Open Access

A cross-cultural comparison of folk plant uses among Albanians, Bosniaks, Gorani and Turks living in south Kosovo

  • Behxhet Mustafa1,
  • Avni Hajdari1Email author,
  • Andrea Pieroni2,
  • Bledar Pulaj1,
  • Xhemajli Koro1 and
  • Cassandra L Quave3, 4
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine201511:39

DOI: 10.1186/s13002-015-0023-5

Received: 20 January 2015

Accepted: 22 April 2015

Published: 12 May 2015

Abstract

Background

Kosovo represents a unique hotspot of biological and cultural diversity in Europe, which allows for interesting cross-cultural ethnobotanical studies. The aims of this study were twofold: 1) to document the state of traditional knowledge related to local (esp. wild) plant uses for food, medicine, and handicrafts in south Kosovo; and 2) to examine how communities of different ethnic groups in the region (Albanians, Bosniaks/Gorani, and Turks) relate to and value wild botanical taxa in their ecosystem.

Methods

Field research was conducted in 10 villages belonging to the Prizren municipality and 4 villages belonging to the Dragash municipality, located in the Sharr Mountains in the southern part of Kosovo. Snowball sampling techniques were used to recruit 139 elderly informants (61 Albanians, 32 Bosniaks/Gorani and 46 Turks), for participation in semi-structured interviews regarding the use of the local flora for medicinal, food, and handicraft purposes.

Results

Overall, we recorded the local uses of 114 species were used for medicinal purposes, 29 for food (wild food plants), and 20 in handicraft activities. The most important species used for medicinal purposes were Achillea millefolium L., Sambucus nigra L., Urtica dioica L., Tilia platyphyllos Scop. Hypericum perforatum L., Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert, Thymus serpyllum L. and Vaccinium myrtillus L. Chamomilla recutita was the most highly valued of these species across the populations surveyed. Out of 114 taxa used for medicinal purposes, only 44 species are also included in the European Pharmacopoeia. The predominantly quoted botanical families were Rosaceae, Asteraceae, and Lamiaceae. Comparison of the data recorded among the Albanian, Bosniak/Gorani, and Turkish communities indicated a less herbophilic attitude of the Albanian populations, while most quoted taxa were quoted by all three communities, thus suggesting a hybrid character of the Kosovar plant knowledge.

Conclusion

Cross-cultural ethnobiological studies are crucial in the Balkans not only for proposing ways of using plant natural resources, which could be exploited in sustainable local development projects (e.g. focusing on eco-tourism and small-scale trade of medicinal herbs, food niche and handicrafts products), but also for fostering collaboration and reconciliation among diverse ethnic and religious communities.

Keywords

Ethnobotany Sharr Mountains Folk medicine Kosovo Medicinal plants Wild food plants

Introduction

Over the last decade, the Western Balkans have become the arena of a remarkable number of ethnobiological field studies, which have focused on territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina [1-7], Serbia [8-12], Montenegro [13], Albania [14-19], Macedonia [20-24], and Kosovo [25,26]. Moreover, a few of these studies addressed cross-cultural comparisons in an attempt to try to understand cultural concepts underpinning perceptions and uses of specific plants, especially among Albanian vs. Slavic populations [10,15,21]. Much of this focus on Balkan ethnobotany is linked to the long and ongoing history of gathering and trading local wild medicinal plants from this territory into Western European markets. It is also supported by the growing appreciation of ethnobotanical bio-cultural heritage as a starting point for fostering a peaceful and sustainable development in the area.

As part of our ongoing long-term project of documenting the ethnobotanical knowledge of diverse multi-cultural and religious areas in the Balkans, here we focused our attention on the Prizren and Dragash municipalities (South Kosovo), where traditionally diverse ethnic groups (Albanians, Turks, Bosniaks, Serbians, Gorani, Roma/Gypsies, Egyptians and Ashkali) have lived in close contact for many centuries. Previous ethnobotanical and ethnolinguistic studies conducted in Kosovo have demonstrated that medicinal plants still play a crucial role in the sphere of human health, especially in isolated rural areas [25-27]. Oftentimes, these mountainous communities have limited access to Western biomedical facilities, and they rely heavily on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to meet their dietary and medical needs. It is for this reason that we project that investigation of Kosovo’s diverse ethnobotanical heritage will have a tremendous impact on rural development projects aimed at improving the holistic and long-term well-being of the local populations via sustainable use of local natural resources and integration of emic concepts of health and dietary care into development plans.

The aims of this study were twofold: 1) to document the state of traditional knowledge related to local (esp. wild) plant uses for food, medicine, and handicrafts in southwest Kosovo; and 2) to examine how communities of different ethnic groups in the region (Albanians, Bosniaks/Gorani, and Turks) relate to and value wild botanical taxa in their ecosystem.

Methods

The study area

In this study, we investigated traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) concerning the use of local plants in villages situated in the territory of Prizren, which lies in the southwestern part of the Sharr Mountains (in Albanian known as Malet e Sharrit; in Serbo-Croatian as Šar Planina). The Sharr Mountains lie in the Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo and have a total area of 1,600 km2. The Republic of Macedonia is home to 51% (827 km2) of this mountain range, while the Republic of Kosovo is home to the rest (780 km2) [28]. The Sharr Mountains provide an interesting site of plant life richness and diversity, with an estimated 2,000 vascular plant species. Indeed, a special characteristic of the Sharr Mountains is the presence of endemic, relict, and rare species and plant communities [29]. The most representative vegetation includes black alder communities (Alnetum glutinosae), which is widespread along the streams and rivers, oriental hornbeam forest (Carpinetum orientalis scardicu), hop hornbeam mixed with oriental hornbeam forest (Ostryo-Carpinion orientalis), thermophilous oak forests (Quercetum frainetto-cerris scardicum, and Quercetum pubenscens, Quercetum montanum, Quercetum trojanae dukagjini), beech forests (Fagetum montanum), and pine forests (Pinetum heldreichii, Pinetum peucis, Pinetum mughi typicum) [30].

In recognition of the rich levels of biodiversity in this region, in 1986 the Kosovo Assembly (former Autonomous Province of Kosovo within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslav) declared that a part of the Sharr Mountains would be a National Park with the size of around 30,000 hectares. In 2012, the borders of the National Park were expanded and at the same time the massif of Koritnik was included, increasing the park’s territory by around 23,469 hectares. Now recognized as the Sharr National Park (Figure 1), it occupies 53,469 hectares, and includes the territories of five municipalities: Kaçanik, Shtërpcë, Suharekë, Prizren and Dragash [31].
Figure 1

Landscape of the Sharr National Park.

Over the past two millennia, this region has been continuously occupied and was part of three great empires (Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman). In the intervals between the decline of one emperor and empowerment of another, Kosovo was occupied mainly by Bulgarians and Serbs. According to Schmitt [32], when the Romans arrived in the Kosovar territory, they were faced with various Illyrian tribes. In late antiquity, the Dardanians became mainly Christian (Catholic); Byzantine and Slavic invasions led to the Catholicism of a significant proportion of indigenous Albanian population, despite a great resistance to the acceptance of Orthodox religion. The later Ottoman occupation spanning about five centuries resulted in conversion to Islam as the dominant religion. Because of this complex history, today the territory surrounding Prizren is occupied by diverse ethnic groups (Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Bosniaks, Gorani and Romani) and diverse religions (Muslim (Albanians, Turks, Bosniaks and Gorani), Catholic (Albanians) and Orthodox (Serbians)). The intercultural mixing of various communities in the same area has resulted in a dynamic form of TEK, with the impact of one traditional culture on another illustrated in both the uses and names of useful plants found in the local flora.

Before World War II, healthcare in this region was almost entirely based on traditional medicine, and these traditions continued after the war as well. Healthcare was commonly attended to within the family, and all physical and mental illnesses were treated with traditional medicines and rituals. These folk-medical traditions continue even now, especially in the more mountainous and isolated areas. Local people have withstood the extreme conditions of this region for centuries – including very harsh winters. Until very recent decades, limitations in infrastructure and communication forced local residents to be self-sufficient in the provision of their food and healthcare. As a result, their primary pharmacopoeia consisted of local medicinal plants.

Today, the residents southwest Kosovo are ethnic Albanians (who speak Gheg varieties of the Albanian language), Serbians (Serbian language), Turks (Turkish language), Bosniaks (Bosnian language), Gorani (Slavic language, Gora dialect or "Našinski" which is similar to Bosnian language) and Roma (Romani language). Regarding the population census conducted in 2011, there were 177,781 inhabitants in the Prizren municipality (145,718 Albanians, 237 Serbians, 9,091 Turks, 16,896 Bosniaks, 2,899 Roma, 1,350 Ashkali, 168 Egyptians, 655 Gorani and 386 others) and 33,997 in the Dragash municipality (20,287 Albanians, 7 Serbians, 202 Turks, 4,100 Bosniaks, 3 Roma, 4 Ashkali, 3 Egyptians, 8,957 Gorani, and 283 others) [33]. Population numbers and the ethnic structure of these municipalities have fluctuated over time due to the natural growth and the migration of the population. Most recently, local populations have been negatively affected by migration due to displacement and the harsh economic conditions caused by the last Kosovo War (1998–1999). The most common directions of migrations in Kosovo are from rural areas to urban areas and migration abroad. Migration patterns contribute to the rapid decline of traditional knowledge of plant species used as medicine, food and handicrafts; it has also contributed to a decline the vertical transmission of oral traditional knowledge from one generation to another. Small-scale farming and pastoral activities still represent the main economic income sources for the families in the study area. This is supplemented by remittances sent by relatives living in Germany or Switzerland, where the migrations of SW Kosovo were historically directed.

The field study

Ethnobotanical field research was conducted in 14 villages belonging to the municipalities of Prizren (10 communities) and Dragash (4), located in Sharr Mountains, which are situated in the southern part of Kosovo (Figure 2). Field studies were conducted over a series of trips in 2012 and 2014. Snowball sampling methods were used to recruit informants and we particularly focused on local people who regularly use plants for medicinal purposes. Prior informed consent was obtained prior to conducting interviews and all researchers adhered to the ethical guidelines of the International Society of Ethnobiology [34].
Figure 2

Map of study area and location of communities included in the study. Communities included in the study are indicated by number: 1) Gërnçar (710 m.a.s.l.), 2)Skorobisht (990 m), 3) Lubizhdë e Prizrenit (495 m), 4) Prizren (421 m), 5) Vlashnje (337 m), 6) Grazhdanik (385 m), 7) Leskovecë (830 m), 8) Lez (117 m), 9) Struzhë (1169 m), 10) Zhur (461 m), 11) Glloboçicë (1270 m), 12) Krushevë (1164 m), 13) Zlipotok (1395 m) and 14) Restelicë (1470 m).

TEK was recorded using semi-structured interviews. In particular, informal conversations were conducted around the issue of local plants traditionally used for food (wild food plants), medicine, and handicrafts. We sought in particular the following information: respondent name, age, gender, and community of residence; local botanical names of useful plants; plant part(s) used; preparation/administration details; local folk uses of plants. In total, data were collected from 139 informants: 61 Albanians (43 male, 18 female), 32 Bosniaks/Gorani (Bosniaks: 11 male, 7 female; Gorani: 10 male, 4 female) and 46 Turks (28 male, 18 female). With regards to the data analysis, data collected from the Bosniak and Gorani informants were merged as both are culturally similar and share the same religion and language. Gorani communities have been claimed by Bosniaks, Serbs, and Bulgarians and recently by Macedonians, but in Kosovo they are recognized as a distinct minority group.

The respondents were older than 50 years (with a few exceptions), mainly engaged in agricultural activities and typically inherited their ethnobotanical knowledge from their direct ancestors (parents, grandparents) via oral traditions. During the interviews, fresh plants were collected to create voucher specimens for the herbarium and whenever possible, informants were followed into the field to show us the quoted species. Most plant species were collected while flowering. Taxonomic identification was undertaken using relevant standard botanical literature of the area [35-38]. Plant nomenclature largely follows the Flora Europaea [39], while plant family assignments follow the current Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III guidelines [40]. Voucher specimens of the wild taxa were deposited at the Department of Biology (Herbarium code Pz/2013), University of Prishtina.

Data analysis

Overlap analysis for cited taxa

Taxa with use-citations based on general category of use (medicinal, food or handicraft) were compared across three groups (Albanian, Turks and Bosniaks/Gorani). Data are represented in the form of a Venn Diagram (Figure 3) to illustrate overlaps in use of taxa.
Figure 3

Venn diagram representing the overlap of taxa cited by Albanians, Bosniaks/Gorani, and Turks in the study area for: a) medicinal use, b) food use and c) handicraft use.

Use-value for individual species

The use-value citation (UV c ) index was calculated for each species for each ethnic group [41]. Here, we modified this method to calculate UV values in three different categories of use: medicinal, food, and handicraft. This index is useful for examination of relative importance of each species for a general category of use based on the number of use-citations. Briefly, it was calculated as follows:
$$ U{V}_c=\frac{{\displaystyle \sum }{N}_{uc}}{N} $$

Where Nuc is the number of use citation reports concerning a given species in a use category (e.g. medicinal, food, handicraft), divided by the total number of informants (N) in a specific group (e.g. Albanian, Turkish, or Bosniak & Gorani). In a recent paper by Quave and Pieroni [42], UV values were plotted on a two-dimensional matrix framework to assess relative values for individual species between two ethnic groups. Here, we expand upon this concept and apply it to a three-dimensional matrix for comparison of plant use-values for individual species between three ethnic groups that share access to the same environmental and botanical resources.

Three-dimensional (3-D) use-value matrix design and analysis

We propose a new approach for the comparative analysis of how use-values differ in three ethnic groups, and across different general categories of use. The UVc data for each category of use (medicinal, food, handicraft) were normalized to allow for comparison on a scale of 0–1. This was achieved by identifying the maximum UVc value for each category of use (UVmax). The UVc for each species (and ethnic group) was then divided by the UVmax to create the adjusted UV value (UVadj) and plotted onto a 3-D scatterplot using MATLAB® software. Eight 3-D overlay quadrants were created to assist in classifying the UVadj clusters (Figure 4A). They were defined as follows in relationship to the three ethnic groups being compared (Group 1: Bosniak/Gorani; Group 2: Turkish; Group 3: Albanian):
  • Quadrant I: Taxa with UVadj ≤0.05 for all three groups, indicating consensus in low use-value across groups.

  • Quadrant II: Group 1 UVadj > 0.05; Group 2 UVadj ≤0.05; Group 3 UVadj ≤0.05, indicating consensus on lower use-value among Group 2 and 3, but higher use-value for Group 1.

  • Quadrant III: Group 1 UVadj ≤0.05; Group 2 UVadj >0.05; Group 3 UVadj ≤0.05, indicating consensus on lower use-value among Group 1 and 3, but higher use-value for Group 2.

  • Quadrant IV: Group 1 UVadj >0.05; Group 2 UVadj >0.05; Group 3 UVadj ≤0.05, indicating consensus on higher use-value among Group 1 and 2, but lower use-value for Group 3.

  • Quadrant V: Group 1 UVadj ≤0.05; Group 2 UVadj ≤0.05; Group 3 UVadj >0.05, indicating consensus on lower use-value among Group 1 and 2, but higher use-value for Group 3.

  • Quadrant VI: Group 1 UVadj >0.05; Group 2 UVadj ≤0.05; Group 3 UVadj >0.05, indicating consensus on higher use-value among Group 1 and 3, but lower use-value for Group 2.

  • Quadrant VII: Group 1 UVadj ≤0.05; Group 2 UVadj >0.05; Group 3 UVadj >0.05, indicating consensus on higher use-value among Group 2 and 3, but lower use-value for Group 1.

  • Quadrant VIII: Taxa with UVadj >0.05 for all three groups, indicating consensus in high use-value across groups.

Figure 4

Use-value matrix comparison of three groups with access to the same flora and ecological resources. a) Matrix design. Each quadrant corresponds to a specific relationship concerning the adjusted plant use-value (details provided in the methods). Adjusted use-values (UVadj) are represented for cited taxa by ethnic group and general category b) medicinal use, c) food use and d) handicraft use.

Quadrant assignments are also reported in Tables 1, 2 and 3.
Table 1

Medicinal plant used in the study area

Botanical taxon, family and voucher specimen code

Status

Folk name(s) a

Part(s) used

Administration

Treated disease(s) or folk medical uses(s)

Alb N uc b

Bo/Go N uc b

Tur N uc b

UV Alb c

UV Bo/Go c

UV Tur c

Q d

Abies alba Mill. (Pinaceae) 14/Pz/2013

W

BredhiALB

Wood

Resin, mixed with fat

Anti-fungal

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Agrimonia eupatoria L. (Rosaceae) 08/Pz/2013

W

PetrovacBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-allergic,

0

3

1

0

0.219

0.065

I

Kezell japrakTUR

Earache,

0

1

0

Anti-inflammatory,

0

2

2

Anti-diarrheal

0

1

0

Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. (Poaceae) 07/Pz/2013

W

Bari i magaritALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-hemorrhoidal,

2

0

0

0.049

0.125

0.065

I

PriovinaALB

Respiratory system disorders,

0

3

0

PriovinaBOG

Urinary tract disorders

1

1

0

Alchemilla vulgaris L. (Rosaceae) 05/Pz/2013

E

AlhemılaALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Improve fertility in women

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Achillea millefolium L. (Asteraceae) 03/Pz/2013

W

BarëpezmatimiALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-cholesterolemic,

0

4

0

0.557

2.656

0.652

I

Hajdutska travaBOG

Anti-coagulant,

3

6

0

Hajdut otiTUR

Appetizing,

5

3

6

Anti-microbial,

12

28

8

Antiemetic,

2

0

0

Carminative and spasmolytic,

7

31

11

Anti-diabetic,

0

4

1

Antacid,

0

1

0

Menstrual pains,

0

1

0

Influenza,

2

5

3

Stomachache

3

2

1

Allium cepa L. (Amaryllidaceae) 11/Pz/2013

C

KepaALB

Bulbs

Eaten raw,

Anti-cholesterolemic

3

7

1

0.656

1.125

0.5

I

Cerveni lukBOG

Topically in wound

Anti-bacterial

37

29

22

    

KepiTUR

Allium porrum L. (Amaryllidaceae) 09/Pz/2013

C

PurriALB

Leaves

Eaten

Thyroid disorders

2

4

0

0.033

0.125

0

I

PrazıllukBOG

Allium sativum L. (Amaryllidaceae) 10/Pz/2013

C

HudraALB

Bulbs

Eaten

Anti-hypertensive,

16

24

11

1.361

3.188

1.63

II

Beli llukBOG SarimsakTUR

Anti-fungal,

11

8

3

Anti-ageing,

0

3

5

Urinary tract infections,

2

5

3

Anti-hypertensive,

18

14

12

Bronchitis

12

6

8

Mixed with honey

Bronchitis,

14

7

7

    

Anti-tussive,

2

8

3

Skeletal system enhancement,

0

2

2

Immunostimulant,

0

5

3

Anti-anemic,

0

2

1

Respiratory system disorders,

8

17

13

Skin regeneration

0

1

4

Althaea officinalis L. (Malvaceae)

W

MullagaALB

Flowers

Infusion

Anti-tussive/expectorant

12

18

9

0.197

0.563

0.196

I

Beli slezBOG

Gul hatemTUR

Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f. (Xanthorrhoeaceae) 06/Pz/2013

C

AloaALB

Leaves

Eaten fresh with honey

Anti-tumor

3

0

0

0.049

0

0

I

Amanita caesarea (Scop.) Pers. (Amanitaceae)

W

KërpurdhaALB

Fruiting body

Topically applied

Skin infections

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Apium graveolens L. (Apiaceae) 12/Pz/2013

C

KerevizTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

To treat sterility

0

0

2

0

0

0.109

I

Roots

Infusion

Diuretic, appetizing

0

0

3

    

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. (Ericaceae) 02/Pz/2013

W

Çaj uvinALB

Leaves

Infusion

Urinary tract infections

12

16

0

0.344

1

0

I

Rrush arusheALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Urinary tract infections and pains

9

16

0

    

Medvegje ushiBOG

Artemisia absinthium L. (Asteraceae) 01/Pz/2013

W

FshisaALB

Leaves

Infusion

Anti-anemic, Anti-malarial

2

3

0

0.377

1.25

0

I

PeliniALB

0

2

0

Divli pelinBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-diabetic,

0

2

0

    

Appetizing,

4

5

0

Improve hormonal balance in women,

0

2

0

Anti-parasitic,

1

1

0

Relaxant, stomachache

12

16

0

Fruits

Infusion

Lithontriptic,

0

1

0

    

Anti-asthmatic,

2

3

0

Anti-diabetic

2

5

0

Avena sativa L. (Poaceae) 15/Pz/2013

C

TheknaALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Skeletal system enhancement

2

0

4

0.033

0

0.087

I

Jullaf TUR

Betula alba L. (Betulaceae) 16/Pz/2013

W

MështeknaALB

 

Infusion

Diuretic,

0

1

0

0.164

0.563

0.217

I

Plep i bardhëALB

Edema,

0

2

2

BrezaBOG

Urinary disorders

2

4

2

Hush agagjiTUR

Infusion used for hair wash

Alopecia

8

11

6

    

Brassica rapa L. (Brassicaceae)

C

RrepaALB ShalgamTUR

Taproot

Eaten

Eye disorders, Immunostimulant

4

0

3

0.066

0

0.065

I

Calendula officinalis L. (Asteraceae) 27/Pz/2013

C

Lule dukatiALB NevenBOG

Aerial parts

Extracted with different oils

Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal,

0

14

0

0

0.938

0

I

Vulnerary for burn wounds and sunburns

0

16

0

Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik. (Brassicaceae) 28/Pz/2013

C

Më do s’më donALB TarqushakBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anticoagulant

2

5

0

0.033

0.156

0

I

HoqunequBOG

Castanea sativa Mill. (Fagaceae) 19/Pz/2013

W/C

GështajaALB

Flowers

Infusion

Anti-anemic,

3

0

0

0.131

0

0

I

Bronchitis,

2

0

0

Anti-tussive

2

0

0

Cortex

Infusion

Anti-tussive

1

0

0

    

Centaurium erythraea Rafn (Gentianaceae) 29/Pz/2013

W

Kantarioni i kuqALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anticoagulant,

0

2

0

0.426

1.063

0.391

I

Bari i etheveALB

Anti-pyretic,

13

18

9

KicicaBOG

Anti-malarial,

9

12

6

Appetizing,

2

1

0

Anti-anemic,

0

1

0

Antacid,

0

0

1

Immunostimulant

2

0

2

Centaurea cyanus L. (Asteraceae) 20/Pz/2013

W

KokoçeliALB

Flower

Infusion

Respiratory disorders

3

1

0

0.049

0.031

0

I

KicicaBOG

Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert (Asteraceae) 43/Pz/2013

W

Lule qeniALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Antimicrobial,

31

37

25

3.115

5.5

2.543

VI

KamomilALB

Infections of the digestive tract,

12

10

0

KamilicaBOG

Urinary tract infections,

20

6

13

Eye infections

11

8

2

BabunecBOG

25

15

17

PapatjaTUR

Sari çiçekTUR

   

Flowers

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

14

26

22

    

Anti-bacterial,

31

35

12

Influenza,

11

9

9

Oral cavity infections,

9

3

4

Anti-hemorrhoidal,

1

0

7

Alopecia,

2

0

0

Wound healing,

20

23

6

Relaxant

3

4

0

Chelidonium majus L. (Papaveraceae) 30/Pz/2013

W

TamelqakALB

Latex

Topically used

Skin infections, warts

11

0

7

0.18

0

0.152

I

Kena qıqegıTUR

Cichorium intybus L. (Asteraceae) 21/Pz/2013

W

CikorjaSHQ

Aerial parts

Infusion

Hepatic disorders

2

0

4

0.033

0

0.087

I

Mavi çiçekTUR

Satali bitki TUR

Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck (Rutaceae) 31/Pz/2013

C

LimunBOG

Fruits

Lemon juice mixed with sugar

Anti-tussive, bronchitis

0

6

3

0

0.188

0.065

I

LimonTUR

Cornus mas L. (Cornaceae) 23/Pz/2013

W

ThanaALB

Fruits

Infusion

Anti-anemic,

0

5

1

0.148

0.656

0.304

I

DreniljeBOG

Anti-hypertensive,

5

3

6

DirninaTUR

Anti-diarrheal,

0

4

2

Anti-malarial,

 

1

1

Anti-emetic in early stage of

2

  

pregnancy (for morning sickness),

 

5

2

Improve immunity,

2

  

Anti-hemorrhoidal

0

2

1

 

1

1

Corylus avellana L. (Betulaceae) 24/Pz/2013

W

LejthıALB

Leaves

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

0

2

1

0

0.18

0.022

I

Adi findikTUR

Antacid,

0

3

0

Hepatic disorders

0

1

0

Cotinus coggygria Scop. (Anacardiaceae) 64/Pz/2013

W

RujTUR

Leaves

Infusion

Stomach disorders,

0

0

2

0

0

0.174

I

Boyaci sumakTUR

Kidney disorders,

0

0

1

Anti-diarrheal

0

0

4

Fruits

Infusion

Anti-diarrheal

0

0

1

    

Crataegus monogyna Jacq. (Rosaceae) 18/Pz/2013 05/Pz/11

W

MurriziALB

Fruits

Infusion

Improve blood circulation,

27

21

18

1.279

2.406

1.174

I

GllogBOG

Anti-hypertensive,

22

20

12

Adi aliçTUR

Neurorelaxant

2

6

1

 

Leaves and flowers

Infusion

Anti-hypertensive,

12

20

12

    

Anti-diabetic,

2

6

2

Anti-cholesterolemic

13

4

9

Cucumis sativus L. (Cucurbitaceae) 26/Pz/2013

C

KastravecALB

Fruits and seeds

Eaten fresh

Kidney disorders,

4

3

0

0.131

0.375

0

I

KastravacBOG

Improve blood circulation,

3

7

0

Improve skin vitality,

1

1

0

Eye disorders

0

1

0

Cucumis melo L. (Cucurbitaceae) 25/Pz/2013

C

PjepniALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Infection of digestive system

4

0

0

0.066

0

0

I

Cydonia oblonga Mill. (Rosaceae)

C

FtuaALB

Leaves

Infusion

Anti-diarrheal

7

4

0

0.115

0.125

0

I

DunjaBOG

Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott (Dryopteridaceae)

W

PapratBOG

Leaves

Infusion

Anti-parasitic

0

2

0

0

0.063

0

I

Equisetum arvense L. (Equisetaceae) 07/Pz/11

W

Konksi repBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Hepatic disorders,

0

2

0

0

0.281

0

I

Kidney infections and pain

0

7

0

Euphorbia amygdaloides L. (Euphorbiaceae)

W

Mali mleqBOG

Latex

Topically used

Warts

0

3

0

0

0.094

0

I

Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (Apiaceae) 32/Pz/2013

W

KopërALB RezeneBOG

Fruits

Infusion

Eye disorders,

0

2

0

0.197

0.375

0.130

I

AnasonTUR

Galactogogue,

0

1

1

Spasmolytic

12

9

5

Fragaria vesca L. (Rosaceae)

W

DredhzaALB

Fruits

Infusion

Digestive, Spasmolytic

2

0

3

0.082

0

0.174

I

Divla jagodaBOG

3

0

5

Fumaria officinalis L. (Papaveraceae) 33/Pz/2013

W

ShatereTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

Diuretic,

0

2

3

0

0.188

0.087

I

Relaxant,

0

1

1

Anti-hypertensive

0

3

0

Galium verum L. (Rubiaceae) 35/Pz/2013

W

/

Aerial parts

Infusion

Kidney disorders,

0

0

2

0

0

0.130

I

Skin regeneration

0

0

4

Gentiana lutea L. (Gentianaceae) 34/Pz/2013

W

GecianaALB

Roots

Infusion

Digestive disorders,

5

12

0

0.180

0.375

0

I

LincuraBOG

Flavor additive for alcoholic beverage

6

0

0

Geranium sanguineum L. (Geraniaceae)

W

ZdrvacBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Respiratory disorders, laryngitis

0

3

0

0

0.094

0

I

Helianthus annuus L. (Asteraceae)

C

Lule djellıALB

Seeds

Extracted with animal fat

Skin infections

6

5

0

0.098

0.156

0

I

SuncokretBOG

Hordeum vulgare Jess. (Poaceae)

C

ElbiALB

Seeds

Flour, mixed with oil

Wound healing

5

0

2

0.082

0

0.043

I

JeçmenikTUR

Arpa elbiTUR

Humulus lupulus L. (Cannabaceae) 37/Pz/2013

W

Bari sherbetitALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Insomnia,

3

3

1

0.180

0.563

0.217

I

Amel brumitTUR

Appetizing,

2

5

2

AmelTUR

Neurorelaxant

0

2

2

 

Fruits

Infusion

Insomnia,

6

5

3

    

Diuretic,

0

3

1

Prostate disorders

0

0

1

Hypericum perforatum L. (Hypericaceae) 36/Pz/2013 08/Pz/11

W

KantarioniALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-anemic, Wound healing, Anticoagulant, Neurorelaxant, Antacid

0

4

0

0.475

1.844

0

I

KantarionBOG

12

32

0

0

1

0

16

21

0

1

1

0

Inula sp. (Asteraceae)

W

OmaniTUR

Roots

Infusion

Anti-tussive, Bile simulation, Diuretic

0

0

2

0

0

0.130

I

Safra otiTUR

0

0

3

0

0

1

Juglans regia L. (Juglandaceae) 40/Pz/2013

C

ArraALB

Fruits

Eaten

Anti-parasitic, Thyroid disorders

3

0

0

0.115

0

0

I

4

0

0

Juncus effusus L. (Juncaceae)

W

XukllaTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

Urinary tract disorders

0

0

3

0

0

0.065

I

Juniperus communis L. (Cupressaceae) 39/Pz/2013

W

GëllijaALB

Wood

Extracted with oil, topically used in skin

Anti-fungal, Skin depigmentation

6

17

5

0.623

2.094

0.696

I

KlekaBOG

2

11

2

ArdeqTUR

 

Fruits

Extracted with alcohols

Anti-rheumatic

5

3

0

    

Infusion

Tuberculosis,

6

2

9

    

Anti-rheumatic,

3

11

5

Lithontriptic,

9

21

11

Anti-asthmatic,

4

1

0

Anti-diabetic

3

1

0

Lactuca sativa L. (Asteraceae) 41/Pz/2013

C

SallataALB

Aerial parts

Eaten fresh

Headache,

0

0

2

0

0

0.043

I

MarrolliTUR

Galactogogue

0

0

4

Leonurus cardiaca L. (Lamiaceae)

W

Ayslan kuyrguTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

Cardiotonic,

0

0

3

0

0

0.065

I

Improve blood circulation,

0

0

2

Memory enhancement

0

0

4

Lycoperdon sp. (Agaricaceae) 60/Pz/2013

W

PufkaALB

Powder

Topically applied

Wound healing, Hemostatic

4

1

0

0.066

0.031

0

I

MantariBOG

8

4

0

Lycopodium clavatum L. (Lycopodiaceae)

W

Bari qibrititALB

Aerial parts

Topically applied to skin

Anti-microbial

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Infusion

Hepatitis

1

0

0

    

Malva sylvestris L. (Malvaceae) 44/Pz/2013

W

MullagaALB

Aerial parts

Extracted with fat (melhem)

Wound healing,

3

5

2

0.262

0.250

0.283

I

Mali slez BOG

Anti-acne

5

2

0

Ebe gumeciTUR

 

Flowers

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

2

1

3

    

Bronchitis,

2

0

4

Antimicrobial

4

0

4

Mespilus germanica L. (Rosaceae) 47/Pz/2013

C

MushmollaALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-diarrheal,

4

0

0

0.115

0

0

I

Anti-diabetic,

2

0

0

Ear disorders

1

0

0

Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) 42/Pz/2013

W

Bari i bletësALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Neurorelaxant,

3

8

5

0.475

0.406

0.413

I

MatoqınaBOG

Headache,

3

1

4

MolshvatravaBOG

Anti-hypertensive,

2

0

1

Appetizing,

6

0

1

Improve blood circulation,

   

Bronchitis,

3

0

1

Anti-anemic,

7

2

3

Anti-hallucinogenic,

0

1

3

Respiratory disorders

5

1

1

Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds. (Lamiaceae) 45/Pz/2013

C

Çaj nanaALB NanaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Stomach disorders,

0

3

0

0.311

0.75

0

I

Carminative,

3

4

0

Influenza,

2

6

0

Respiratory system infections,

8

9

0

Anti-tussive,

4

1

0

Expectorant

2

1

0

Mentha pulegium L. (Lamiaceae) 46/Pz/2013

W

Divla mentaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Neurorelaxant,

0

3

0

0

0.625

0

I

Improve blood circulation,

0

7

0

Respiratory system infections,

0

9

0

Antitussive

0

1

0

Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae)

50/Pz/2013

C

Kudret nareTUR

Fruits

Mixed with oil –internal use

Wound healing,

0

0

7

0

0

0.435

I

Sari kadakTUR

Anti-diabetic,

0

0

1

Anti-cancer

0

0

4

 

Mixed with oil - topically applied

Vulnerary for burn wounds

0

0

8

    

Morus alba L. (Moraceae) 49/Pz/2013

C

Mani i bardheALB

Leaves

Infusion

Anti-diabetic

0

0

4

0

0

0.087

I

AkdutTUR

Morus nigra L. (Moraceae) 48/Pz/2013

C

Mani i ziALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Infections of upper part of respiratory system

3

0

5

0.148

0

0.196

I

DutTUR

KaradutTUR

 

Leaves

Infusion

Anti-pyretic, Diuretic

6

0

4

    

Ocimum basilicum L. (Lamiaceae) 51/Pz/2013

C

BosiljakBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Carminative,

0

3

0

0

0.219

0

I

Kidney infections,

0

1

0

Tuberculosis

0

3

0

Olea europaea L. (Oleaceae) 15/Pz/11

C

UlliniALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Tuberculosis, Spasmolytic

0

1

0

0.131

0.219

0.283

I

MaslinaBOG

6

5

2

Zejtın tanesiTUR

 

Leaves

Infusion

Improve blood circulation,

0

1

5

    

Anti-diabetic,

1

0

3

Anti-hypertensive

1

0

3

Orchis morio L. (Orchidaceae) 53/Pz/2013

W

SalepBOG

Tubers

Infusion

Influenza,

0

2

1

0

0.219

0.043

I

SahlepTUR

Stomach disorders,

0

1

1

Wound healing

0

4

0

Origanum vulgare L. (Lamiaceae) 52/Pz/2013

W

Çaj maliALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

6

4

2

0.279

0.750

0.304

I

OriganoBOG

Influenza,

2

3

1

ToqillaTUR

Respiratory system infections

9

17

11

Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss (Apiaceae) 61/Pz/2013

C

MajdanozALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-cholesterolemic

2

0

4

0.148

0

0.304

I

MagdenozTUR

Anti-diabetic,

4

0

1

Galactogogue,

2

0

5

Anticoagulant

1

0

4

Phaseolus vulgaris L. (Fabaceae) 62/Pz/2013

C

PasulALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-diabetic

2

0

3

0.033

0

0.065

I

Jer pasulTUR

Pimpinella anisum L. (Apiaceae)

C

Bati i gjinitALB AnasonTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

Spasmolytic,

0

0

5

0

0

0.283

I

Carminative,

0

0

5

Anti-ageing,

0

0

2

Galactogogue

0

0

1

Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold. (Pinaceae)

W/C

PishaALB

Resin

Extracted with oil

Skin infections

3

0

6

0.049

0

0.130

I

Kara qamTUR

Plantago major L. (Plantaginaceae) 54/Pz/2013

W

DejziALB

Leaves

Infusion

Wound healing

0

6

0

0

0.313

0

I

BokvicaBOG

Arial parts

Infusion

Skin infections

0

3

0

    

Zenska bokvicaBOG

Flowers

Infusion

Digestive and urinary disorders

0

1

0

    

Polygonum aviculare L. (Polygonaceae)

W

BarthekALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Urinary system disorders,

2

0

4

0.082

0

0.109

I

KusekmeziTUR

Anti-coagulant

3

0

1

TroketTUR

Populus alba L. (Salicaceae)

W

PlepiALB

Aerial parts

Topically uses

Wound healing

0

0

3

0

0

0.087

I

Ak kavakTUR

Leaves

Infusion

Urinary tract disorders

0

0

1

    

Beyaz kavakTUR

Primula veris L. (Primulaceae) 56/Pz/2013

W

Myzhdja e pranverësALB

Flowers

Infusion

Headache,

0

2

1

0.508

1.094

0.543

I

JaglikaBOG

Anti-tussive,

11

14

9

Zuti vetBOG

Respiratory system disorders,

14

7

9

JagorcevinaBOG

Improve blood circulation

3

1

1

Quha çicegiTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

2

4

0

    

Expectorant,

1

6

4

Bronchitis

0

1

1

Prunus avium L. (Rosaceae)

C

QershiaALB

Fruits

Decoction

Anti-hypertensive,

2

0

0

0.262

0

0

I

Improve blood circulation,

5

0

0

Anti-bacterial,

3

0

0

Digestive tract disorders

1

0

0

Resin

Topically used

Scabies

5

0

0

    

Prunus domestica L. (Rosaceae) 55/Pz/2013

C

SljivaBOG

Fruits

Decoction

Hepatic disorders,

0

1

0

0

0.438

0

I

Anti-hemorrhoidal,

0

5

0

Anti-parasitic,

0

2

0

Constipation

0

6

0

Prunus spinosa L. (Rosaceae)

W

KulumrijaALB

Flowers

Infusion

Constipation

0

3

1

0.131

0

0.065

I

TerninaBOG

Fruits

Infusion

Anti-diabetic,

7

2

4

    

KurumliaTUR

Hepatic disorders

0

1

1

 

Leaves

Infusion

Improve digestion,

1

1

2

    

Appetizing

0

2

1

Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn. (Dennstaedtiaceae)

W

FiriALB

Leaves

Extracted with oil

Wound healing

0

0

3

0

0

0.065

I

Qiban otuTUR

Pulmonaria officinalis L. (Boraginaceae)

W

Bar ı mushkerıveALB PluqnjakBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

1

3

0

0.016

0.125

0

I

Bronchitis

0

1

0

Pyrus communis L. (Rosaceae) 58/Pz/2013

W

DardhaALB

Fruits

Infusion

Cardiotonic,

0

3

0

0

0.125

0.043

I

Dardha egerALB

Hepatic disorders

0

1

2

ArmutTUR

Raphanus sativus L. (Brassicaceae) 63/Pz/2013

C

RotkvaBOG

Taproot

Infusion

Digestive system infections,

0

2

0

0

0.375

0

I

CveklaBOG

Bronchitis,

0

4

0

Anti-anemic,

0

1

0

Anti-rheumatic

0

5

0

Ribes rubrum L. (Grossulariaceae)

C

RibizlaBOG

Fruits

Infusion

Anti-rheumatic,

0

3

0

0

0.344

0

I

Anti-malarial,

0

1

0

Anti-allergic,

0

2

0

Heart disorders

0

5

0

Robinia pseudoacacia L. (Fabaceae) 68/Pz/2013

W

BagremiALB

Flowers

Infusion

Skin infections

3

0

2

0.049

0

0.043

I

AkasyaTUR

Rosa canina L. (Rosaceae) 67/Pz/2013

W

KaçaALB

Fruits

Infusion

Improve immunity,

3

1

0

0.328

0.594

0

I

ShipakBOG

Hepatic disorders,

1

2

0

SipurakBOG

Anti-anaemic,

1

5

0

Influenza,

6

3

0

Digestive tract disorders.

9

8

0

Rubia tinctorum L. (Rubiaceae)

W

CrvenkaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Kidney disorders,

0

3

0

0

0.281

0

I

Skeletal disorders, tuberculosis

0

1

0

Saraxha” (cutaneous tuberculosis)

0

5

0

Rubus fruticosus L. (Rosaceae) 65/Pz/2013

W

ManaALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-anemic,

0

3

0

0

1.031

0

I

KupinaBOG

Improve blood circulation,

0

1

0

Anti-hypertensive,

0

4

0

Wound healing

0

3

0

Anti-diabetic,

0

4

0

Antimycotic

0

1

0

Fruits

Infusion

Anti-anemic,

0

4

0

    

Anti- diarrheal,

0

1

0

Kidney infections,

0

2

0

Oral cavity infections,

0

5

0

Hypertensive,

0

2

0

Anti-parasitic,

0

1

0

Anti-tussive

0

2

0

Rubus idaeus L. (Rosaceae) 66/Pz/2013

W

MjedraALB

Leaves

Infusion

Improve blood circulation,

0

5

0

0

1.188

0

I

MalinaBOG

Anti-hypertensive,

0

5

0

Anti-diarrheal,

0

3

0

Anti-tussive,

0

2

0

Anti-pyretic,

0

1

0

Oral cavity infections

0

5

0

Roots

Infusion

Anti-hypertensive,

0

3

0

    

Wound healing

0

4

0

Fruits

Infusion

Dysentery,

0

1

0

    

Tonsillitis,

0

3

0

Digestive disorders

0

2

0

Flowers

Extracted with olive oil

To treated skin wounds caused by insects and snakes

0

4

0

    

Salix alba L. (Salicaceae) 70/Pz/2013

W

VrbaBOG

Leaves

Infusion

Hepatic disorders

0

3

0

0

0.313

0

I

Cortex

Infusion

Antipyretic,

0

5

0

    

Analgesic

0

2

0

Salvia officinalis L. (Lamiaceae)

C

ZalfijaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion, then added honey

Tonsillitis and other infection of respiratory system,

0

7

0

0

0.344

0

I

Anti-diabetic

0

2

0

Antiperspirant

0

2

0

Sambucus nigra L. (Adoxaceae) 69/Pz/2013

W

ShtoguALB

Flowers

Infusion

Bronchitis,

14

7

15

0.787

1.250

0.891

I

ZovaBOG

Anti-tussive,

8

5

3

Bos zovaBOG

Expectorant, Antiperspirant,

3

7

8

MurverTUR

Anti-halitosis,

2

1

4

ForbozTUR

Influenza,

0

1

4

Anti-asthmatic,

6

8

2

Stomach disorders,

9

4

1

Urinary tract disorders

4

1

1

 

1

1

1

Extracted with fish oil

Anti-anemic, Improve immunity

0

3

1

    

Extracted with oil – topically used

Vulnerary for burns, skin infections

1

2

1

    

Satureja montana L. (Lamiaceae) 19/Pz/11

W

CubarTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

Spasmolytic,

0

5

0

0

0.563

0

I

CurbiceBOG

Anti-diabetic,

0

2

0

Anti-parasitic,

0

2

0

Respiratory tract infections,

0

5

0

Anti-tussive,

0

2

0

Expectorant

0

2

0

Scrophularia nodosa L. (Scrophulariaceae)

W

/

Aerial parts

Topically applied

Saraxha” (cutaneous tuberculosis), Tuberculosis

0

3

2

0

0.094

0.043

I

Sempervivum tectorum L. (Crassulaceae) 71/Pz/2013

W

Bar veshiALB

Leaves

Extracted with fat (cow or pig fat) - topically applied

Wound healing

6

3

0

0.279

0.531

0

I

CuvarkucaBOG

Juice from fresh leaves, 2–3 drops

Earache, ear infections

11

14

0

    

Symphytum officinale L. (Boraginaceae) 73/Pz/2013

W

Crni gavezBOG GanezTUR

Roots

Extracted with fat

Wound healing

0

4

2

0

0.188

0.109

I

Extracted with wine

Anticoagulant

0

2

3

    

Tanacetum vulgare L. (Asteraceae) 75/Pz/2013

W

Pire otuTURR

Seeds

Infusion

Anti-parasitic (intestinal parasites),

0

0

3

0

0

0.304

I

Anti-rheumatic

0

0

2

Flowers

Powder

Insect repellent, anti-parasitic

0

0

4

    

Aerial parts

Infusion

Digestive tract disorders,

0

0

2

    

Anti-hemorrhoidal,

0

0

1

Eczema

0

0

2

Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg. (Asteraceae)84/Pz/2013

W

Tamëlçak i

Flowers

Infusion

Hepatitis

2

1

0

0.295

0.375

0.304

I

livadhitALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Improve blood circulation,

7

4

9

    

MaslacakBOG

KaraındıbaTUR

Digestive tract disorders,

3

5

1

Urinary tract disorders,

1

1

1

Anti-anemic.

5

1

3

Teucrium chamaedrys L. (Lamiaceae) 79/Pz/2013

W

MamudiaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Appetizing,

0

2

0

0

0.250

0

I

Stomachache,

0

4

0

Anti- diarrheal,

0

1

0

Anti-hemorrhoidal

0

1

0

Teucrium polium L. (Lamiaceae) 78/Pz/2013

W

Bar saraxhaALB

Aerial parts

Mixed with fat

Tuberculosis,

2

2

0

0.131

0.281

0

I

Bar majasiliALB

Saraxha” (cutaneous tuberculosis)

4

2

0

PodobicaBOG

Infusion

Anti-hemorrhoidal,

1

1

0

    

igestive tract disorders,

1

3

0

Stomachache

0

1

0

Thymus serpyllum L. (Lamiaceae) 76/Pz/2013

W

Majcina dusicaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Improve blood circulation,

3

5

2

1.525

2.5

1.087

I

Qeklik otiTUR

Anticholesterolemic,

1

2

0

Respiratory inflammations,

21

26

16

Immunostimulant,

4

0

2

Neurorelaxant,

11

5

3

Carminative,

19

22

13

Spasmolytic,

13

9

12

Bronchitis,

16

6

1

Anti-asthmatic,

2

4

1

Expectorant

3

1

0

Thymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae) 77/Pz/2013

W

Majcina dusicaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

0

3

0

0

0.281

0

I

Anti-cholesterolemic

0

6

0

Typha latifolia L. (Typhaceae) 82/Pz/2013

W

ShavarALB

Fruits

Infusion

Respiratory system inflammations

0

0

3

0

0

0.065

I

HubaboTUR

Tilia platyphyllos Scop. (Malvaceae) 80/Pz/2013

W/C

BliniALB

Flowers

Infusion

Respiratory system inflammations,

8

13

8

0.689

1.469

0.804

I

LipaBOG

FlamurTUR

Anti-anemic,

2

5

4

IlhamurTUR

Stomach infections,

9

3

5

 

Headache,

1

0

1

Anti-tussive

2

0

1

Leaves and Flowers

Infusion

Anti-tussive,

2

4

6

    

Expectorant,

1

3

1

Respiratory system inflammations

17

19

11

Trifolium arvense L. (Fabaceae)

W/C

TërfojaALB

Aerial part

Infusion

Anti-rheumatic

0

6

0

0

0.188

0

I

DeklinaBOG

Triticum vulgare L. (Poaceae) 74/Pz/2013

W

GruniALB

Flour

Mixed with hot water – topically used

Skin inflammation and ulcers

0

0

4

0

0

0.087

I

BogdayTUR

Mixed with hot water – internal used

Anti-diarrheal

0

0

2

    

Tussilago farfara L. (Asteraceae) 83/Pz/2013

W

PotbelBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Expectorant,

0

7

0

0

0.313

0

I

Anti-tussive

0

3

0

Ulmus minor Mill. (Ulmaceae)

86/Pz/2013

W

VidhiALB

Leaves

Extracted with fat

Anti-mycotic,

11

0

7

0.197

0

0.217

I

KarragaqTUR

Anti-bacterial, “Saraxha” (cutaneous tuberculosis).

1

0

3

Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) 85/Pz/2013

W

HithiALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-hemorrhoidal,

3

1

5

1.820

3.094

1.652

II

KoprivaBOG

Anti-anemic,

32

21

11

YakiciTUR

Influenza,

12

10

6

Anti-cancer,

1

0

0

Eczemas,

3

7

9

Bronchitis,

11

19

14

Headache,

1

3

1

Anti-rheumatic,

9

4

6

Anti-bacterial,

12

19

13

Alopecia,

5

1

1

Anti-dandruff,

18

12

9

Digestive disorders

2

1

1

Urinary disorders

2

1

0

Vaccinium myrtillus L. (Ericaceae) 87/Pz/2013

W

BoronıcaALB

Fruits

Juice of fresh fruits

Digestive tract infections,

6

9

5

0.984

1.563

1.152

I

BorovnicaALB

Anti-anemic,

25

21

11

Eye inflammations,

1

0

5

Hepatitis,

0

0

3

Digestive disorders,

0

1

3

Urinary disorders

1

1

1

Fruits and leaves

Infusion

Lithontriptic,

4

2

7

    

Respiratory inflammations,

6

5

3

Anti-anemic

17

11

15

Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. (Ericaceae)

W

BrusnicaBOG

Leaves

Infusion

Urinary inflammations

0

14

0

0

2.094

0

I

Anti-rheumatic

0

3

0

Fruits

Infusion

Urinary tract infections

0

21

0

    

Fruits and leaves

Infusion

Lithontriptic,

0

11

0

    

Diuretic,

0

6

0

Anti-rheumatic,

0

1

0

Wound healing,

0

3

0

Antipyretic,

0

1

0

Anti-diabetic,

0

6

0

Anticonvulsant

0

1

0

Veratrum album L. (Melanthiaceae)

W

ShtaraALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Anti-hypertensive.

3

5

0

0.049

0.156

0

I

CemenikaBOG

Verbascum sp. (Scrophulariaceae) 89/Pz/2013

W

DivizmaBOG DivizaTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion and Mixed with fat “mehlem”

Anti-tussive,

0

2

1

0

0.250

0.087

I

Bronchitis,

0

5

2

Sigir kuyruguTUR

Digestive tract disorders

0

1

1

Veronica officinalis L. (Plantaginaceae) 88/Pz/2013

W

Paskalya otuTUR

Leaves

Infusion

Anticoagulant,

0

0

3

0

0

0.196

I

Yavshan otuTUR

Respiratory system inflammations,

00

0

2

Wound healing

 

0

4

Vitis vinifera L. (Vitaceae) 90/Pz/2013

C

RrushıALB

Leaves

Infusion

Increase immunity,

4

1

0

0.311

0.438

0.435

I

GrozhgjeBOG

Hepatitis

2

1

3

Siyah üzümTUR

 

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Anti-anemic,

3

4

2

    

Hepatic disorders,

1

2

3

Urinary system inflammations

6

2

1

Juice of fruits (semi fermented)

Internal used

Anti-anemic,

1

1

10

    

Anti-cholesterolemic

2

3

1

Zea mays L. (Poaceae) 92/Pz/2013

C

MisriALB

Female flower

Infusion

Urinary tract inflammations,

2

0

3

0.115

0

0.152

I

KollomoqALB

Edema,

1

0

1

KollomoqiTUR

Stomach disorders,

2

0

0

Anti-parasitic

1

0

0

Ripe seeds

Infusion

Anti-parasitic

1

0

3

    

a Folk Names. ALBfolk name(s) recorded among Albanians; BOGfolk name(s) recorded among Bosniaks/Gorani; TURfolk name(s) recorded among Turks

b Alb N uc : Number of use citations provided by Albanian informants; Bo/Go N uc : Number of use citations provided by Bosnian and Gorani informants; Tur N uc : Number of use citations provided by Turkish informants.

c UV Alb : Use-value for one species by the Albanian group; UV Bo/Go : Use-value for one species by the Bosniaks and Gorani; UV Tur : Use-value for one species by the Turkish group. This index measures the relative importance of each species based on its reported use by informants from each cultural group under study.

d Q: Quadrant assignments are based on adjusted use-values (UVadj), which were calculated by dividing the use-value (UV) of each group by the maximum use-value (UVmax) for medicinal citations (UVadj not shown).

Table 2

Wild plant or mushroom species used as local food in the study area

Botanical taxon, family and voucher specimen code

Folk name(s) a

Part(s) used

Preparation

Folk uses(s)

Alb N uc b

Bo/Go N uc b

Tur N uc b

UV Alb c

UV Bo/Go c

UV Tur c

Q d

Amanita caesarea (Scop.) Pers. (Amanitaceae)

KërpurdhaALB

Aerial parts

Fresh or conserved

Food used in small quantities,

3

0

0

0.08

0

0

I

Food additive

2

0

0

2

Castanea sativa Mill. (Fagaceae) 19/Pz/2013

GështajaALB

Fruits

Fresh, beaked

Food

6

4

4

0.098

0.125

0.087

I

Cichorium intybus L. (Asteraceae) 21/Pz/2013

CikorjaSHQ

Aerial parts

Dried and ground

Coffee substitute, prepared as Turkish coffee

2

0

3

0.033

0

0.065

I

Mavi çiçekTUR

Satali bitki TUR

Cornus mas L. (Cornaceae) 23/Pz/2013

ThanaALB DirninaTUR

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Food

5

6

0

0.082

0.563

0

I

Mixed and boiled with sugar for short period

Beverage

0

6

0

    

Mixed and boiled with sugar for longer period

Jam

0

6

0

    

Corylus avellana L. (Betulaceae) 24/Pz/2013

LejthıALB

Fruits

Fresh or dried

Food, Sweetener

9

15

5

0.148

0.469

0.109

I

Foeniculum vulgare Mill. (Apiaceae) 32/Pz/2013

KopërALB RezeneBOG

Leaves, seeds

Dried

Food additive for flavoring

0

0

2

0

0

0.043

I

AnasonTUR

Fragaria vesca L. (Rosaceae)

DrezaALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Food

15

19

7

0.295

1.406

0.196

II

Divla jagodaBOG

Mixed and boiled with sugar for short period

Beverage

0

15

0

    

Mixed and boiled with sugar for longer period

Jam

3

11

2

    

Helianthus tuberosus L. (Asteraceae)

OrashkaALB

Tuber

Eaten fresh

Food

3

0

0

0.033

0.25

0

I

Malus sylvestris Mill. (Rosaceae)

 

Fruits

Boiled with sugar

Jams

0

3

0

0.033

0.25

0

I

   

Sliced and dried (ahaf), boiled in water prior to eating

Wintertime food

2

5

0

    

Matricaria chamomilla L. (Asteraceae) 43/Pz/2013

Lule qeniALB

Aerial parts

Dried

Tea

0

5

3

0

0.156

0.065

I

KamomilALB

PapatjaTUR

Sari çiçekTUR

KamilicaBOG

BabunecBOG

Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds. (Lamiaceae) 45/Pz/2013

Çaj nanaALB NanaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Tea

0

0

3

0

0

0.065

I

Morus alba L. (Moraceae) 49/Pz/2013

Mani i bardheALB

Fruits

Fresh

Food

6

5

0

0.098

0.156

0

I

AkdutTUR

Morus nigra L. (Moraceae) 48/Pz/2013

Mani i ziALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Food

8

9

4

0.131

0.406

0.109

I

DutTUR

Mixed and boiled with sugar for short period

Beverage

0

2

1

    

KaradutTUR

Mixed and boiled with sugar for longer period

Jam

0

2

0

    

Orchis morio L. (Orchidaceae) 53/Pz/2013

SalepiALB

Tubers

Dried

Hot beverage mixed with milk “salep

0

6

11

0

0.188

0.239

I

Origanum vulgare L. (Lamiaceae) 52/Pz/2013

Çaj maliALB

Aerial parts

Infusion

Tea, Food flavoring

8

13

0

0.131

0.406

0

I

ToqillaTUR

Prunus spinosa L. (Rosaceae)

KulumrijaALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Food

4

8

0

0.066

0.25

0

I

TerninaBOG

KurumliaTUR

Pyrus communis L. (Rosaceae) 58/Pz/2013

DardhaALB

Fruits

Fresh, conserved

Food

6

12

6

0.098

0.375

0.130

I

Dardha egerALB

Rosa canina L. (Rosaceae) 67/Pz/2013

KaçaALB

Fruits

Infusion

Tea, Jam

0

6

4

0

0.188

0.087

I

ShipakBOG

SipurakBOG

Rosa damascena Mill. (Rosaceae)

TrendafiliALB

Flowers

Flowers mixed with cold water for 24 hours, and then lemon juice is added

Juice (shurup)

5

0

0

0.082

0

0

I

Rubus fruticosus L. (Rosaceae) 65/Pz/2013

ManaALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Food

6

5

2

0.098

0.281

0.043

I

KupinaBOG

Mixed and boiled with sugar for short period

Beverage

0

4

0

    

Rubus idaeus L. (Rosaceae) 66/Pz/2013

MjedraALB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Food

5

4

4

0.082

0.219

0.109

I

MalinaBOG

Mixed and boiled with sugar for short period

Beverage

0

3

1

    

Sambucus nigra L. (Adoxaceae) 69/Pz/2013

ShtoguALB

Flowers

Flowers mixed with cold water for 24 hours, and then lemon juice is added

Beverage

9

11

8

0.148

0.344

0.174

I

ZovaBOG

BOG zovaBOG

MurverTUR

ForbozTUR

Thymus serpyllum L. (Lamiaceae) 76/Pz/2013

Qeklik otiTUR

Aerial parts

Infusion

Tea

0

13

0

0

0.406

0

I

Majcina dushicaBOG

Thymus vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae) 77/Pz/2013

Majcina dushicaBOG

Aerial parts

Infusion

Tea

0

8

0

0

0.25

0

I

Tilia platyphyllos Scop. (Malvaceae) 80/Pz/2013

BliniALB

Flowers

Infusion

Tea

9

11

6

0.148

0.344

0.13

I

FlamurTUR

IlhamurTUR

LipaBOG

Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) 86/Pz/2013

HithiALB

Aerial parts

Young and fresh

Filling in home-made savory pies (pite)

14

11

11

0.23

0.344

0.239

I

KoprivaBOG

YakiciTUR

Vaccinium myrtillus L. (Ericaceae) 87/Pz/2013

BoronıcaALB BorovnicaB

Fruits

Eaten fresh

Food

8

11

5

0.131

0.594

0.109

I

Mixed and boiled with sugar for short period

Beverage

0

8

0

    

Vitis vinifera L. (Vitaceae) 90/Pz/2013

RrushıSHQ

Leaves

Fresh ore conserved

Sarma ingredient: leaves are rolled around a filling usually based on minced meat and rice.

9

12

10

0.148

0.375

0.217

I

GrozhgjeBOG

Zea mays L. (Poaceae) 92/Pz/2013

MisriALB

Flour

Semi-fermented

Beverage “boza

0

6

8

0

0.188

0.174

I

Kollomoq ALB

KollomoqiTUR

a Folk Names. ALBfolk name(s) recorded among Albanians; BOGfolk name(s) recorded among Bosniaks/Gorani; TURfolk name(s) recorded among Turks.

b Alb N uc : Number of use citations provided by Albanian informants; Bo/Go N uc : Number of use citations provided by Bosnian and Gorani informants; Tur N uc : Number of use citations provided by Turkish informants.

c UV Alb : Use-value for one species by the Albanian group; UV Bo/Go : Use-value for one species by the Bosniaks and Gorani; UV Tur : Use-value for one species by the Turkish group. This index measures the relative importance of each species based on its reported use by informants from each cultural group under study.

d Q: Quadrant assignments are based on adjusted use-values (UVadj), which were calculated by dividing the use-value (UV) of each group by the maximum use-value (UVmax) for food citations (UVadj not shown).

Table 3

Plants used in handicraft applications in the study area

Botanical taxon, family and voucher specimen code

Status

Folk name(s) a

Part(s) used

Use Category

Specific Use(s)

Alb N uc b

Bo/Go N uc b

Tur N uc b

UV Alb c

UV Bo/Go c

UV Tur c

Q d

Abies alba Mill. (Pinaceae) 14/Pz/2013

W

BredhiALB

Wood

Carpentry

Used for home construction and different home furniture

5

4

2

0.082

0.125

0.043

I

Acer campestre L. (Sapindaceae)

W

PanjaALB

Wood

Carpentry

Used for constructing musical instruments (“çifteli”, violin etc.)

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Alnus glutinosa L. (Betulaceae)

W

VerriALB

Twigs

Dye

Brown color used for textile coloring

2

1

1

0.033

0.031

0.022

I

Beta vulgaris L. (Amaranthaceae)

C

RrepaALB

Taproot

Dye

Red color, used for textile coloring

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Centaurea cyanus L. (Asteraceae) 20/Pz/2013

W

KokoçeliALB

Flowers

Dye

Blue color, used for textile coloring

0

5

0

0

0.156

0

II

KicicaBOG

Corylus avellana L. (Betulaceae) 24/Pz/2013

W

LejthıALB

Stems

Handicraft

Used to construct baskets, usually large ones for carrying animal food

10

5

0

0.164

0.156

0

VI

Cotinus coggygria Scop. (Anacardiaceae) 64/Pz/2013

W

Dru bojeALB

Fruits

Dye

Yellow color, used for leather, wool and other textile coloring

2

0

3

0.033

0

0.065

I

RujTUR

Boyaci sumakTUR

Juglans regia L. (Juglandaceae) 40/Pz/2013

C

ArraALB

Wood

Carpentry

Used for furniture preservation, this is characterized by a high aesthetic value.

3

2

2

0.082

0.063

0.043

I

Fruit cortex

Dye

Coloring of hair, wool and cotton

2

0

0

    

Juniperus communis L. (Cupressaceae) 39/Pz/2013

W

GëllijaALB

Wood

Musical instrument

Used for construction of “lahuta”, a single-stringed musical instrument used in traditionally music.

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl. (Cucurbitaceae)

C

PocerkaALB

Dried fruits

Liquid container

Fruits opened and used as a water container

6

8

4

0.098

0.25

0.087

II

Morus alba L. (Moraceae) 49/Pz/2013

C

Mani i bardhëALB

Wood

Liquid container

Used to construct casks for storing alcohol, which gives it a characteristic light yellow color

4

0

1

0.066

0

0.022

I

AkdutTUR

Morus nigra L. (Moraceae) 48/Pz/2013

C

Mani i ziALB DutTUR

Wood

Liquid container

Used to construct casks for storing alcohol, which gives it a characteristic light yellow color

4

0

1

0.066

0

0.022

I

KaradutTUR

Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold. (Pinaceae)

W/C

PishaALB

Wood

Carpentry

Used for home construction and construction of different furniture.

0

6

1

0

0.188

0.022

II

Kara qamTUR

Polygonum aviculare L. (Polygonaceae)

W

MadimakBOG

Aerial parts

Dye

Blue color, used for wool coloring

0

0

3

0

0

0.065

I

KusekmeziTUR

Pyrus communis L. (Rosaceae) 58/Pz/2013

W

DardhaALB

Wood

Musical instrument

Used for construction of “Zurla”, an oboe-like woodwind instrument.

2

0

0

0.033

0

0

I

Dardha egerALB

Rhamnus frangula (Rhamnaceae)

E

Druni barutitALB

Wood

Weaponry

Used as a gunpowder ingredient

0

0

1

0

0

0.022

I

Barut agaqiTUR

Rubia tinctorum L. (Rubiaceae)

W

Boj kuqeALB CrvenkaBOG

Roots and fruits

Dye

Red color, used for textile coloring

0

4

0

0

0.125

0

I

Salix purpurea L. (Salicaceae)

W

RakitaALB

Twigs

Handicraft

To construct different type of baskets

5

2

0

0.082

0.063

0

I

Sambucus ebulus L. (Adoxaceae)

W

KinlaALB

Fruits

Dye

Blue color, used for textile coloring

0

4

0

0

0.125

0

I

Crna zovaBOG

Zea mays L. (Poaceae) 92/Pz/2013

C

MisriALB

Mature leaves

Handicraft

Used to construct different types of baskets

0

0

4

0

0

0.087

I

Kollomoq ALB

KollomoqiTUR

a Folk Names. ALBfolk name(s) recorded among Albanians; BOGfolk name(s) recorded among Bosniaks/Gorani; TURfolk name(s) recorded among Turks.

b Alb N uc : Number of use citations provided by Albanian informants; Bo/Go N uc : Number of use citations provided by Bosnian and Gorani informants; Tur N uc : Number of use citations provided by Turkish informants.

c UV Alb : Use-value for one species by the Albanian group; UV Bo/Go : Use-value for one species by the Bosniaks and Gorani; UV Tur : Use-value for one species by the Turkish group. This index measures the relative importance of each species based on its reported use by informants from each cultural group under study.

d Q: Quadrant assignments are based on adjusted use-values (UVadj), which were calculated by dividing the use-value (UV) of each group by the maximum use-value (UVmax) for handicraft citations (UVadj not shown).

Results and discussion

In total, TEK on the local uses of 124 taxa (belonging to 51 families) was recorded; of these, 114 species were used for medicinal purposes, 29 wild species for food, and 20 for handicrafts. Some of the cited species were used for multiple purposes. The total number of use citation (Nuc) for each species is reported by ethnic group and category of use: medicinal (Table 1), food (Table 2), and handicraft (Table 3) applications.

Medicinal plants

TEK on the recorded local uses of 114 medicinal plant taxa, representing 49 taxonomic families, are reported in Table 1. Of these species, Achillea millefolium L., Sambucus nigra L., Urtica dioica L., Tilia platyphyllos Scop., Hypericum perforatum L., Matricaria chamomilla L., Thymus serpyllum L., and Vaccinium myrtillus L. were cited by more than 30% of the informants. Of the 114 cited for medicinal purposes, 44 are also included in the official Pharmacopoeia of Europe (European Pharmacopoeia. 6 ed.). The predominantly quoted botanical families were Rosaceae (13%), Asteraceae (11%), and Lamiaceae (10%). These same three “top” families were found to also be predominant among the wild medicinal taxa used in the folk medicine of the Albanian Alps (Kosovo), Alps in Montenegro, Albania, and in the Gollak region of Kosovo [13,17-19,25,26].

The total number species quoted by each ethnic group were roughly equivalent: 67, 66, and 71 for the Albanians, Turks and Bosniaks, respectively. Figure 3A illustrates the overlap in citation of medicinal plant among the three populations, with 10 species used only by Albanians, 18 by Turks and 21 only by Bosniaks/Gorani. Furthermore, common uses were shared between certain groups: 15 only between Albanians and Turks, 8 only between Bosniaks/Gorani and Turks and 17 only between Albanian and Bosniaks/Gorani. A total of 25 species were cited for medicinal use by all three study populations.

The most frequently cited medicinal uses referred to gastrointestinal (17.8%), respiratory (15.1%) ailments, heart disease (13.6%), illnesses affecting the urogenital system (12.4%) and the skin (10.5%). These categories were the most frequently quoted in the ethnobotanical studies conducted in Gollak (Kosovo) [26], while the gastrointestinal and respiratory troubles were also the most frequently quoted in the ethnobotanical studies conducted in the Albanian Alps (Kosovar, Montenegrin and Albanian sides) [13,17-19,25].

Our 3-D analysis of the data revealed that of the cited species, Chamomila recutita had the highest use-value across groups, and was assigned to Quadrant VI, demonstrating high value among Albanians and Bosniaks/Gorani, with moderately high (UVadj = 0.46) use-value among the Turkish population studied as well. While most taxa fell into Quadrant I, representing low to moderate level use-values among all three populations, two additional species stood out from the majority and fell into Quadrant II: Allium sativum and Urtica dioica. Both of these taxa demonstrated high use-value scores among Bosniaks/Gorani , with moderate use-values among Albanians and Turks.

Upon cross-cultural comparative analysis of our findings with those reported in the medico-ethnobotanical literature available on the Southern Balkans [1-4,6,8-10,12,13,15,17,19-21,25-27], we identified the following novel uses of several plants, which could merit further phytochemical and bioactivity analyses:
  • the topical application of the fruiting body of Amanita caesarea in the treatment of skin infections;

  • the drinking of an infusion of the aerial parts of Apium graveolens to treat sterility;

  • the drinking of an infusion of the aerial parts of Avena sativa (Figure 5)for its skeletal system enhancement effect;

  • the consumption of Brassica rapa taproot to treat eye disorders and stimulate the immune system;

  • the drinking of an infusion of aerial parts of Geranium sanguineum to treat respiratory disorders;

  • the topical application of Hordeum sativum flour, mixed with oil, for wound healing;

  • the drinking of an infusion of the aerial parts of Juncus effusus (Figure 6) to treat urinary tract disorders;

  • the drinking of an infusion of the aerial parts of Leonurus cardiaca as cardiotonic, to improve blood circulation and memory enhancement; and

  • the drinking of an infusion of aerial parts of Trifolium arvense as an anti-rheumatic.

Figure 5

The aerial parts of Avena sativa L. (Poaceae) are prepared as an infusion and drunk for the purpose of enhancing the skeletal system.

Figure 6

The aerial parts of Juncus effusus L. (Juncaceae) are prepared as an infusion and drunk to treat urinary tract disorders.

Food plants

The food uses of 29 wild species, representing 16 families, were recorded (Table 2). Of these, 3 were quoted only by Albanians, 2 only by Turks and 2 only by Bosniaks/Gorani. Figure 3B illustrates the high level of overlap of cited plant species for food uses, with 12 species being cited by all three populations. Regarding common overlaps in species uses, 1were shared in common only between Albanians and Turks, 4 only between Bosniaks/Gorani and Turks and 5 only between Albanian and Bosniaks/Gorani. Regarding the preparation of traditional foods, some of these, such as salep (beverage from Orchis spp. tubers) and shurup (syrup from Rosa damascena flowers), were prepared quite frequently in the past, but nowadays have nearly disappeared. The most frequently cited food uses of local plants referred to foods that are eaten fresh or processed (33.3%), beverages (22.2%), teas (17.8%), jams (17.8%) and food additives (8.9%). Our 3-D analysis of adjusted use values revealed that all taxa with the exception of one are placed in Quadrant I, indicating a common low to moderate level of use-value shared among populations. Wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca), on the other hand, fell in Quadrant II, and is highly valued by Bosniaks/Gorani for its use as a food, beverage ingredient and jam ingredient. Its use as a beverage by the Bosniak/Gorani, prepared by boiling with sugar, was not cited by either Albanians or Turks in this study.

Handicraft plants

The handicraft uses of 20 species, representing 18 families, were recorded (Table 3). Of these, 5 were quoted only by Albanians, 3 by Turks and 2 by Bosniaks/Gorani. Figure 3C illustrates a moderate level of overlap of the handicraft uses of plant species, with only 4 being cited by all 3 populations. Regarding common overlaps in species uses, 3 were shared in common only between Albanians and Turks, 1 only between Bosniaks/Gorani and Turks and 2 only between Albanian and Bosniaks/Gorani. The most frequently cited form of handicraft uses of local flora included dyes (38.1%), musical instruments (28.6%), carpentry (19.0%) and liquid containers (14.3%).

As might be expected with lower levels of overlap between taxa cited for use for this purpose, we also observed greater distinction in the spread of taxa in our 3-D comparative analysis of adjusted use-values. Of note, Corylus avellana, which is a key resource for basket weaving in this region, fell into Quadrant VI, indicating its high use-value among Albanians and Bosniaks/Gorani. It had no cited use among Turks. Lagenaria siceraria, whose fruits are used as a container for carrying water, had a top use-value among Bosniaks/Gorani, with moderate scores among Albanians and Turks (Quadrant II). Pinus nigra, used for home and furniture construction, likewise has a high use-value score among Bosniaks/Gorani, but a very low use-value among Turks, and no citations for Albanians.

Cross-cultural comparison

Both the distinct and overlapping patterns of TEK reported by the 3 ethnic groups are illustrated in Figure 3. Although the number of informants was slightly uneven among the three populations, a general tendency can be observed nevertheless, also because “saturation” plateaus in which no new plant uses quoted by new interviewees were commonly reached after approximately 15–20 interviews. While we could not observe any remarkable differences among the wild plants used in the food and handicraft domains by the three populations, a difference is notable in the medicinal domain. When it comes to medicinal TEK, Albanians appear less herbophilic than both Slavs and Turks. This finding confirms what has already been pointed out by other field studies conducted in other Western Balkans areas and involving both Slavs and Ghegh Albanians [10,15]. This phenomenon may be best explained by the fact that the traditional economy of Ghegh Albanians was for many centuries based upon a pure pastoralist/transhumant economy, whereas they have rarely traded herbs. For the Slavs, however, the gathering of herbs from the wild has persisted as their well-known main occupation within a mixed system of small-scale agriculture and pastoralism. This is especially the case among Islamicized Slavs living in the mountainous areas of SE Europe.

Conclusion

For the first time in European ethnobotany, this study presents data comparing the medicinal, food, and handicraft plant use practices of three different ethnic populations living in the same area. We have introduced a new analytical method (3-D adjusted use-value plots) for comparison of taxa across different populations living in the same environment, with access to the same taxa and other environmental resources. While we have documented the presence of some small distinct sets of TEK in these populations, this is overwhelmingly coupled by a substantial overlap in the use of local taxa, suggesting a hybrid character to the Kosovar TEK in this region, especially with regards to TEK in the food and handicraft domains. Such cross-cultural studies could be important for proposing culturally-sensitive ways of using plant natural resources in future sustainable economic development initiatives. Indeed, the success of any future development efforts involving natural resources must take into account local perceptions and attitudes concerning plants, which can vary greatly in some cases, among different ethnic groups living in the same territory. Examples of such initiatives could include a focus on eco-tourism and the small-scale trade of foods, aromatic plants, medicinal herbs, and handicraft products. Findings from studies such as this one should be implemented in projects aimed at fostering collaboration and reconciliation among the diverse ethnic and religious communities living in Kosovo.

Declarations

Acknowledgments

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the communities and people who agreed to participate in this study; moreover, we thank the US Embassy in Kosovo, for financial support of the field research (grant no. S-KV420-14GR-096). Thanks to Matthew Dorian for assistance with MATLAB® programing.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Institute of Biological and Environmental Research, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”
(2)
University of Gastronomic Sciences
(3)
Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory University
(4)
Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine

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© Mustafa et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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