Mediterranean Zootherapy: A Historical to Modern Perspective

  • Cassandra L. Quave
  • Andrea Pieroni


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.


Musk Deer Snake Bite Scorpion Sting Common Cuckoo Greek Physician 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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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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