy). The general perception obtained is that on one side the TLK related to wild food plants has strongly been eroded, mainly due to immigration and urbanization phenomena, whereas on the other side these plants are revaluated today because they are perceived as healthy and also because they represent the preservation of biodiversity and a way of getting back to nature.
Project description:The Naxi of Northwest Yunnan, China use medicinal plants to treat skin conditions related to traditional lifestyles in extreme environments. However, modernization endangers both the medicinal plants used to treat skin conditions and traditional knowledge. Therefore, investigation and documentation of the medicinal plants used and associated traditional knowledge is necessary. In this study, we conducted an ethnobotanical survey in 12 Naxi communities in Northwest Yunnan. For this purpose, we used semi-structured surveys to interview 840 informants from Naxi communities. We used informant consensus factor and use frequency as quantitative indices to evaluate the importance of medicinal plant species. A total of 161 medicinal plant species belonging to 69 families were documented. The highest informant consensus factor (ICF) values were recorded for skin nourishing (ICF = 0.849), frostbite and chapped skin (ICF = 0.833). These skin treatments are highly related to the environment and lifestyle of Naxi communities. The main active compounds of plants used to treat skin conditions in Naxi communities are known to have skin-treating properties. This study reveals that the skin conditions treated by the Naxi are associated with traditional medicine culture and social economic development. In addition, this study uses ethnobotanical indices to explain how skin condition treatments are linked to the natural environment of Naxi communities.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Most of the traditional knowledge about plants and their uses is fast disappearing as a consequence of socio-economic and land use changes. This trend is also occurring in areas that are historically exposed to very few external influences, such as Sardinia (Italy). From 2004 to 2005, an ethnobotanical investigation was carried out in the area of Monte Ortobene, a mountain located near Nuoro, in central Sardinia. METHODS: Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews. All the records - defined as 'citations', i.e. a single use reported for a single botanical species by a single informant - were filed in a data base ('analytical table'), together with additional information: i.e. local names of plants, parts used, local frequencies, and habitats of plants, etc. In processing the data, plants and uses were grouped into general ('categories') and detailed ('secondary categories') typologies of use. Some synthetic indexes have also been used, such as Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC), Cultural Importance Index (CI), the Shannon-Wiener Index (H'), and Evenness Index (J). RESULTS: Seventy-two plants were cited by the informants as being traditionally used in the area. These 72 'ethnospecies' correspond to 99 botanical taxa (species or subspecies) belonging to 34 families. Three-hundred and one citations, 50 secondary categories of use, and 191 different uses were recorded, most of them concerning alimentary and medicinal plants. For the alimentary plants, 126 citations, 44 species, and 13 different uses were recorded, while for the medicinal plants, there were 106 citations, 40 species, and 12 uses. Few plants and uses were recorded for the remaining categories. Plants and uses for each category of use are discussed. Analyses of results include the relative abundance of botanical families, wild vs. cultivated species, habitats, frequency, parts of plant used, types of use, knowledge distribution, and the different cultural importance of the species in question. CONCLUSION: The study provides examples of several interesting uses of plants in the community, which would seem to show that the custom of using wild plants is still alive in the Monte Ortobene area. However, many practices are no longer in use, and survive only as memories from the past in the minds of elderly people, and often only in one or just a few informants. This rapidly vanishing cultural diversity needs to be studied and documented before it disappears definitively.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Starting from the ancient time, the people of Ethiopia use medicinal plants as traditional medicine to heal different human and livestock ailments. This ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants was carried out in Ganta Afeshum District, Eastern Zone of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia, to identify medicinal plant species used by the local community to treat various human and livestock ailments. METHODS:A total of 78 informants (54 men and 24 women) were selected to collect ethnobotanical information from four study sites. Among the 78 informants, 20 key informants were selected purposefully; the other 58 informants were selected randomly by lottery method. Ethnobotanical data were collected using semi-structured interviews, field observations, guided field walks, and group discussions and were analyzed by preference ranking, paired comparison, direct matrix ranking, informant consensus factor, fidelity level (FL), use-value, independent samples t test, and Pearson correlation coefficients. RESULTS:A total of 173 medicinal plants were collected and identified that were distributed across 77 families and 156 genera. The family Fabaceae stood first by contributing 17 (9.8%) species followed by Lamiaceae and Solanaceae with 9 (5.2%) species each. Rhamnus prinoides was reported for the treatment of many of the described diseases. One hundred sixteen (67.1%) medicinal plant species were collected from natural vegetation, 34 (19.7) were from home gardens, 13 (7.5%) from farmland, and 10 (5.8%) were from natural vegetation and home gardens. The most widely used life form was herbs (69 species, 39.9%) followed by shrubs (58 species, 33.5%). The most commonly used part of the medicinal plants was the leaves followed by roots. The plants were prepared by grinding, powdering, squeezing, roasting, and burning and were administered through oral, dermal, nasal, anal, ocular, and vaginal, and on the surface of the teeth. The most commonly used applications were by drinking, smearing, eating, fumigation, and chewing. There was no difference between men and women informants, showing that the two sexes had similar knowledge in the use of traditional medicinal plants. Educational level and medicinal plant knowledge of informants were negatively correlated; whereas age and medicinal plant knowledge of informants were positively correlated. CONCLUSIONS:Ganta Afeshum District is relatively rich in diversity of medicinal plant resources accompanied with a rich indigenous knowledge within the local communities to harvest and effectively use to prevent different human and livestock ailments. However, nowadays, deforestation, agricultural expansion, overgrazing, drought, and overexploitation are threatening these properties. Therefore, people of the study area should apply complementary conservation approaches (in situ and ex situ) for sustainable use of these resources and to prevent species extinction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Most regions of Myanmar fall within the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot and are threatened with biodiversity loss. Development of a comprehensive framework for sustainable development is crucial. Figs are ecological keystone species within these regions and are also important for traditional spiritual food and health uses, which often have accompanying conservation practices. The traditional use and management of figs may offer clues to help guide the development of national policies for sustainable development. In this study, we showcase the rich ethnobotanical knowledge as well as the variety of collection and conservation practices of figs among five ethnic groups in Southern Shan State. METHODS:We performed both key informant and semi-structured interviews with 114 informants from five ethnic groups. Their uses for figs were categorized according to local practices and recipes. Informants were asked about trends in conservation status over the past 10?years and any conservation-related customs and practices. Data were analyzed quantitatively with common quantitative ethnobotany indices, the use report (UR) and use value (UV). RESULTS:Informants reported the uses of eight fig species (Ficus auricularta, F. concinna, F. geniculata, F. hispida, F. racemosa, F. religiosa, F. semicordata, and F. virens). F. geniculata and F. virens were most useful (UR?=?228) and were used by all five ethnic groups, corresponding to a high use value (UV?=?2). Treatments for 16 diseases were reported from seven species. Household consumption, economic and sacred uses were accompanied by sustainable practices of harvest and protection. Traditional taboos, in situ and ex situ conservation were common especially for highly demanded species (F. geniculata and F. virens) and the sacred fig F. religiosa. CONCLUSION:Findings suggest that figs are useful for food (all informants) and medicine (13.16% of the informants) in the study area. Traditional taboos, in situ and ex situ conservation practices help to maintain sustainable utilization of locally important figs. This is an early contribution to the traditional knowledge of edible figs. Although similar uses have been reported in neighboring countries for seven of the fig species, the ethnobotanical use of F. concinna is novel.