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Dermatological remedies in the traditional pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano, inland southern Italy.

Quave CL, Pieroni A, Bennett BC - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2008)

Bottom Line: We also examine the recent decline in knowledge regarding the dermatological pharmacopoeia.The traditional dermatological pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano is based on a dynamic folk medical construct of natural and spiritual illness and healing.Of the total 165 remedies reported, 110 have never before been published in the mainland southern Italian ethnomedical literature.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Ethnobiology and Natural Products, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St,, HLS 320, Miami, FL 33199, USA. cquav001@fiu.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Dermatological remedies make up at least one-third of the traditional pharmacopoeia in southern Italy. The identification of folk remedies for the skin is important both for the preservation of traditional medical knowledge and in the search for novel antimicrobial agents in the treatment of skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI). Our goal is to document traditional remedies from botanical, animal, mineral and industrial sources for the topical treatment of skin ailments. In addition to SSTI remedies for humans, we also discuss certain ethnoveterinary applications.

Methods: Field research was conducted in ten communities in the Vulture-Alto Bradano area of the Basilicata province, southern Italy. We randomly sampled 112 interviewees, stratified by age and gender. After obtaining prior informed consent, we collected data through semi-structured interviews, participant-observation, and small focus groups techniques. Voucher specimens of all cited botanic species were deposited at FTG and HLUC herbaria located in the US and Italy.

Results: We report the preparation and topical application of 116 remedies derived from 38 plant species. Remedies are used to treat laceration, burn wound, wart, inflammation, rash, dental abscess, furuncle, dermatitis, and other conditions. The pharmacopoeia also includes 49 animal remedies derived from sources such as pigs, slugs, and humans. Ethnoveterinary medicine, which incorporates both animal and plant derived remedies, is addressed. We also examine the recent decline in knowledge regarding the dermatological pharmacopoeia.

Conclusion: The traditional dermatological pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano is based on a dynamic folk medical construct of natural and spiritual illness and healing. Remedies are used to treat more than 45 skin and soft tissue conditions of both humans and animals. Of the total 165 remedies reported, 110 have never before been published in the mainland southern Italian ethnomedical literature.

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Map of the study region: the Vulture-Alto Bradano region of Basilicata, southern Italy.
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Figure 1: Map of the study region: the Vulture-Alto Bradano region of Basilicata, southern Italy.

Mentions: Field research was conducted in ten communities situated in the Vulture-Alto Bradano area of Basilicata, Italy from April-July of 2006 (Figure 1). Random sampling techniques were employed to recruit 112 interview subjects. Interviewees were equally stratified by four age groups (21–35, 36–50, 51–70, 71+ years) and gender in order to compare TK levels across different generations. Prior informed consent, as approved by the Florida International University Institutional Review Board (#120505-01), was obtained before conducting interviews. We followed the ethical guidelines adopted by the ICE/International Society of Ethnobiology [15] and Italian Association of Ethno-Anthropologists (AISEA) [16]. We conducted interviews in Italian, took notes, and made audio or video recordings of the interviewees when possible. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and focus groups. Interviewees were questioned about the medicinal uses of the local flora and fauna, particularly those related to the skin. Demographic data regarding each community sampled in the study is reported in Table 1.


Dermatological remedies in the traditional pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano, inland southern Italy.

Quave CL, Pieroni A, Bennett BC - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2008)

Map of the study region: the Vulture-Alto Bradano region of Basilicata, southern Italy.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2275234&req=5

Figure 1: Map of the study region: the Vulture-Alto Bradano region of Basilicata, southern Italy.
Mentions: Field research was conducted in ten communities situated in the Vulture-Alto Bradano area of Basilicata, Italy from April-July of 2006 (Figure 1). Random sampling techniques were employed to recruit 112 interview subjects. Interviewees were equally stratified by four age groups (21–35, 36–50, 51–70, 71+ years) and gender in order to compare TK levels across different generations. Prior informed consent, as approved by the Florida International University Institutional Review Board (#120505-01), was obtained before conducting interviews. We followed the ethical guidelines adopted by the ICE/International Society of Ethnobiology [15] and Italian Association of Ethno-Anthropologists (AISEA) [16]. We conducted interviews in Italian, took notes, and made audio or video recordings of the interviewees when possible. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and focus groups. Interviewees were questioned about the medicinal uses of the local flora and fauna, particularly those related to the skin. Demographic data regarding each community sampled in the study is reported in Table 1.

Bottom Line: We also examine the recent decline in knowledge regarding the dermatological pharmacopoeia.The traditional dermatological pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano is based on a dynamic folk medical construct of natural and spiritual illness and healing.Of the total 165 remedies reported, 110 have never before been published in the mainland southern Italian ethnomedical literature.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Ethnobiology and Natural Products, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St,, HLS 320, Miami, FL 33199, USA. cquav001@fiu.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Dermatological remedies make up at least one-third of the traditional pharmacopoeia in southern Italy. The identification of folk remedies for the skin is important both for the preservation of traditional medical knowledge and in the search for novel antimicrobial agents in the treatment of skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI). Our goal is to document traditional remedies from botanical, animal, mineral and industrial sources for the topical treatment of skin ailments. In addition to SSTI remedies for humans, we also discuss certain ethnoveterinary applications.

Methods: Field research was conducted in ten communities in the Vulture-Alto Bradano area of the Basilicata province, southern Italy. We randomly sampled 112 interviewees, stratified by age and gender. After obtaining prior informed consent, we collected data through semi-structured interviews, participant-observation, and small focus groups techniques. Voucher specimens of all cited botanic species were deposited at FTG and HLUC herbaria located in the US and Italy.

Results: We report the preparation and topical application of 116 remedies derived from 38 plant species. Remedies are used to treat laceration, burn wound, wart, inflammation, rash, dental abscess, furuncle, dermatitis, and other conditions. The pharmacopoeia also includes 49 animal remedies derived from sources such as pigs, slugs, and humans. Ethnoveterinary medicine, which incorporates both animal and plant derived remedies, is addressed. We also examine the recent decline in knowledge regarding the dermatological pharmacopoeia.

Conclusion: The traditional dermatological pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano is based on a dynamic folk medical construct of natural and spiritual illness and healing. Remedies are used to treat more than 45 skin and soft tissue conditions of both humans and animals. Of the total 165 remedies reported, 110 have never before been published in the mainland southern Italian ethnomedical literature.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus