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Table 1 Uses of traditional plant phytotherapeuticals recorded during the interview to ‘Zi Matteo’ and confirmed by other participants (Legend: Status: C: cultivated, SC: semi-cultivated, W: wild; Use(s): M: medicinal uses, E: ethnoveterinary uses, F: food uses, D: domestic and handicraft uses)

From: Notes about the uses of plants by one of the last healers in the Basilicata Region (South Italy)

Botanical taxon Botanical family Vernacular name recorded Status Part(s) utilized Preparation Use(s) Claimed use(s)
Agave americana L. Asparagaceae sciabblon W Leaves Decoction is left overnight and then applied topically. M Treatment of muscle and rheumatic pain
Allium cepa L. Amaryllidaceae cipudda C Bulbs Oleolite (frying) M Healing of purulent skin abscesses (caused by thorns)
      Soup M Galactagogue
      Crushed and then applied topically M Treatment of bruises
      Used as an aromatic in the kitchen F Spice
Allium sativum L. Amaryllidaceae dd’agghie C Bulbs Eaten raw M Anti-hypertensive
      Ground, mixed with parsley, and applied topically M Healing of insect bites
      Necklace, to be worn by babies or children M Vermifuge
      Heated on hot charcoal, then applied topically M Healing of warts
      Used as an aromatic in the kitchen F Spice, aromatizing sausages
Aloysia citrodora Palau Verbenaceae citronella C, SC Leaves Streaked on the skin M Mosquito repellant
Amaranthus retroflexus L. Amaranthaceae p’pon salvagge W Young buds Picked before flowering F Food
Anethum graveolens L. Apiaceae f’nucchiastr C Leaves Picked before flowering F Flavoring for canned olives
     Seeds Used as an aromatic in the kitchen F Spice for sausages and for Easter cakes
Avena sativa L. Poaceae biama/avena C Seeds Decoction M Reconstituent for small children
Arundo donax L. Poaceae canna W Membrane Topical application M Haemostatic
Arum italicum Mill. Araceae ‘nzale W Sap Topical application M Healing of warts
Asparagus acutifolius L. Asparagaceae sparije W Shoots Boiled and consumed alone or with scrambled eggs and fresh cheese F Diuretic
Borago officinalis L. Boraginaceae vurrajiene W Aerial parts (at flowering) Soup prepared with Allium cepa F Galactagogue
      Decoction M Sore throat remedy
      In salad (finely minced leaves) F Food
Brassica oleracea L. Brassicaceae cav’l C Leaves Roasted and applied topically E Treatment of mastitis or shoulder pain
Calamintha nepeta L. Lamiaceae nepita W Leaves Decoction for local washing E Treatment of rhagades and mastitis of cattle
Capsicum annuum L. Solanaceae cancaricchi’e C Pods Used as an aromatic in the kitchen F Anti-hypertensive
     Seeds Fitted in a little bag and attached to clothing as an amulet (ritual-medical use) M Treatment of evil-eye
Ceratonia siliqua L. Leguminosae carrubba C Fruits Decoction with Ficus carica L and Malva sylvestris L M Emollient
Cichorium intybus L. Asteraceae cicoria catalogna C Aerial parts Soup M Laxative
Citrus limonum Risso Rutaceae l’mon’e C Fruits Decoction M Treatment of diarrhea
Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb. Rutaceae purt’galle C Fruits Decoction in mixtures with other species M Treatment of sore throat and cough
Clematis vitalba L. Ranunculaceae vitacchia W Fruits Decoction used as a gargle M Healing of mouth inflammations
Cynara scolymus L. Asteraceae scaler’ W Flower heads Decoction M Liver depurative
Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. Poaceae gramigna W Rhizome Decoction M Diuretic
Diplotaxis tenuifolia (L) DC. Brassicaceae ruca salvagg’e W Leaves Oleolite (fried leaves) applied topically M Treatment of muscle pain
Ecballium elaterium (L.) A. Rich. Cucurbitaceae cucc’ marrong’e W Fruits Decoction used as a gargle M Toothache remedy
Eucalyptus globulus Labill. Myrtaceae calipso C, SC Leaves Decoction with Malva sylvestris M Respiratory tract antiseptic
Ficus carica L. Moraceae fica C, SC Fruits Dried, then decoction with other herbs M Treatment of sore throats and bronchitis, intestinal depurative
     Sap Topical application M Healing of insect bites and warts
Glycyrrhiza glabra L. Leguminosae pruvlizije SC Roots Decoction M Anti-tussive agent
Hordeum vulgare L. Poaceae dd’orije C Seeds Decoction, in mixtures with other vegetables M Treatment of sore throats and bronchitis
      Bread embedded with a decoction of the seeds M Reconstituent for ill children and elderly
Juglans regia L. Juglandaceae nucia C, SC Leaves Leaves put into the shoes M Treatment of excessive foot perspiration
Lactuca sativa L. Asteraceae lattuca C Leaves Decoction used as a gargle and a topical application M Treatment of gingival abscess
      Boiled, applied topically M Toothache remedy
Laurus nobilis L. Lauraceae laur’ SC Leaves Decoction M Treatment of sore throat and stress
Malva sylvestris L. Malvaceae malva W Aerial parts (at flowering) Decoction M Mild laxative
      Decoction M Treatment of furuncles, abscesses and dermatitis (in babies)
      Fresh leaves are boiled and placed into cloth sack to use as a warm compress E Treatment of mastitis
Marrubium vulgare L. Lamiaceae marrug’ W Aerial parts (at flowering) Decoction used as a wash M Healing of cysts, panacea
Myrtus communis L. Myrtaceae murtedda W Fruits Infusion M Treatment of colds
      Ash sprinkled into shoes M Treatment of excessive foot perspiration
Papaver somniferum L. Papaveraceae papagna SC Fruits Decoction M Tranquillizer
Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A.W. Hill Apiaceae putrsin’ C Aerial parts Decoction M Abortion inducement
      Ground with garlic (Allium sativum) bulbs and topically applied M Healing of insect bites
      Decoction with fern roots M Abortion inducement
Prunus domestica L. Rosaceae prugn C Fruits Dried and eaten M Laxative
Pyrus communis L. Rosaceae pir’ C Fruits Boiled M Mild laxative
Ocimum basilicum L. Lamiaceae basilic C Leaves Smell inhaled M Headache remedy
Olea europaea L. Oleaceae guliv’ C Leaves Leaves chewed M Stomachache remedy
Origanum vulgare L. ssp. viride (Boiss.) Hayek Lamiaceae rigan’e W Aerial parts (at flowering) Smoked, fumes inhaled M Toothache remedy
Populus alba L. Salicaceae chiupp C, SC Young stems Handcrafted D Collars for cows
Portulaca oleracea L. Portulacaceae purchiazza SC Aerial parts In salad or boiled F Food
Rosmarinus officinalis L. Lamiaceae ros’marin C Aerial parts (at flowering) Decoction M Sore throat or stomachache remedy
Ruta graveolens L. Rutaceae ruta C Aerial parts (at flowering) Oleolite(fried) applied topically M Treatment of muscle pain
Salvia officinalis L. Lamiaceae salvia C Aerial parts (at flowering) Decoction M Sore throat remedy
     Leaves Rubbed on the teeth M Teeth-whitener
Salix alba L. Salicaceae salic SC, W Young stems Handcrafted D Tying vines
Sambucus nigra L. Adoxaceae sambuc W Fruits Decoction M Diaphoretic
      Decoction with other species M Sore throat remedy
      Squashed on the skin M Healing of insect bites
Silybum marianum (L.) Gaert. Asteraceae cardon’ W Aerial parts In salad or cooked F Food
      Boiled with other vegetables F Food
Spartium junceum L. Fabaceae g’nestra W Stems Topical application M Healing of warts
Tamarix gallica L. Tamaricaceae vruc/tamarice W Young stems Ritual-magical use M Healing of warts
Taraxacum officinale Weber Asteraceae cicorion’ W Aerial parts In mixed salad or as boiled vegetable F Food
Urtica dioica L. Urticaceae r’ddicula W Aerial parts Decoction M Digestive agent
      Decoction M Liver protection
      Local washing M Treatment of hemorrhoids
      Boiled leaves mixed with tomatoes and eaten M Treatment of renal problems
      Cooked (e.g. in omelettes, croquettes, and soups) F Mineralizing