Mediterranean Zootherapy: A Historical to Modern Perspective

Chapter

Abstract

Animals have been used as a source of human medicine for millennia. In the Mediterranean, these ancient practices were documented in historic texts such as Dioscoride’s De Materia Medica (40–90 A.D.) and continue to be documented even in current day ethnobiological surveys. Here, we summarize a few recent ethnobiological literature on Southern European zootherapy and compare these “modern” traditional medical applications of animals and their byproducts with those ancient practices documented >2,000 years ago. In doing so, we reflect on the continuity between ancient and modern medicine and examine the implications that such practices hold for both animal conservation and drug discovery.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Study of Human HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.University of Gastronomic SciencesPollenzo/BraItaly

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