Limits...
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: 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.

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

Vito Sabato (74 yrs. old) uses mucous produced by the garden slug (Arion hortensis) to treat warts, inflammations, and calluses on the skin.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2275234&req=5

Figure 4: Vito Sabato (74 yrs. old) uses mucous produced by the garden slug (Arion hortensis) to treat warts, inflammations, and calluses on the skin.

Mentions: Therapies involving the slug Arion hortensis, locally known as u' marruculē or lummachē senza guscio (snail without a shell), has been briefly mentioned in previous work by our group [11]. The most popular use of this gastropod is to treat gastritis or stomach ulcer by swallowing it whole and alive. A clear mucous produced by the slug is rubbed onto the skin to treat dermatitis, inflammations, calluses, and acne (Figure 4). The mucous is thought to promote wound healing. In addition, a special ritual is incorporated in the treatment of wart. Mucous from a live slug is first rubbed onto the wart, and then the slug is hung out in the sunshine to dry out and die. It is believed that once the slug has dried up, the wart should as well. A similar remedy for wart involving mucous from an unidentified snail is mentioned in Guarrera's work in Latium, Central Italy [30]. This may, however, be a reference to the same species of garden slug.


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

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

Vito Sabato (74 yrs. old) uses mucous produced by the garden slug (Arion hortensis) to treat warts, inflammations, and calluses on the skin.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Vito Sabato (74 yrs. old) uses mucous produced by the garden slug (Arion hortensis) to treat warts, inflammations, and calluses on the skin.
Mentions: Therapies involving the slug Arion hortensis, locally known as u' marruculē or lummachē senza guscio (snail without a shell), has been briefly mentioned in previous work by our group [11]. The most popular use of this gastropod is to treat gastritis or stomach ulcer by swallowing it whole and alive. A clear mucous produced by the slug is rubbed onto the skin to treat dermatitis, inflammations, calluses, and acne (Figure 4). The mucous is thought to promote wound healing. In addition, a special ritual is incorporated in the treatment of wart. Mucous from a live slug is first rubbed onto the wart, and then the slug is hung out in the sunshine to dry out and die. It is believed that once the slug has dried up, the wart should as well. A similar remedy for wart involving mucous from an unidentified snail is mentioned in Guarrera's work in Latium, Central Italy [30]. This may, however, be a reference to the same species of garden slug.

Bottom Line: 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.

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