Veterinary Research Communications

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 55–80 | Cite as

Natural Remedies and Nutraceuticals Used in Ethnoveterinary Practices in Inland Southern Italy

  • A. Pieroni
  • P. Howard
  • G. Volpato
  • R.F. Santoro


Traditional animal health practices are today only rarely used in Europe, as many natural remedies applied for the treatment of animals have been replaced by modern pharmaceuticals. Modern institutionalized veterinary services tend to cover every aspect of animal health care, and influence most of the veterinary practices carried out by shepherds and farmers. However, in some areas, particularly of the Mediterranean, such traditional practices persist. Few ethnoveterinary studies have been conducted in the Mediterranean. In this survey, we analysed the natural remedies that are still in use or were used until very recently to treat animals in central Lucania (inland southern Italy). Plants constitute the mainstay of the folk-veterinary regimen (about 40 preparations), but there are also a few animal- and mineral-derived preparations. Among them, the veterinary use of Cistus incanus, Colutea arborescens, Daphne laureola, and Erigeron acer is reported for the first time. Moreover, the study identified diverse traditional plant nutraceuticals used to improve animal health, as well as the quality of milk and dairy products. An important potential output of this study may be the development of eco-sustainable integrated projects focused on the maintenance of traditional animal breeding and healthcare systems. Pharmacological and toxicological considerations relating to possible applications of the recorded traditional knowledge in modern evidence-based veterinary medicine are also discussed.

Basilicata ethnoveterinary Italy Lucania medicinal plants traditional knowledge 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Pieroni
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Howard
    • 2
  • G. Volpato
    • 2
  • R.F. Santoro
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of BradfordBradford, West YorkshireUK
  2. 2.Department of Social SciencesWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Vico II Maglietta 2Castelmezzano, PotenzaItaly

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