Antifungal, Parasiticide, Insecticide, and Anthelmintic Herbal Remedies in the Traditional Medicine of North-Eastern Italy

  • Elsa M. Cappelletti

Summary

In the course of an extensive ethnopharmacobotanical research carried out in North-Eastern Italy from the Alps to the Po Plain, some herbal remedies still employed in domestic medicine to cure diseases caused by pathogenic fungi or used against insects or intestinal worms, were recorded. Only a few plant species, known to contain saponins or volatile oils, are reputed to have antifungal activity. To cure people infested with lice, many herbal remedies are available, largely based on plant species containing alkaloids, steroid glycosides or volatile oils. Ferns containing phloroglucinol derivatives, seeds from the Cucurbitaceae, garlic and members of the family of the Compositae are the most frequently employed anthelmintic species.

Zusammenfassung

Im Verlaufe einer ausgedehnten ethnopharmaco-botanischen Studie in Nord-Ost-Italien, von den Alpen bis zur Po-Ebene wurden einige Heilkräuter beschrieben, die in der Hausmedizin noch verwendet werden, um durch pathogene Pilze hervorgerufene Krankheiten zu behandeln, sowie gegen Insekten oder Eingeweidewürmer. Nur wenige Pflanzen, die Saponine oder ätherische Öle enthalten, sollen einen fungiziden Effekt haben. Zur Behandlung von Läusen stehen viele Kräuterheilmittel zur Verfügung, vor allem durch Pflanzen mit Alkaloiden, Steroid-Glykosiden oder ätherischen Ölen. Farne, die Phloroglucinolderivate enthalten, sowie Kerne der Cucurbitaceen, Knoblauch und Pflanzen der Compositaceen-Familie sind häufig als Anthelmintika verwandt.

Résumé

Une recherche ethnopharmacobotanique dans l’Italie du Nord-Est, des Alpes jusqu’à la Plaine du Po, nous a permis de vérifier que certains remèdes végétaux sont encore utilisés dans la médecine traditionnelle pour le traitement des affections provoquées par des champignons pathogènes ou comme insecticides ou vermifuges. Peu de plantes à saponines ou à huiles volatiles sont réputées avoir une activité antifongique. Plusieurs plantes sont employées pur combattre les poux: il s’agit de plantes qui renferment des alcaloides, des glycosides stéroidiques ou des huiles volatiles. Sont réputés avoir und activité vermifuge des fougères renfermants des dérivés du phluoroglucinol, les graines des Cucurbitacées, l’ail et plusieurs espèces des Composées.

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  • Elsa M. Cappelletti

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