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Table 2 Food, medicinal, and other domestic uses of non-indigenous plants, and animal, mineral, and industrial products quoted in the study area

From: One century later: the folk botanical knowledge of the last remaining Albanians of the upper Reka Valley, Mount Korab, Western Macedonia

Product (local name) Local use
Animal rennet (stomach of very young animals) (sirisht) Used for producing cheese, but also as a starter for making yogurt#; anti-diarrheal
Ants Used in the past as a rennet substitute#
Bear’s fat Used externally for treating rheumatisms#
Beer One glass of beer, drunk, is considered healthy for the kidney
Black piece of cloth Tied onto cow’s neck or horns, as a protective amulet against evil eye#
Bullet Attached to clothes and worn as a protective amulet against evil eye#
Buttermilk (dhallët) Drunk as a post-partum reconstituent or for treating intestinal troubles and hypertension; used as starter for producing home-made yogurt
Chicken Cooked for a long time, until obtaining a gelatinous material, which is further cooked together with onions, corn flour and vinegar to create home-made soap#
Clarified butter (tlynë) Drunk for treating hypotension
Clothes dressed on the wrong side Protective amulet against evil eye#
Coffee powder Spoonful is ingested for treating hypotension; decoction (“Turkish coffee”) for hypotension; externally applied to cuts
Copper sulphate Used externally for healing lameness in sheep#
Cow’s milk Drunk in cases of constipation
Cut Cutting the ewe’s ear and letting blood coming out was considered an effective method for treating several sheep diseases#
Dried sheep and cow’s faeces Burned, the resulting smoke keeps the bees away while taking honey#
Goat milk Applied (warm) into the ear against earache#
Gunpowder (barut) Its odour is exposed to the nose of sleepwalkers, in order to bring them back to consciousness#; odour was also considered a repellent for werewolves#
Hare’s meat If consumed, believed to inhibit fertility#
Honey (mjalt) Consumed for improving blood circulation or as a post-partum reconstituent: Ingested for treating sore throats
Knife A knife placed under the pillow is considered preventive for sleepwalking#
Leech Applied externally for “sucking the bad blood”#
Lemon Drunk to treat hypertension; sometimes used in the past as rennet for making cheese#
Match’s head Topically applied for treating toothaches#
Mother’s milk Instilled in the ear for treating inflammations/earache
Mud Applied onto bee stings for pain relief#
Oil Ingested to treat constipation
Pork fat Externally used on burns#
Propolis Tea or macerate in raki used for treating cough/respiratory problems and intestinal discomforts (all of which are considered “new” uses)
Ricotta cheese (gjizë) Consumed, is considered “good for the blood”
Royal gelly Consumed for improving mental faculties (“new” use)
Salt Brought to the Islamic spiritual guide (hoxha), who “wrote something” with this# - this was considered essential for treating the evil eye of a member of the family; mixed with water, and the resulting solution instilled in the ear or eye for treating inflammations; mixed with hot water in external bathes for treating chilblains;
Applied topically for treating toothache
Soap A small piece inserted in the anus, as a purgative#
Snow Applied on the feet for relieving arthritic pains
Starch Ingested for treating diarrhoea
Stone Pressed on skin zone affected by the bee bite, in order to relieve the pain
Sugar Externally applied to cuts; mixed with water (sherbet) for treating stomach-ache; burned and ingested considered a medicine for sore throats
Tobacco Haemostatic
Urin (human urine) Externally applied on cuts#; drunk against hepatitis#
Vinegar from honey (uthull dëgjetes) - produced at home fermenting in water honey and raw wax for a couple of weeks Used as rennet#; Externally applied on the front or feet for treating fever; applied on the chest for treating bronchitis; applied on the belly of babies when crying or colicky
Yogurt (kos) Post-partum reconstituent
Water Drunk against high blood pressure; Fumigations of hot water (eventually heated by previously heated stone) for treating cold
Whey (hirra) Drunk as a diuretic, or against hypertension, or “to decrease fats in the blood”
Wool Raw sheep wool externally applied for treating bruises#
  1. # remembered, but nowadays disappeared use(s).