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Preliminary comparative analysis of medicinal plants used in the traditional medicine of Bulgaria and Italy

Leporatti, Maria Lucia, Ivancheva, Stephanie
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2003 v.87 no.2-3 pp. 123-142
cultural differences, medicinal plants, natural resources, people, traditional medicine, Bulgaria, Italy
Despite their geographical, historical and cultural differences, Bulgaria and Italy share a surprisingly similar patrimony as regards the popular uses of medicinal plants. The extensive knowledge acquired over the centuries by people living in these countries and engaged in agriculture, derives from continuous contact with natural resources. This paper compares approximately 250 medicinal plants present in both countries and used in popular medicine. From this comparison it emerges that knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses are well founded. In fact, more than 80% of the plants are employed in identical or similar kinds of ailments, their preparation also showing marked similarities. The remaining 20% have very different uses, several of these being particularly noteworthy. The role played by edible plants, moreover, is important, about 30% being employed as medicine.