Popular uses of wild plant species for medicinal purposesin the Nebrodi Regional Park (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy)

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Ethnopharmacological relevance: The area of the Nebrodi Regional Park (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy) has Q3been quantitatively investigated in an ethnobotanical study for the first time. A total of 90 wild speciesare used for medicinal purposes and the uses of 5 species have not previously been reported inethnobotanical studies in Italy (e.g., the use of Arisarum vulgare O. Targ. Tozz. for the treatment ofrheumatic pains, the use of Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke for the treatment of liver diseases).Aim of the study: The aim of this paper was to understand to what extent current knowledge on themedicinal use of plants is still an element of the culture within the rural populations of the Nebrodi Park.Methodology: Semi-structured interviews were carried out in the local communities within the NebrodiRegional Park with local people retained experts in rural traditions. A total of 226 people over the age of60 were interviewed. Local plant uses were evaluated using ethnobotanical indices (e.g., culturalimportance index, index of ethnobotanical diversity, and informant consensus factor) and then comparedwith uses in other localities in Sicily, Italy and the Mediterranean area.Results: Local communities use a total number of 90 wild species belonging to 44 plant families asmedicinal remedies. The majority of the species are used as treatments against a gastrointestinal system.The cultural importance index showed that Malva sylvestris (1.31) and Clinopodium nepeta (0.86) are themost important species to the Nebrodi area in terms of medicinal use. The use of Brassica rupestris Raf. fortherapeutic purposes is limited to Sicily and it is an innovative finding of this study.Conclusions: The research shows an ongoing process of cultural erosion in an advanced stage, butquantitative indices still highlight only for those species which were a natural remedy deemed highlyeffective
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)21-37
Numero di pagine17
RivistaJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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