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Table 3 List of plant species used in folk culture of Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian borderland

From: Fischer’s Plants in folk beliefs and customs: a previously unknown contribution to the ethnobotany of the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian borderland

Species Local name Category of uses Use value Relative importance value
Achillea millefolium L. krwawnik M: bleeding wounds (Giby, Olany, Polany); stomach ache (Olany); V: for cows when they piss with blood (Janów nad Wilią) 3 40
Achillea ptarmica L. czyszcz C: cultivated in home gardens (Giby); R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby); V: for cows which have just given birth (Giby) 3 -
Acorus calamus L. koławij, francuska trawa, tatarak F: bread is baked on its leaves (Giby); M: for hair growth (Giby) 2 20
Aesculus hippocastanum L. kasztan M: rheumatism (Olany) 1 20
Agave spp. (?) oljeander, akjaż C: cultivated in pots (Giby) 1 -
Agrostemma githago L. kąkol F: stimulant, food seasoning [probably mistaken information] (Giby) 1 -
Alisma plantago-aquatica L. (?) babka wodna M: rabies (Kozły) 1 -
Allium cepa L. cebula M: ulcerous wounds (Giby); women’s genital discharge (Polany) 3 40
Allium sativum L. czosnek M: rheumatism (Giby); intestinal parasites (Polany) 2 40
Alnus sp. olcha H: yellow colour dyeing agent (Giby, Narbutowszczyzna); M: swelling (Giby) 2 20
Aloe spp. aljas M: wounds (Polany) 1 20
Anchusa officinalis L. miodunka M: lung infection (Giby) 1 20
Angelica sp. dzięgiel A: hung in the windows to protect against plague (Troki) 1 -
Antennaria dioica (L.) Gaertn. no data M: folk illness przełamanie (Giby); R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby) 2 20
Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh. obrymaczki M: folk illness fright (Giby); V: swelling in cows (Giby) 2 20
Arctium tomentosum Mill. rzepnik M: folk illness róża (Święty Duch) 1 20
Armoracia rusticana P. Gaertn., B. Mey. & Schreb. chrzan M: cough (Narbutowszczyzna); body weakness (Polany) 2 40
Artemisia abrotanum L. boże drzewko C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno) 1 -
Artemisia absinthium L. piełunek, piołun (Giby), pałyn (Narbutowszczyzna), piołunek (Olany) M: internal pains, general weakness (Giby); stomach ache (Narbutowszczyzna), folk illness poruszenie (Olany) 3 60
Artemisia annua L. [A. abrotanum L.] boże drzewko M: wounds (Polany) 1 20
Artemisia vulgaris L. bylica M: general weakness, folk illness fright (Giby) 2 40
Astragalus glycyphyllos L. (?) bociany, bociani groch M: intestinal parasites (Giby) 1 20
Atriplex sp., Chenopodium sp. no data H: added to fodder improves egg laying (Janów nad Wilią) 1 -
Avena sativa L. owies F: ritual food, porridge during fasting periods (Polany); R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby) 2 -
Beta vulgaris L. burok F: everyday food, consumed with cabbage and nettles (Narbutowszczyzna) 1 -
Betula sp. brzoza F: bark as famine food added to bread (Narbutowszczyzna); H: leaves as dyeing agent (Narbutowszczyzna); M: kidney infection (Giby); intestinal problems (Olany) 4 40
Brassica oleracea L. kapusta F: everyday food (Narbutowszczyzna); R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby) 2 -
Brassica rapa L. rzepa F: beverage (Narbutowszczyzna) 1 -
Briza media L. łezki, konopki M: kidney infection and urine with blood (Oszmiana) 1 20
Bryonia alba L. przestęp M: wounds, sore throat (Olany) 2 40
Calendula officinalis L. nagietki (Olany, Polany, Kowno), nagietek ogrodowy (Wiłkomierz area) C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno); M: against miscarriage (Olany, Wiłkomierz area); wounds (Wiłkomierz area); V with oatmeal and wheat : for cattle (Olany); for cows in the event of an impact, so as not to calve to early (Polany) 5 40
Calluna sp. wieroz F: seeds as famine food, additive to flour (Narbutowszczyzna) 1 -
Cannabis sativa L. konopie M: ulcerous wounds on head (Giby) 1 20
Carum carvi L. kmin F: fruits as seasoning for bread and cheese (Giby); M: stomach ache, headache (Olany) 3 40
Centaurium pulchellum (Sw.) Druce centurja M: folk illness poruszenie (Święty Duch) 1 20
Centaurium sp. centurja M: folk illness poruszenie (Polany); liver pain (Grygielany) 2 40
Chelidonium majus L. złoty groszek M: eye infection (Giby) 1 20
Chenopodium album L. lebioda F: famine food as cabbage substitute (Narbutowszczyzna); famine food, eaten boiled with fat (Giby) 1 -
Chimaphila umbellata (L.) Nutt. stanawnik M: folk illness poruszenie (Polany) 1 20
Cichorium intybus L. uraźnik M: internal pains, menstrual pains (Giby) 2 40
Cirsium sp./Carduus sp. oset F: everyday food as sorrel substitute, famine food eaten dried (Narbutowszczyzna) 2 -
Consolida regalis Gray regulka (Giby), rahulka (Święty Duch) M: colic (Giby, Święty Duch) 1 20
Convallaria sp. konwalia M: internal pains, together with flowers of Cyanus segetum (Giby) 1 20
Convolvulus arvensis L. powojka M: general children’s weakness, headache (Giby) 2 40
Coriandrum sativum L. kolendra F: seasoning for meat (Giby) 1 -
Cyanus segetum Hill. chaber (Giby, Oszmiana), wasilki (Graużyszki, Oszmiana), bławatki, kwiat wasilków (Olany) M: eye infection, colic (Giby); ulcerous wounds (Graużyszki); cough (Olany); liquid retention in the organism (Oszmiana) 5 100
Cynoglossum officinale L. repiej M: rheumatism, wounds (Giby) 2 40
Daucus carota L. marchew M: jaundice, drunk together with Tanacetum vulgare; R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby) 2 20
Dianthus deltoides L. iskraczki M: chest pain (Grygielany) 1 20
Dianthus sp. goździk leśny (Giby), goździk (Kowno) C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno); M: intestinal infection (Giby) 2 20
Elsholtzia ciliata (Thunb.) Hyl. malisa M: sore throat (Święty Duch) 1 20
Epilobium sp. podwiejnik M: paralysis, in decoction and smoking; common cold (Oszmiana) 2 40
Equisetum arvense L. skrzyp M: kidney infection, decoction with Juniperus communis frutis, Betula sp. leaves, and two unidentified plants: borownik świński, koszerka (Giby) 1 20
Equisetum pratense Ehrh. no data M: internal illnesses in general (Olany) 1 20
Euonymus sp. strzmielina, ćwiekulec H: material for cobbler’s pins (Janów nad Wilią, Wiłkomierz) 1 -
Ferula sp. smrodzieniec, czarcie łajno B: lighted reveals sorcerer and expels him (Nowogródek) 1 -
Fragaria vesca L. poziomka (Giby), paziemacznik (Grygielany), poziomnik (Olany) M: chest pain (Giby, Olany); infertility (Giby); cough (Grygielany) 3 50
Frangula alnus Mill. no data M: bladder infection (Święty Duch) 1 20
Geranium palustre L. (?) ślaz M: folk illness poruszenie (Olany) 1 20
Glyceria fluitans (L.) R.Br. manna jadalna F: seeds as everyday food, type of gruel (Janów nad Wilią) 1 -
Gymnocarpium dryopteris (L.) Newman urocznik M: folk illness fright, evil eye (Olany, Oszmiana, Polany) 2 30
Helianthemum nummularium (L.) Mill. słonownik M: kidney infection (Giby) 1 20
Helichrysum arenarium (L.) Moench obrymaczki leśne (Giby), dramulki (Grygielany), miedulki żółte, nebot (Oszmiana) C: cultivated in pots [may be a mistaken information]; M: lung infection (Giby); abdominal pain (Grygielany); diarrhoea (Oszmiana); R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby) 5 50
Hordeum vulgare L. jęczmień F: ceremonial food, Christmas eve gruel (Polany) 1 -
Hypericum perforatum L. świętojańskie ziele M: folk illness poruszenie, stomach ache (Olany) 2 30
Inula helenium L. homian (Janów nad Wilią, Wiłkomierz) C: cultivated in home gardens (Janów nad Wilią); M: scabies (Wiłkomierz); V: cattle’s broken legs (Janów nad Wilią) 3 20
Juniperus communis L. jałowiec M: respiratory problems, swelling (Polany) 1 40
Knautia arvensis (L.) Coult. sinowodór M: folk illness fright in children (Giby) 1 20
Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl. (?) tykwa C: cultivated in home gardens, H: kept on furniture as adornment (Kowno) 1 -
Lamium album L. głucha pokrzywa (Graużyszki), porzywa biała (Narbutowszczyzna) M: heart problems, anaemia (Graużyszki); women’s vaginal discharge (Narbutowszczyzna) 3 50
Ledum palustre L. rozmaryn leśny, bagno F: stimulant used as beer adulterant (Wilno area); H: repellent (Wilno area) 2 -
Leonurus sp. (?) serdecznik biały (male), serdecznik czerwony (female) [there is a belief that two varieties exist : white – male and red – female] M: internal infections (Giby) 1 20
Linaria vulgaris Mill. lonnica M: smallpox (Graużyszki) 1 20
Linum usitatissimum L. len M: swelling, sore throat (Polany) 2 40
Lycopodium clavatum L. widlak-dziercza M: wounds (Olany) 1 20
Malus domestica Borkh. jabłoń M: heart problems, general weakness (Olany) 2 40
Malva borealis Wallman ślaz krzaczasty M: cough (Giby) 1 20
Malva spp. ślaz (Giby, Olany), różyczka (Janów nad Wilią) C: cultivated in home gardens (Janów nad Wilią); M: wounds (Giby); folk illness poruszenie (Olany) 3 40
Matricaria chamomilla L. rumianek M: stomach ache (Giby) 1 20
Melilotus officinalis (L.) Pall borlenin (?) żółty [the local name is difficult to decipher] M: women’s problems, ulcers, swelling (Giby) 3 60
Mentha sp. mięta C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno); F: refreshing drink (Olany); M: diarrhoea (Polany) 3 20
Mentha x piperita L. mięta pieprzowa M: bone weakness, vomits (Giby); stomach ache (Olany) 3 50
Menyanthes trifoliata L. bobek M: ague, stomach problems (Olany) 2 40
Minuartia sp. (?) mokrzyca M: swollen limbs (Giby) 1 20
Nicotiana tabacum L. tytoń M: external parasites; decoction harmful to lungs, it can cause death. Men sometimes drink it to avoid being taken to the army (Olany) 2 40
Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm. łoteć M: “Large leaves of this yellow flower put on a wound, as they are cold, they extract fire” (Janów nad Wilią) 1 20
Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm. or Lilium sp. gribilija, żółta lilja M: headache, skin infection, folk illness róża, women’s vaginal discharge, decoction together with Lamium album and Trifolium repens (Giby) 4 70
Origanum vulgare L. lebiodunka V: medicine for cattle (Giby) 1 -
Paeonia sp. piwonja C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno) 1 -
Papaver somniferum L. mak (Graużyszki, Polany), macrek (Janów nad Wilią) C: cultivated in home gardens (Janów nad Wilią); F: an ingredient in the Christmas eve dish called kucja (Polany); M: toothache (Graużyszki) 3 20
Papaver sp. maczek C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno) 1 -
Parnassia cf palustris L. serdecznik żółty M: heart problem (Giby, Święty Duch); external ulcers (Oszmiana) 2 40
Pelargonium grandiflorum Willd. juranim M: pneumonia, drunk together with milk and honey (Olany) 1 20
Persicaria bistorta (L.) Samp. wężownik F: famine food, grated leaves are bread additives (Narbutowszczyzna); M: internal pains (Giby) 2 20
Phlox paniculata L. floks C: cultivated in home gardens (Giby) 1 -
Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. trzcina A: protects against thunders (Giby); R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby) 2 -
Pinus sylvestris L. sosna M: tuberculosis (Polany); lung infection (Grygielany, Święty Duch) 2 30
Pisum sativum L. groch H: agrarian knowledge about the best periods to sow the seeds: it says that pea should be sown during the new moon, so it will have a long flowering period, until harvest time. If sown with the north wind, it would be weak, but other people sow it precisely then, because it prevents pea from vermin. (Janów nad Wilią); V: pea, two eggs, a live frog and ink as an excellent remedy for cows which did not moo (Giby) 2 -
Plantago major L. babka (Giby), babka wielka (Kozły) M: pains, diarrhoea (Giby); wounds (Kozły) 3 60
Plantago media L. babka średnia M: ague (Kozły); pimples, phlegm and short breathing (Graużyszki) 3 60
Plantago sp. języczki (Kozły), babka (Polany, Święty Duch) M: wounds (Kozły, Polany); diarrhoea (Święty Duch) 2 40
Populus tremula L. osika H: house disinfectant (Olany) 1 -
Potentilla erecta (L.) Raeusch. gałgan M: folk illness poruszenie (Polany, Święty Duch) 1 20
Potentilla sp. dzierwanka, dzierwianka M: lung infection (Olany) 1 20
Primula veris L. kluczyki M: cough (Olany) 1 20
Prunella vulgaris L. brunelka (Giby), dramulki (Polany), czemborek (Graużyszki) F: refreshing drink, substitute of tobacco (Graużyszki); M: sore throat (Giby, Polany); headache (Giby) 4 40
Prunus cerasus L. wiśnia F: additive to lacto-fermented cucumbers (Polany) 1 -
Prunus padus L. czeremcha M: diarrhoea (Polany) 1 20
Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn (?) paprotnik F: famine food (Narbutowszczyzna) 1 -
Pulsatilla sp. sasanka M: lung problems (Olany) 1 20
Quercus sp. dąb M: toothache (Polany) 1 20
Rosa sp. rajska róża M: panaceum (Giby) 1 20
Rubus idaeus L. malina (Giby), malinak (Olany) M: common cold (Giby); fever (Olany) 2 40
Rumex sp. koński szczaw V: scrofula [horse’s illness] (Janów nad Wilią) 1 -
Ruta graveolens L. ruta C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno), M: toothache (Giby) 2 20
Salvia officinalis L. szoławij M: sore throat (Giby) 1 20
Sambucus nigra L. bez czarny M: cough (Grygielany, Narbutowszczyzna) 1 20
Sedum cf acre L. rozchodnik M: internal pains (Giby) 1 20
Sedum maximum (L.) Suter zajęcza kapusta M: folk illness poddźwignięcie/ochwat (Olany) 1 20
Sempervivum globiferum L. przeskok B: used in magic, peasants jump over it (Oszmiana) 1 -
Sinapis sp. gorczyca M: stomach ache, indigestion (Giby, Polany); “one may get retarded out of drinking it” (Giby); V: cows should not eat it, as gorczyca may spoil the milk (Giby) 3 40
Sonchus sp. mleczoj M: common cold (Giby) 1 20
Sorbus aucuparia L. jarzębina M: haemorrhoids (Olany), pain in chest (Polany) 2 40
Succisa pratensis Moench macicznik (Giby), naczniczki (Grygielany), nizipierśnik (Olany) M: uterus problems (Giby); somnifacient for children (Grygielany); ulcers (Olany) 3 60
Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (Willd.) G.L.Nesom no data C: cultivated in home gardens (Giby) 1 -
Syringa vulgaris L. bez M: cough (Olany), lung infection (Polany) 2 30
Tagetes spp. (?) aksamitka, maranta C: cultivated in home gardens (Kowno) 1 -
Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Sch.Bip. maruna M: indigestion (Giby) 1 20
Tanacetum vulgare L. wrotycz M: jaundice, with carrots [doctrine of signature] (Giby) 1 20
Taraxacum sp. cykorja polna F: everyday food in salads (Lithuania); M: warts (Lithuania) 2 20
Thymus pulegioides L. macierzanka (Giby), czombor (Olany) M: panaceum (Giby); lung infection (Olany); R: blessed on Assumption Day (Giby) 3 40
Tilia cordata Mill. lipa M: cough (Olnay); fever (Polany) 2 40
Tilia sp. lipa F: refreshing drink (Polany); M: common cold (Giby); fever (Polany) 3 40
Trifolium arvense L. koćki M: colic (Giby) 1 20
Trifolium aureum Pollich no data M: jaundice (Polany) 1 20
Trifolium montanum L. grzmotnik, biała koniczyna, dzięcielina (biała and wysoka) M: cough (Olany) 1 20
Trifolium pratense L. koniczyna dzika F: refreshing drink (Olany); M: internal problems (Olany) 2 20
Trifolium repens L. dzięcielinka (Giby), koniczyna biała (Graużyszki) M: women’s vaginal discharge, used together with Nuphar lutea and Lamium album (Giby); herpes (Graużyszki) 2 40
Trigonella foenum-graecum L. kozieradka H: to lure wild game (Janów nad Wilią) 1 -
Tropaeolum majus L. nasturcja M: wounds (Polany); infection, together with Anethum graveolens and milk (Olany) 2 40
Tropaeolum sp. naśturcie C: cultivated in home gardens (Giby) 1 -
Tussilago farfara L. podbiał M: headache, folk illness poderwanie (Giby) 2 40
Tussilago farfara L. (?) grzybień M: cough (Graużyszki) 1 20
Urtica spp. pokrzywa F: everyday food with cabbage and beets (Narbutowszczyzna) 1 -
Urtica urensi L. rzerzuszka M: paralysis, external ulcers, rheumatism (Graużyszki) 3 60
Vaccinium myrtillus L. jagodnik H: black colour dyeing agent (Janów nad Wilią); M: rheumatism (Narbutowszczyzna) 2 20
Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. brusznicznik M: rheumatism (Oszmiana) 1 20
Valeriana officinalis L. waleriana majowa M: neurological problems, anxiety (Oszmiana) 2 20
Veratrum sp. ciemiężyca M: folk illness poderwanie (Giby) 1 20
Verbascum lychnitis L. no data M: stomach ache (Grygielany) 1 20
Verbascum sp. dziewanna M: healing baths (Giby); chest pain (Narbutowszczyzna); V: cattle parasites (Giby) 3 40
Viola arvensis Murray żółte bratki, powojeza? [a name difficult to decipher] M: headach, lung infection, healing baths for children (Giby) 3 60
Viola tricolor L. bratczyki M: ulcers (Grygielany) 1 20
  1. Use categories: A apotropaic, B beliefs, C cultivated in home gardens, F food, H household, M medicinal, R ritual, V – veterinary