Skip to content

Advertisement

  • Research
  • Open Access

Traditional knowledge about plant, animal, and mineral-based remedies to treat cattle, pigs, horses, and other domestic animals in the Mediterranean island of Sardinia

Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine201814:50

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-018-0250-7

  • Received: 2 February 2018
  • Accepted: 10 July 2018
  • Published:

Abstract

Background

Mediterranean farmers traditionally utilized plants, animals, and minerals sourced locally to treat their animals. Research is needed to understand at what extent such knowledge of domestic animal care still survives and to document such traditions for further developments.

Methods

We carried out our field study to recover ancient ethno-veterinary practices by means of questionnaires and interviews to farmers in rural areas of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia (Italy). Quantitative indices were used to evaluate the distribution and diversity of the acquired information.

Results

We report here 98 sources (42 plant taxa, 14 animal-based substances, 15 minerals, and 27 other materials of various origin) emerged from the survey for the care of 41 ailments of cattle, pigs, and horses. Ethno-veterinary treatments, detailed in their formulations and applications, were used against ecto- and endo-parasites, gastrointestinal diseases, heart diseases, viral and bacterial diseases, wounds, sprains, and bruises.

Conclusion

Our survey can be useful to implement the use of phyto-therapeutics and other remedies of non-herbal origin for diseased animals, and, as elderly farmers held most of the knowledge, it can contribute to the conservation of Mediterranean ethno-veterinary knowledge.

Keywords

  • Mediterranean ethno-veterinary
  • Plant remedies
  • Traditional therapeutics
  • Zoo-therapy
  • Livestock
  • Poultry
  • Pets

Background

The knowledge and practices related to the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of human and animal diseases has been handed down from generation to generation in different cultures worldwide. In recent years, the traditional uses of numerous medicinal plants have been corroborated by scientific evidence [1]. The use of biological resources for medicinal purposes, however, is not restricted to human disease treatment, being also widely employed for treating diseases of livestock [2, 3]. These uses fall within the remit of ethno-veterinary medicine (EVM). The ethno-veterinary pharmacopoeia often contains ingredients sourced from various locations within the environment and may include plants, animals, and minerals [4].

In former times, the knowledge of medicinal plants was passed down orally from generation to generation; however, in modern Western societies of Europe, traditional knowledge is in danger of disappearing [5]. Ethno-veterinary surveys, on the preparation and utilization of herbal remedies have been conducted in Palestine, Latin America, Iran, Spain, Italy, Algeria, Morocco, Southern Italy, Brazil, Pakistan, India, and Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian borderland [618].

The European Council Regulations on Organic Farming (nos. 834/2007 and 889/2008) [19] promote veterinary complementary medicine, i.e. phyto-therapeutic products, for the treatment of livestock diseases. Chemically synthesized allopathic veterinary medicines including antibiotics should only be used under the strict rules of Council Regulation (EC) no. 834/2007. There is an increasing demand for high-quality animal food products with no or limited use of pharmaceuticals produced either chemically or biotechnologically [6]. Ethno-veterinary data collected in the Mediterranean region can offer an extraordinary background for conducting studies aimed at implementing phytotherapy in animal health care and the use of plant-derived nutraceuticals, with the aim of improving the quality of animal-derived food products [20]. Many authors have argued that animals and/or their derivatives for medicinal use is a global phenomenon, dating back to prehistoric times and coevolving with human societies [21, 22]. In this respect, invertebrates and cognate products have been used worldwide to cure and/or prevent different human diseases [2326]. The great interest around this group of animals, in particular insects, has grown due to their ability to synthesize a large number of chemical compounds [27]. Animals and products derived from their organs have constituted part of the inventory of medicinal substances used in different cultures since ancient times [24]. Despite its prevalence in traditional medical practices worldwide, research on medicinal animals, in comparison with medicinal plant research, has been often neglected [21, 28]; major emphasis have been put on medicinal plants because far more many species have been employed compared to medicinal animals. In addition, plants are somehow easier to collect, store, and trade. The importance of zoo-therapy in various socio-cultural environments around the world has been investigated [24]. A review on the ethno-veterinary use of invertebrates has revealed that humans have always considered this animal group as a source of surprising and extensive therapeutic properties [29].

Even though plants are at the core of ethno-veterinary medicine, other practices were also used, such as the use of drugs of animal origin and cauterization medicine.

The recovery of traditional plant knowledge (TPK) linked to their medicinal use is one of the most urgent and immediate issues needing attention, as confirmed by international researches. The preservation of popular traditions can contribute not only to identify new uses of plant species and to maintain ethno-biodiversity, but eventually to discover also novel biologically active compounds to treat diseases [30].

We have previously described ethno-veterinary treatments for small ruminants [13], here we point out the use of plants and their formulations for administration to cattle, horses, pigs, and dogs. In addition to plants, our study also revealed the use of further remedies of different nature and origin. Sardinian farmers utilized animals, minerals, and combinations of different materials to formulate remedies for their animals for prophylactic or therapeutic purposes.

The study area

Cattle and pigs have been recorded in Sardinia since the Neolithic time; consequently, traditions of animal care date back to millennia. Cattle played an important role as working animals since the Nuragic period, during the Bronze Age, and this until the first part of the twentieth century, when draught animals were replaced by engines [31]. Horses were first introduced in Sardinia from Greece between the sixth and the fifth century B.C. [32]. The Roman Empire kept a breeding ground in the island for horses to be used in war and by gladiators; Saracen domination improved the Sardinian breeds crossing them with Arabian and Bedouin strains [33], and further breeding was developed towards the end of 1400 under the dominion of the Aragon Crown [33]. An intertwining of people, traditions, and knowledge about the care of domestic animals over the centuries makes the ethno-veterinary traditions of Sardinia peculiar and somehow unique. It is important to understand what is the current ethno-veterinary knowledge and at what extent plant, animal, and mineral substances are still in use in the traditional ethno-veterinary practices of Mediterranean areas.

Our aim was to perform a survey of Sardinian ethno-veterinary traditions not only those related to the use of plant species but also those involving other substances of animal or mineral origin and their combinations, in order to implement the studies on Mediterranean ethno-veterinary practices that are still poorly investigated. Our aim was also to understand which remedies were still in use and to document ethno-veterinary traditions to preserve them and prevent their unavoidable loss due to the oral way of transmission.

Methods

Ethnobotanical data collection

The investigation on traditional ethno-veterinary remedies was performed visiting Sardinian farmers and interviewing them individually at their farms. A questionnaire with open and closed questions was prepared according to Viegi et al. [34], with some modifications, as we aimed to recover all the ancient remedies of ethno-veterinary practices and not only those involving the use of plants. Our interviewees were asked to answer questions related to the type of illnesses and the animal species treated, to the preparation and the administration of the remedy, the frequency (current and past) of its use, and whether the same remedy was also employed for other purposes. The original forms filled for each remedy during the interviews are stored at CNR-ISPAAM.

We interviewed 60 people, 50 men and 10 women, aged between 46 and 96 years old, being most of the participants between 61 and 80 years old (Fig. 1) with an average age ± standard deviation of 71.8 ± 13.7. All people were farmers and raised their animals in the Sardinian rural districts of Anglona, Barbagia, Campidano, Meilogu, Monte Acuto, Gallura, Goceano, Nurra, and Sassarese (Fig. 2). We paid particular attention on elderly people and to farms devoted to extensive animal breeding. We describe here remedies adopted for cattle, horses, pigs, poultry, dogs, and cats. According to the interviewees, most of the remedies were actively used between 1925 and 1985; however, considering that almost all stated to have learnt about the remedies from their parents or elderly relatives, it is likely that the remedies originated in earlier times.
Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Percentage distribution of the interviewees into age groups

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Map of Sardinia with the study areas

Herbarium voucher specimens were collected during the interviews and are stored at CNR-ISPAAM in Sassari. The identity of plants was confirmed by classification according to Pignatti [35] and Conti et al. [33, 34, 36]; familial nomenclature follows the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG IV) [37].

Data analysis

Three indices were applied: the Cultural Importance index (CI), the Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC), and the Relative Importance Index (RI):
  1. 1)
    The Cultural Importance index (CI), takes into account the spread of use and the diversity of uses of each plant species, according to Tardio and Pardo-de-Santayana [38], and represents the sum of the proportion of interviewees that mention each species use,
    $$ {\mathrm{CI}}_s=\sum \limits_{u={u}_1}^{u_{NC}}\sum \limits_{i={i}_1}^{i_N}\raisebox{1ex}{${\mathrm{UR}}_{ui}$}\!\left/ \!\raisebox{-1ex}{$N$}\right. $$
    it represents the sum of all the use reports (UR) for the species divided by the number of interviewees (N).
     
  2. 2)
    The Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) was calculated as follows: the number of interviewees indicating the use of the species, also defined as frequency of citation (FC), divided by the total number of the interviewees (N),
    $$ {\mathrm{RFC}}_s=\frac{{\mathrm{FC}}_s}{N}=\frac{\sum \limits_{i={i}_1}^{i_N}{\mathrm{UR}}_i}{N} $$
    where UR is the sum of the use report of the species regardless the category use of the species.
     
  3. 3)
    The Relative Importance Index (RI) according to Pardo-de-Santayana [39] takes into account the use categories.
    $$ {\mathrm{RI}}_s=\frac{{\mathrm{RFC}}_{s\left(\max \right)}+{\mathrm{RNU}}_{s\left(\max \right)}}{2} $$

    where RFCs(max) is the relative frequency of citation over the maximum number of citation, obtained by dividing FCs by the maximum value in all the species of the survey. RNUs(max) is the relative number of use categories over the maximum, obtained by dividing the number of uses of the species by the maximum value in all the species in the survey. The use categories were (a) ecto- and endo-parasite diseases, (b) gastrointestinal diseases and heart diseases, (c) viral and bacterial diseases, and (d) wounds, sprains, and bruises.

     

The survey was carried out taking into account the protection of biodiversity and the rights of local people according to the principles stated by [40, 41], in agreement with the principles of the International Society of Ethnobiology Code of Ethics (http://ethnobiology.net/code-of-ethics/).

Some of the ethno-veterinary practices here reported do not comply with the Italian national legislation for domestic animal welfare (D.L.146/2001) or European community regulations concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (Council directive 98/58/EC). They are just reported and not endorsed by authors and although dismissed are mentioned for the sake of completeness of the survey.

Results

Quantitative analysis

We found that in the Sardinian traditional health care for domestic animals, the percentage of ethno-botanical remedies was 51.4% while zoo-therapeutics accounted for 14.4%, physical acts and manipulation therapies were 7%, and the mineral and chemical treatments were 27.2%. (Fig. 3). No magic rituals were mentioned by our interviewees. The highest number of remedies (90) was reported by the participants aged between 71 and 80 years (Fig. 4).
Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Percentage distribution of plant-, animal-, and mineral-based remedies

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Number of recorded remedies according to the age group of the interviewees

The identified traditional ethno-veterinary remedies were used to treat cattle, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, and hens against ecto- and endo-parasites, gastrointestinal diseases, heart diseases, viral and bacterial diseases, wounds, sprains, and bruises. Ninety-eight sources were documented in this survey, including: 42 plant taxa, 14 animal derivatives, 15 minerals, and 27 other materials of various origins. The herbal remedies included 30 spontaneous plant species, quite widespread in the Sardinian pasturelands, 11 cultivated species (onion, garlic, oat, parsley, tobacco, barley, wheat, broad beans, lineseed, olive, vine), and 1 ornamental (camellia). The plants mentioned belonged to 29 botanic families. The most represented were Poaceae with five species, Apiaceae with four species, followed by Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Urticaceae, Asteraceae, and Fagaceae with two species each. Plant-derived products such as olive oil, vinegar, beer, and cork were also used alone or in combination with other substances to prepare remedies. Plant species and their ethnobotanical indices are listed in Table 1. The ranking according to each index (Table 1) shows that the species Olea europaea L., Vitis vinifera L., Malva sylvestris L., Hordeum vulgare L., Parietaria officinalis L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Matricaria chamomilla L., and Triticum durum Desf. were in the first eight positions due to their higher indices. The species Vitis vinifera and Olea europaea which ranked in the first two positions for CI, RI, RFC were among the most cited (26 and 22 interviewees, respectively) for the treatments of 6 and 8 ailments. The local importance of each species calculated by using the Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) showed that Vitis vinifera (RFC 0.43), Olea europaea (RFC 0.37), and Malva sylvestris (RFC 0.33) represent the core of the cultural ethnobotanical heritage in the investigated areas (Table 1). The same table shows the RI index of plant species. Vitis vinifera (RI 1) was employed in all the four use categories. Olea europaea (RI 0.80), Malva sylvestris (RI 0.76), Parietaria officinalis (RI 0.57), Pistacia lentiscus (RI 0.55), and Triticum durum (RI 0.51) were employed in three of the four use categories. They showed higher RI values compared to the other plant species with RI values ranging from 0.38 to 0.14 and employed for two or one use categories.
Table 1

Quantitative indices of plant species: CI (cultural importance); RI (relative importance); RFC (relative frequency of citation)

Voucher specimen

Species (Family)a

Local names

Indices

Ranking

CI

RI

RFC

CI

RI

RFC

GPE13

Olea europaea L. (Oleaceae)

Olìa

0.35

0.80

0.37

1

2

2

GPE36

Vitis vinifera L. (Vitaceae)

Bide

0.35

1

0.43

2

1

1

GPE11

Malva sylvestris L. subsp. sylvestris (Malvaceae)

Pramuzza

0.25

0.76

0.33

3

3

3

GPE30

Hordeum vulgare L. (Poaceae))

Ozu

0.12

0.38

0.12

4

7

6

GPE16

Parietaria officinalis L. (Urticaceae)

Pigulosa

0.10

0.57

0.17

5

4

4

GPE18

Pistacia lentiscus L. (Anacardiaceae)

Chessa

0.10

0.55

0.15

6

5

5

GPE12

Matricaria chamomilla L. (Asteraceae)

Caboniglia

0.08

0.35

0.08

7

8

9

GPE38

Triticum durum Desf. (Poaceae)

Trigu

0.08

0.51

0.12

8

6

7

GPE01

Allium cepa L. (Amaryllidaceae)

Chibudda

0.05

0.24

0.10

9

14

8

GPE33

Quercus pubescens Willd. (Fagaceae)

Chelcu

0.05

0.31

0.05

10

10

12

GPE23

Umbilicus rupestris (Salisb.) Dandy (Crassulaceae)

Calighe de muru

0.05

0.33

0.07

11

9

11

GPE02

Allium sativum L. (Amaryllidaceae)

Azu

0.03

0.29

0.03

12

11

14

GPE43

Apium nodiflorum Lag. (Apiaceae)

Apieddu

0.03

0.29

0.03

13

12

15

GPE25

Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi (Lamiaceae)

Nebida

0.03

0.20

0.07

14

15

10

GPE39

Linum usitatissimum L. (Linaceae)

Linu

0.03

0.16

0.03

15

18

17

GPE34

Quercus suber L. (Fagaceae)

Suerzu

0.03

0.27

0.02

16

13

22

GPE24

Urtica dioica L. subsp. dioica (Urticaceae)

Pistija

0.03

0.18

0.05

17

16

13

GPE48

Anagyris foetida L. (Leguminosae)

Giolva

0.02

0.14

0.02

18

23

23

GPE04

Arundo donax L. (Poaceae)

Canna

0.02

0.14

0.02

19

24

24

GPE44

Avena sativa L. (Poaceae)

Aena

0.02

0.14

0.02

20

25

25

GPE49

Camellia sp. L. (Theaceae)

Camelia

0.02

0.14

0.02

21

26

26

GPE06

Cistus creticus L. subsp. eriocephalus (Viv.) Greuter et Burdet (Cistaceae)

Mudeju

0.02

0.14

0.02

22

27

27

GPE41

Citrus limon L. (Osbeck) (Rutaceae)

Limoni

0.02

0.14

0.02

23

28

28

GPE29

Daphne gnidium L. (Thymelaeaceae)

Patteddu

0.02

0.14

0.02

24

29

29

GPE37

Daucus carota L. (Apiaceae)

Pistinaca

0.02

0.14

0.02

25

30

30

GPE07

Dipsacus fullonum L. (Caprifoliaceae)

Cardu aresti

0.02

0.14

0.02

26

31

31

GPE08

Euphorbia characias L. (Euphorbiaceae)

Lattorigu

0.02

0.14

0.02

27

32

32

GPE09

Ficus carica L. var. caprificus (Moraceae)

Crabufigu

0.02

0.14

0.02

28

33

33

GPE40

Lavatera olbia L. Alef. (Malvaceae)

Prammutza ‘óina

0.02

0.16

0.03

29

17

16

GPE47

Nasturtium officinale R.Br. (Brassicaceae)

Ascione

0.02

0.14

0.02

30

34

34

GPE31

Nicotiana tabacum L. (Solanaceae)

Tabaccu

0.02

0.16

0.03

31

19

18

GPE15

Opuntia ficus indica L. (Cactaceae)

Figuindia

0.02

0.14

0.02

32

35

35

GPE17

Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nym. (Apiaceae)

Petrusimula

0.02

0.16

0.03

33

20

19

GPE51

Plantago major L. (Plantaginaceae)

Nerviadile

0.02

0.14

0.02

34

36

36

GPE19

Prunus spinosa L. subsp. spinosa (Rosaceae)

Pruniskedda

0.02

0.16

0.03

35

21

20

GPE20

Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn (Hypolepidaceae)

Filighe

0.02

0.16

0.03

36

22

21

GPE21

Sambucus nigra L. (Adoxaceae)

Sambuccu

0.02

0.14

0.02

37

37

37

GPE46

Santolina chamaecyparissus L. (Asteraceae)

Santulina

0.02

0.14

0.02

38

38

38

GPE22

Smilax aspera L. (Smilacaceae)

Tetti

0.02

0.14

0.02

39

39

39

GPE42

Smyrnium olusatrum L. (Apiaceae)

Lisandru

0.02

0.14

0.02

40

40

40

GPE35

Vicia faba L. (Leguminosae)

Fae

0.02

0.14

0.02

41

41

41

GPE45

Zea mays L. (Poaceae)

Triguìndia

0.02

0.14

0.02

42

42

42

a(Familial nomenclature follows the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG IV)

The non-herbal remedies (Table 2) involved the use of substances such as lard, salt, ashes, ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the cream of milk with flour), copper sulphate, ozzu brujadu (reused motor oil), ozzu porchinu (fat from lard), and ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep). According to the RFC index (Table 3), the most locally important among the sources different from plants were lard (RFC 0.35), salt (RFC 0.23), and ashes (RFC 0.22). As shown on Table 2, salt was cited by 14 interviewees for treating seven diseases in cattle and horses; the use of ashes in nine different remedies was indicated by 13 interviewees for the treatment of six diseases occurring in cattle, horses, and pigs. Among the animal-derived substances, the lard usage was cited by 21 interviewees as component of 11 different remedies to treat four diseases affecting cattle and horses. The highest values for the CI index of sources different from plants (Table 3) were found for lard (CI 0.32), salt (CI 0.20), copper sulphate (CI 0.19), ozzu casu (CI 0.19), and ashes (CI 0.16). According to the RI of such sources, lard (RI 0.60), salt (RI 0.53) and ozzu casu (RI 0.48), employed in three of the four use categories, showed higher values, compared to other 11 sources which showed RI ranging from 0.44 to 0.27 (clay, ashes, copper sulphate, ozzu brujadu, cuttlefish bone, ozzu seu, sugar, knife, ozzu porchinu, seawater, cow’s milk) and which were employed in only two of the four use categories. Lard and salt were used for ailments included in the use categories of gastrointestinal diseases, viral and bacterial diseases, and wounds, sprains, and bruises, while ozzu casu was reported for ailments in the use categories of ecto- and endo-parasite diseases, viral and bacterial diseases, and wounds, sprains, and bruises.
Table 2

Non-herbal sources of remedies and their uses

Sources

Remedies

(no.)

Ailments

(no.)

Interviewees

(no.)

Animal treated

Lard

11

4

21

Cattle a, horses

Salt

10

7

14

Cattle a, horses

Ashes

9

6

13

Cattle a, horses, pigs

Copper sulphate

8

3

11

Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Clay

6

5

6

Cattle a, horses, little pigs

Ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the milk cream with flour)

6

5

10

Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep)

5

3

6

Cattle a, dogs

Brewer’s yeast

4

4

10

Cattle a, horses

Cuttlefish bone (Sepia officinalis L.)

3

2

6

Cattle a, horses, pigs

Frammentalzu (mother yeast for bakery)

3

1

3

Cattle a

Ozzu porchinu (fat from lard)

3

2

3

Pigs, cows

Ozzu brujadu (reused motor oil)

3

2

7

Pigs, oxen

Knife

3

3

3

Cattle a

Scissors

3

1

4

Cattle a

Sugar

3

2

4

Cattle a

Urine

3

2

3

Cows, pigs

Beeswax

2

1

2

Cows

Brine

2

1

2

Cattle a

Creolin

2

1

2

Horses, pigs

Cow’s milk

2

2

2

Cattle a, pigs

Naphtha (diesel oil)

2

2

3

Cattle a

Needle

2

1

6

Cows, oxen

Seawater

2

2

3

Cattle a, horses

Soap

2

2

2

Cows, oxen

Warm water

2

2

2

Cattle a, cat

A bath in the river

1

1

1

Oxen

Acetylsalicylic acid

1

1

2

Horses

Beer

1

1

4

Cattle a

Blood of rabbit

1

1

1

Pigs

Butter

1

1

1

Cattle a

Cicatrene

1

1

1

Horses

Coal

1

1

1

Horses

Coffee

1

1

2

Cattle a

Coke

1

1

1

Cattle

Ethyl alcohol

1

1

1

Pigs

Iodine

1

1

1

Cows

Lead acetate

1

1

1

Horses

Leech (Hirudo medicinalis L.)

1

1

1

Cattle a

Lime

1

1

1

Cattle a

Goat milk

1

1

1

Pigs

Mud

1

1

1

Cattle a, horses, pigs, dog, cats, hens

Peg

1

1

1

Cows

Penicillin

1

1

1

Cows

Petroleum

1

1

2

Cattlea

Pig tail

1

1

1

Pigs

Pins

1

1

1

Oxen

Pumice stone

1

1

2

Pigs, dogs

Red hot iron

1

1

3

Cattlea, horses

Galloping

1

1

1

Horses

Red hot spike

1

1

1

Horses

Rope made of goat’s hair

1

1

1

Horses

Rough stone

1

1

1

Pigs

Silver coin (Five liras)

1

1

1

Cows

Warm clothes

1

1

1

Horses

Waxed thread

1

1

1

Pigs

Wet clothes

1

1

1

Cattlea

aCure for cows, calves, and oxen

Table 3

Quantitative indices of sources other than herbal: CI (cultural importance); RI (relative importance); RFC (relative frequency of citation)

Sources

Indices

Ranking

CI

RI

RFC

CI

RI

RFC

Lard

0.32

0.60

0.35

1

1

1

Salt

0.20

0.53

0.23

2

2

2

Copper sulphate

0.19

0.37

0.18

3

6

4

Ozzu casu a

0.19

0.48

0.17

4

3

6

Ashes

0.16

0.39

0.22

5

5

3

Brewer’s yeast

0.14

0.23

0.17

6

15

5

Ozzu brujadu b

0.10

0.33

0.12

7

7

7

Clay

0.09

0.44

0.10

8

4

8

Cuttlefish bone

0.09

0.32

0.10

9

8

9

Needle

0.09

0.19

0.10

10

16

10

Ozzu seu c

0.09

0.32

0.10

11

9

11

Scissors

0.06

0.17

0.07

12

18

13

Seawater

0.06

0.28

0.05

13

13

19

Sugar

0.06

0.29

0.07

14

10

14

Frammentalzu d

0.04

0.16

0.05

15

19

15

Knife

0.04

0.28

0.05

16

11

16

Ozzu porchinu e

0.04

0.28

0.05

17

12

17

Red hot iron

0.04

0.16

0.05

18

20

18

Urine

0.04

0.16

0.05

19

21

20

Acetylsalicylic acid

0.03

0.15

0.03

20

22

21

Beeswax

0.03

0.15

0.03

21

23

22

Brine

0.03

0.15

0.03

22

24

23

Coffee

0.03

0.15

0.03

23

25

24

Creolin

0.03

0.15

0.03

24

26

25

Cow’s milk

0.03

0.27

0.03

25

14

26

Petroleum

0.03

0.15

0.03

26

27

27

Soap

0.03

0.15

0.03

27

28

29

Water

0.03

0.15

0.03

28

30

30

A bath in the river

0.01

0.14

0.02

29

31

31

Beer

0.01

0.17

0.07

30

17

12

Blood of rabbit

0.01

0.14

0.02

31

32

32

Butter

0.01

0.14

0.02

32

33

33

Cicatrene

0.01

0.14

0.02

33

34

34

Coal

0.01

0.14

0.02

34

35

35

Coke

0.01

0.14

0.02

35

36

36

Ethyl alcohol

0.01

0.14

0.02

36

37

37

Galloping

0.01

0.14

0.02

37

38

38

Iodine

0.01

0.14

0.02

38

39

39

Lead acetate

0.01

0.14

0.02

39

40

40

Leech (Hirudo medicinalis)

0.01

0.14

0.02

40

41

41

Lime

0.01

0.14

0.02

41

42

42

Goat milk

0.01

0.14

0.02

42

43

43

Mud

0.01

0.14

0.02

43

44

44

Naphtha (diesel oil)

0.01

0.14

0.02

44

45

45

Peg

0.01

0.14

0.02

45

46

46

Penicillin

0.01

0.14

0.02

46

47

47

Pig tail

0.01

0.14

0.02

47

48

48

Pins

0.01

0.14

0.02

48

49

49

Pumice stone

0.01

0.15

0.03

49

29

28

Red-hot spike

0.01

0.14

0.02

50

50

50

Rope made of hair (from goat)

0.01

0.14

0.02

51

51

51

Rough stone

0.01

0.14

0.02

52

52

52

Silver coin (Five liras)

0.01

0.14

0.02

53

53

53

Warm clothes

0.01

0.14

0.02

54

54

54

Waxed thread

0.01

0.14

0.02

55

55

55

Wet clothes

0.01

0.14

0.02

56

56

56

aFat obtained by boiling the milk cream with flour

bReused motor oil

cDried peritoneum of sheep

dMother yeast for bakery

eFat from lard

The highest number of plant species and related remedies were used in the care of cattle (Fig. 5) as well as the highest number of non-herbal components and related remedies of non-herbal origin (Fig. 6). As shown in Fig. 7, horses, dogs, cats, and hens were prevalently treated with remedies of botanical origin while remedies from other sources outnumbered those of botanical origin for the treatment of pigs and cattle.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Number of plant species and related remedies used for the care of each animal species

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Number of substances of non-herbal origin (Others) and related remedies used for the care of each animal species

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Comparison of the number of plant species (Plants) and substances of non-herbal origin (Others) used for the care of each animal species

Ethno-veterinary treatments

The ethno-veterinary procedures against ecto- and endo-parasites are listed in Table 4, the ones still in use are marked with an asterisk. Burnt cork, olive, and lentisk oil were scrubbed on skin in the treatment of mange. Non-herbal remedies were also described, involving ozzu porchinu, copper sulphate, ozzu casu, ozzu seu, ozzu brujadu, pomice stone, and diesel oil. Olive oil was also used in the treatment of lice and forest flies in cattle and horses (Table 4). The remedies for the treatment of foot rot were only non-herbal: seawater, lime, ozzu seu, and copper sulphate. Eight out of the 28 remedies against ecto- and endo-parasites indicated in Table 4 are still in use, mainly on pigs or dogs, only two are based on plants, plum leaves to treat wounds infected by maggots in cattle and horses, and burnt cork for mange in dogs.
Table 4

Ethno-veterinary remedies against ecto- and endo-parasites

Animals

Components of remedy**

Procedure

Areas

Mange

 Pigs, cows

Lentisk oil

Scrubbed on skin

Gallura

 Pigs

(*) Ozzu porchinu (fat from lard)

Mixed, scrubbed on nose

Monte Acuto

 Dogs

Copper sulphate

Scrubbed on infested skin

Goceano

 Dogs

Copper sulphate, olive oil

Scrubbed on infested skin

Nurra

 Pigs, dogs

(*) Copper sulphate, ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the cream of milk with flour), pumice stone

The skin was scrubbed using a pumice stone prior applying the mixture

Sassarese, Nurra

 Dogs

(*) Copper sulphate, ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep)

Mixed, scrubbed on nose

Goceano

 Dogs

(*) Burnt cork

Scrubbed on nose

Goceano

 Cows

Albanian spurge (Euphorbia characias) stems

Stems of the plant applied on the infected skin

Sassarese

 Pigs

(*) Olive oil

Scrubbed on skin

Sassarese

 Pigs, oxen

(*) Ozzu brujadu (Reused motor oil)

Applied on the skin with a brush

Monte Acuto, Sassarese, Nurra, Gallura, Anglona

 Pigs

Seed oil, copper sulphate

Scrubbed on skin

Nurra

 Pigs

Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) bone

The powder scrubbed on skin

Sassarese

 Pigs

Diesel oil

Applied on the skin

Nurra

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Dregs of olive oil, copper sulphate

Applied on the skin

Campidano di Oristano

Lice

 Cattle a

Olive oil

Applied on the skin

Gallura

 Hens

Lesser calmint (Calamintha nepeta)

The plant was placed in the hen house so that the smell kept away lice

Sassarese

Forest fly (musca caddina)(Hippobosca equina L.)

 Horses, cows

Vinegar, olive oil

Applied to the skin

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

(*) Olive oil

Applied to the skin

Gallura

 Cattle, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris) leaves

Crushed fresh leaves applied onto the wound

Gallura

Su solde (Wounds infected by maggots)

 Cattlea, horses

(*) Plum tree (Prunus spinosa) leaves

Crushed fresh leaves applied onto the wound and wrapped with a bandage

Monte Acuto,

 Cattle a, pigs

Lesser calmint (Calamintha nepeta)

The fresh plants were smashed into a glass then the juice applied onto the wound

Monte Acuto, Meilogu

 Cattle a, horses, pigs

Ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the cream of the milk with flour)

Massaged on wound

Monte Acuto

Foot rot

 Oxen

Knife

Needed to extract the worms

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Seawater

Hoof washed with sea water

Gallura

 Cattlea

Lime and water

Animals run through a foot bath

Gallura

 Cattle a

Hot ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep)

Applied to the skin

Monte Acuto

 cattle a, pigs

Copper sulphate

Copper sulphate was ground and the powder was then applied to the foot

Sassarese, Anglona

Liver flukes

 Cattle a

Brandy (distilled from grapes)

Given as a drink, administered as a preventive

Monte Acuto

aCure for cows, calves, and oxen

(*)Remedies still in use

(**)Typed in bold are components of remedies showing highest indices in the quantitative analysis

As shown in Table 5, gastrointestinal diseases and heart diseases were predominantly treated with plant or plant-derived medicines and decoctions of plants given as feed (mallow, barley, wild carrot) or drink (olive oil, tree mallow). Gastrointestinal diseases were also treated in horses by applying warm clothes on the belly. Bloat was generally treated by non-herbal remedies such as lard, warm water, wet clothes, diesel oil, beer, and frammentalzu (mother yeast for bakery). Bloats in cows were treated also with ground lard given as feed, sometimes with the addition of parsley and onion, then a wet cloth was put on the animal. Brewer’s yeast dissolved in water was used in case of poisoning and as a refreshment in cattle. The ten remedies marked with an asterisk out of the 70 remedies for the treatment of gastrointestinal or heart diseases in Table 5 are still in use, mainly for cattle, and do not involve the use of plants except for onion mixed with lard for bloat treatment in cattle and hay for colics in cattle. Remedies for viral and bacterial diseases (Table 6) are predominantly of non-herbal origin; in the foot and mouth disease for example, pins were used to punch blisters in oxen, the seawater was used for mouth wash in cattle, and oxen were also soaked in the river for several days. Goat’s milk was administered intravenously to treat swine fever. The ashes were boiled in water and applied with a bandage, or dispersed in vinegar and used for manual udder massage in cattle mastitis. The powder of cuttlefish bone (Sepia officinalis L.) put into the eye or massaged around it, was a remedy to alleviate the pain of eye infection in cattle and horses. The burnt lard and burnt sugar were used to treat hoof infections in horses and oxen. A collar made of Anagyris foetida L. was placed around the neck of dogs with respiratory diseases, although these affections were also cured by using the decoction of either mallow or pellitory of the wall, or the fumes generated by burning leaves of wild fig trees. Only one of the 40 remedies against viral or bacterial diseases in Table 6 is still in use and it does not imply the use of plants. The ethno-veterinary remedies for treating wounds, gonadectomy, sprains, bruises, pimples, and swelling involved both the use of plants or substances of non-herbal origin (Table 7). Burnt lard, coal, acetylsalicylic acid, cicatrene, and ozzu casu were applied and massaged on the wounds in horses, pigs, bovines, and dogs. Ground fresh leaves of navelwort, elderberry, powder from stem, or the bark of lentisk was used to promote wound healing. To ease the effect of castration in pigs, the interviewees referred about the use of ozzu brujadu (reused motor oil), ozzu casu, urine, and ashes alone or added with olive oil; however, only one plant (mallow) was utilized to disinfect, heal, and soften the skin. Sprains and bruises were mainly cured with parts of plant or plant derivatives with the exception of sprains in cattle and equines where the cortex of Quercus pubescens Willd. was boiled with salt and vinegar, ground, mixed with clay, and then applied to the sore area wrapped with a bandage (Table 7). Skin lesions were treated with beeswax with or without the addition of ozzu porchinu and ozzu seu. To the swelling limbs of horses was applied clay alone or mixed with vinegar and salt, and lead acetate alone or added with water. Eight out of the 59 remedies indicated in Table 7 for the treatment of wounds, sprains, and bruises are still in use, mainly for cattle, horses, or dogs, three of them involved the use of plants, camellia for wounds in horses, and sarsaparilla and greater plantain for pimples in calves and fissures in cows. Further, farmers’ traditional uses of plants are shown in Table 8, and among them, ivy leaves are given to cows after giving birth, and stems of Euphorbia characias L. are used for catching eels. Twenty-seven of the reported remedies were still in use, those marked with an asterisk in Tables 4, 5, 6 and 7, mainly those employed for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, ecto- and endo-parasites, wounds, sprains, and bruises. The vast majority of the remedies was for topical administration (61.2%); fewer (37.8%) were for internal use (e.g. swallowed), and only 1% of the treatments implied the exposure to fumes.
Table 5

Ethno-veterinary remedies against gastrointestinal diseases and hearth’s disease

Animal

Components of remedy**

Procedure

Areas

Gastrointestinal infection, colics, diarrhoea

 Cattlea

Wild carrot (Daucus carota) leaves

Decoction given as feed

Barbagia di Nuoro

 Cattle a, pigs

Wheat bran

Bran mixed with water and given as feed

Gallura, Sassarese

 Cattle a

Wheat bran, coal

Coal grinded and mixed with wheat bran

Gallura

 Cattle a

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), olive oil

Decoction given as feed

Anglona

 Cats

Water, salt

Given to drink

Gallura

 Cats, horses

Olive oil

Given to drink

Gallura

 Cows, oxen

Linseed oil

Mixed with water and given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Horses, cattle a

(*) Brewer’s yeast, water

Yeast mixed with water, given to drink

Monte Acuto, Anglona

 Horses

Barley (Hordeum vulgare), water

Barley flour boiled with water given as feed

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Warm clothes

Warm clothes on belly

Monte Acuto

 Little pigs (Piglets)

(*) Dry clay

Given as feed

Sassarese

 Little pigs (Piglets)

Dry clay, barley (Hordeum vulgare) flour

Given as feed

Sassarese

 Cattle a

Blades of prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica)

Cut into pieces and given as feed

Sassarese

 Cattle a

Vinegar

Given to drink

Barbagia di Nuoro

 Cattlea

Brandy (distilled from grapes)

Given to drink

Barbagia di Nuoro

 Oxen

Pellitory of the wall (Parietaria officinalis), water

Decoction of the plants filtered and given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

(*) Hay

Given as feed

Nurra

 Cattle a, horses, pigs

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), water

Decoction of the plants filtered and given to drink

Gallura

 Cows, oxen

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), water

Decoction of the plants filtered and given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Oxen

Tree mallow (Lavatera olbia)

Decoction of the plant filtered and given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Fababeans (Vicia faba), barley (Hordeum vulgare), water

Beans and barley flour boiled in water given as feed

Anglona

 Horses, oxen, calves

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), water

Decoction of the plants filtered and given to drink

Meilogu, Goceano, Monte Acuto

 Horses

Lemon (Citrus limon) juice, water

Decoction of juice given to drink

Goceano

 Cattle a

Flax-leaved daphne (Daphne gnidium) berries

Some berries mixed with forage and given as feed

Gallura

Abbentadura (Bloat)

 Cattle a

Olive oil

One liter of olive oil given to drink after 2 or 3 days of fasting

Gallura, Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Rancid olive oil

Given to drink

Nurra

 Cattle a

Warm water

Given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Petroleum

Given to drink

Nurra

 Cattle a

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), olive oil

Decoction given as feed

Anglona

 Cows

Milk, salt, olive oil

The mixture given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Lard, parsley (Petroselinum crispum), onion (Allium cepa)

Onion bulbs, parsley and lard chopped, mixed, and given as feed to promote burping

Monte Acuto

 Cows, cattle a

(*) Brewer’s yeast, water

Mixed and given to drink

Monte Acuto, Sassarese, Meilogu

 Cows

Lard, wine, vinegar

Mixed and given as feed

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

(*)Lard, onion (Allium cepa)

Mixed and given as feed to promote burping

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Onion (Allium cepa)

Crushed and given as feed

Monte acuto

 Cattle a

Lard

Crushed and given as feed

Gallura, Monte Acuto Sassarese, Meilogu, Anglona

 Cows

Lard, wet clothes

The lard was crushed and given as feed then a wet cloth was put on the animal

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Naphtha (diesel oil)

Three quarters of a liter of naphtha given in a bottle

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

(*) Rancid lard

Crushed and given as feed, to promote burping

Monte Acuto, Nurra

 Cattle a

(*) Beer

Given to drink, to promote burping

Nurra, Sassarese

 Horses

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), vinegar, water

Decoction given to drink

Sassarese

 Cattle a

Olive oil, boiled wine

Mixed and given to drink

Monte Acuto, Gallura

 Cattle a

(*) Frammentalzu (mother yeast for bakery)

Dissolved in water and given to drink

Monte Acuto, Sassarese

 Cattle a

Frammentalzu (mother yeast for bakery), lard, olive oil

Crushed and given as feed

Monte Acuto

 Cattle, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus) wood

Used to swab after incision of the vein under the belly

Campidano di Oristano

 Cows, cattle a

Pellitory of the wall (Parietaria officinalis)

Decoction of plants filtered and given to drink

Sassarese

 Horses

Galloping

Deflation occurred after the galloping of horses in a field

Goceano

 Cows

Olive oil, milk, salt

Give to drink

Monte Acuto

Poisoning

 Cattle a

(*) Brewer’s yeast, water

As feed supplement

Nurra

 Oxen

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), water

Decoction of plants filtered and given to drink

Monte Acuto

Constipation

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens a,

Vinegar and olive oil

Mixed and given to drink

Anglona

 Cows

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), water

Decoction of plants filtered and given to drink

Barbagia di Orgosolo

 Cattle a

Olive oil

Given to drink

Anglona

 Horses

Lentisk fruits and leaves, water

Decoction of fruits and some leaves given to drink

Monte Acuto

Refreshing

 Horses

Smirnium olusatrum

The plant was collected in the summer and administered as feed

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Brewer’s yeast, water

Mixed and given to drink

Nurra

 Oxen

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), water

Decoction of leaves given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Oxen

Pellitory of the wall (Parietaria officinalis), water

Decoction of leaves given as beverage

Monte Acuto

Post-partum collapse

 Cattle a

(*)Wine, sugar

Given to drink

Anglona

 Cattle a

Coffee, wine, sugar

Given to drink

Monte Acuto

Angina pectoris

 Horses

Lard, olive oil

Massaged on the chest

Meilogu

High blood pressure

 Cattle a

Leech (Hirudo medicinalis)

 

Anglona

Lack of appetite

 Cattle a

Barley flour with water or milk

Given to drink

Monte Acuto

 Cows

Fool’s-water-cress (Apium nodiflorum)

Fresh plant given as feed

Monte Acuto

Indigestion

 Horses

Barley (Hordeum vulgare), avena (Avena sativa), corn (Zea mays), flax (Linum usitatissimum) seed, water, salt

Decoction of mixture given to drink

Sassarese

 Cattle a

Olive oil

One liter of olive oil after 2 or 3 days of fasting given to drink

Gallura

Intestinal worms

 Cattle a

Garlic (Allium sativum), vinegar

Two cloves of crushed garlic in half a liter of vinegar given as feed

Anglona

 Horses

Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) root

Burnt fern root fumes were breathed by horses covered with a blanket

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus), barley (Hordeum vulgare),

The dried plants given as feed

Barbagia di Nuoro

 Horses

Giant cane (Arundo donax) leaves

The leaves given as feed and after 4 days the horse was fine

Meilogu

aCure for cows, calves, and oxen

(*) Remedies still in use

(**) Typed in bold are components of remedies showing highest indices in the quantitative analysis

Table 6

Ethno-veterinary remedies against viral and bacterial diseases

Animals

Components of remedy**

Procedure

Areas

Foot and mouth disease (aphtha)

 Oxen

Pins

Pinching the blister

Gallura

 Oxen

Fool’s-water-cress (Apium nodiflorum)

Fresh plant massaged in the tongue

Anglona

 Oxen

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)

Fresh plant massaged in the tongue

Anglona

 Cattle a

Seawater

Mouth washes

Anglona

 Cows, oxen

Needle

Blisters on tongue were stung with a needle

Monte Acuto

 Cows

Needle, scissors, salt

The vein under the tongue was stung with a needle, then the blisters were cut with scissors and salt was added on the wounds

Monte Acuto, Gallura

 Cows

(*) Needle, salt

Blisters of tongue was stung with a needle and added with salt

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Vinegar, salt

Blisters of tongue were cut with a knife (or with a scissors) and tongue was disinfected with the mixture

Monte Acuto

 Oxen

Vinegar, salt

Mouth washes

Anglona

 Oxen

River

Oxen bathed in the river for several times

Monte Acuto

 Pigs, cows

Barley (Hordeum vulgare), water

Barley flour boiled with water given as feed

Monte Acuto

 Oxen

Vinegar

Mouth washes

Meilogu

 Cattle a

Brine

Applied to the tongue

Gallura

 Cattle a

Brine, vinegar

Applied to the tongue with a cloth

Goceano

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Mud

Applied to the tongue

Anglona

Swine fever

 Pigs

Milk goats

Intravenous injection

Monte Acuto

 Pigs

Blood of rabbit

Intravenous injection

Barbagia di Nuoro

Fever

 Oxen

Mallow (Malva sylvestris)

Decoction of plants was filtered and given to drink

Monte acuto

Mastitis

 Cows

Peg

The mammary vein was excised and then left bleeding, the haemorrhage was stopped by pinching the vessel with a peg

Sassarese

 Cattle a

Ashes, water

Ashes boiled in water and applied with a bandage

Monte Acuto, Sassarese, Anglona

 Cattle a

Vinegar, ash

Massaged on udder

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Downy cork (Quercus pubescens) cortex, water

Cortex boiled in water until reddish, then the water was used to wash the udder

Barbagia di Nuoro

 Cattle a

Ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the cream of the milk with flour)

Massaged on udder

Sassarese, Nurra, Gallura

Eyes infection

 Cattle a

Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) bone

Powder inserted into the eye or massaged around the eyes

Monte Acuto, Meilogu, Anglona

 Cattle a, horses

Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) bone

Powder inserted into the eye

Gallura, Sassarese

 Cattle a

Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)

Eye washed with the plant decoction

Anglona

Hoof infection

 Horses, oxen

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Crushed garlic application after nail clipping

Sassarese

 Horses, oxen

Burnt lard

Burnt lard application after nail clipping

Sassarese

 Oxen

Burnt sugar

The sugar was burnt over the wound

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Rope made of goat’s hair

Incision of the nail with a knife then hoof dressed with the hairy rope

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Clay, water

Applied on the hoof with a bandage

Gallura

Blood poisoning (septicemia)

 Cows

Knife

Bleeding by incising the neck vein

Goceano

 Pigs

Cow’s milk

Intravenous injection

Monte Acuto

Carbuncle

 Horses, cattle a

Red-hot iron

Cauterization of the vesicles

Barbagia di Nuoro, Goceano, Monte Acuto

Respiratory diseases

 Dogs

Anagyris (Anagyris foetida)

The plant was put as a collar to the cold affected dog

Barbagia di Nuoro

 Calves, oxen

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), water

Decoction of plants given as drink

Monte Acuto

 Oxen

Mallow (Malva sylvestris)

Decoction of plants given as drink

Anglona, Meilogu,

 Cattle a

Pellitory of the wall (Parietaria officinalis), water

Decoction of leaves given as drink

Anglona

 Oxen

Wild ficus tree (Ficus carica var., caprificus)

The oxen covered with a blanket had to breathe the fumes of burnt leaves of wild fig tree for 3 days

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Hot bran (Hordeum vulgare, Triticum durum)

Decoction of plant given as feed

Gallura

aCure for cows, calves, and oxen

(*) Remedies still in use

(**) Typed in bold are components of remedies showing highest indices in the quantitative analysis

Table 7

Ethno-veterinary remedies relative to wounds, sprains, and bruises

Animals

Components of remedy**

Procedure

Areas

Wounds

 Oxen

Field mushroom

Dry powder applied on the wound

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Burnt lard

Massaged on the wound

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Acetylsalicylic acid

Massaged on the wound

Monte Acuto, Sassarese

 Horses

Coke

Massaged on the wound

Sassarese

 Horses

Cicatrene

Bought at the pharmacy

Sassarese

 Horses

(*) Camellia (Camellia sp.)

Decoction of the plant massaged on the wound

Barbagia di Nuoro

 Horses

Downy oak (Quercus pubescens) cortex, water

Cortex boiled in water applied on the wound, which was then wrapped up with a bandage

Anglona

 Oxen

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves

Massaged on the wound

Monte Acuto

 Oxen

Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris) leaves

Pounded fresh leaves applied to the wound

Monte Acuto

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

Pounded fresh leaves applied to the wound

Gallura, Anglona

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Powder from stem (without bark) or bark from stem of lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus)

Stem powder or ground bark applied on the wound

Anglona, Monte Acuto

 Cattle a

Powder of bark from stem of lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus) salt

Applied on the wound

Sassarese

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris) leaves

Minced fresh leaves applied to the wound

Gallura

 Horses, cattle a

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), water, soap

The wound was washed with soap and water, then decoction of leaves or root applied on the wound, which was then wrapped with a bandage

Sassarese, Gallura

 Cattle a, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, hens

Olive oil

Applied on the wound

Anglona, Gallura

 Pigs, cattle

Ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the cream of milk with flour)

Applied on the wound

Campidano di Oristano

 Pigs, dogs

(*) Copper sulphate, ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the cream of milk with flour), pumice stone

Applied on the wound

Nurra

 Pigs

Olive oil, ashes

Mixture as emollient cream for wound treatments

Campidano di Oristano, Monte Acuto

 Pigs, cows

Lentisk oil

Applied on the wound

Gallura

 Cat

Olive oil

Applied on the wound

Gallura

 Cattle a

Butter

Applied on the wound

Monte Acuto

Castration

 Pigs

Olive oil

Applied to the skin with a paintbrush

Sassarese

 Pigs

Ozzu brujadu (Reused motor oil)

Applied to the skin with a paintbrush

Sassarese

 Pigs

Olive oil, ashes

Mixture as emollient cream for wound treatments

Campidano di Oristano

 Pigs

Ozzu casu (fat obtained by boiling the cream of milk with flour)

Applied on the wound

Campidano di Oristano

 Pigs

Urine, ashes

Applied on the wound

Monte Acuto

 Pigs

Urine, piece of pig’s tail

Applied on the wound

Monte Acuto

 Pigs

Ethyl alcohol (or creolin in water), cord, hot wax

Ethyl alcohol (or creolin in water) and then the wound was sutured with a waxed thread

Monte Acuto

 Pigs, horses

Ashes

Applied on the wound

Anglona

 Pigs

Mallow (Malva sylvestris),

Applied on the wound

Anglona

 Horses

Creolin, water

Applied on the wound

Anglona

Sprains

 Cattle a, horses

Downy oak (Quercus pubescens) cortex, salt, vinegar, clay

The cork boiled with salt and vinegar, crushed, then mixed with clay, applied to the sore area, wrapped with a bandage

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Pellitory of the wall (Parietaria officinalis), mallow (Malva sylvestris), Nettle (Urtica dioica), water

Decoction and plants wrapped in a bandage on the sore part

Monte Acuto

 Dogs

(*) Burnt cork

Applied to the wound

Goceano

Bruises

 Cattle a, horses, pigs

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Decoction and plants wrapped in a bandage on the sore part

Anglona

 Cattle a, horses, pigs

Pellitory of the wall (Parietaria officinalis)

Decoction and plants wrapped in a bandage on the sore part

Anglona

 Cattle a, horses, pigs

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), water

Decoction and plants wrapped in a bandage on the sore part

Anglona

 Horses

Mallow (Malva sylvestris), water, vinegar

Decoction and plants wrapped in a bandage on the sore part

Sassarese

Wounds from saddle

 Horses

Ashes

Applied on the wound

Nurra, Gallura

Wound from yoke

 Oxen

Cistus (Cistus monspeliensis)

The leaves applied at the inner base of the horns

Monte Acuto

 Oxen

Soap, water

The mixture applied at the inner base of the horns

Monte Acuto

Pimples (Furuncles)

 Cows

Chijnada (ashes and water)

Ashes boiled in water and then the filtrate applied on the pimple

Monte Acuto

 Cows

Urine

As disinfectant

Monte Acuto

 Cows

Soap, water

Soap boiled in water and then the filtrate applied on the pimple

Monte Acuto

 Calves a

(*) Sarsaparille (Smilax aspera)

Decoction of plants wrapped in a bandage and put on the pimples

Monte Acuto

Fissures

 Cows

(*) Ozzu porchinu (fat from lard), ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep), beeswax

The mixture was boiled and stored in a jar until use

Monte Acuto

 Cows

(*) Beeswax

Massaged around the nipple

Monte Acuto

 Cows

(*) Greater plantain (Plantago major), ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep)

The mixture was boiled and was used when milking

Monte Acuto

 Cows

Tincture of iodine, ozzu porchinu (fat from lard), ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep), penicillin

The mixture massaged on the udder

Monte Acuto

Swelling udder

 Cows

Silver coin (five liras)

Massaged on the udder

Monte Acuto

Swelling throat

 Pigs

Rough stone

The throat was rubbed

Monte Acuto

 Hens

Vinegar, water

The mixture was applied on the throat

Anglona

 Cattle a

Wheat bran, water

Boiled brans placed in a bag and tied in the throat

Anglona

Swelling limbs

 Horses

Clay

Applied to the limbs

Sassarese

 Horses

Lead acetate

Applied to the limbs

Sassarese

 Horses

(*) Clay, vinegar, salt

The mixture applied to the limbs

Sassarese

 Horses

Clay, vinegar, water

The mixture applied to the limbs

Monte Acuto

 Horses

Lead acetate, water

The mixture applied to the limbs

Sassarese

Swelling shank

 Horses

Red hot pin

Puncture with an iron pin

Monte Acuto

a Cure for cows, calves and oxen

(*) Remedies still in use

(**) Typed in bold are components of remedies showing highest indices in the quantitative analysis

Table 8

Other traditional uses of plants suggested by farmers

Materials

Uses

Areas

Tree wormwood (Artemisia arborescens) flowers

To prepare spirits

Anglona

Ivy (Hedera helix)

Given to cows after giving birth

Barbagia di Nuoro

Wheat (Triticum durum) bran

Given to pigs as feed

Gallura

Albanian spurge (Euphorbia characias) stems

Stems used for catching eels

Sassarese

Discussion

We developed the discussion about Sardinian ethno-veterinary practices considering the sharing of knowledge with Mediterranean, European, and extra-European countries, the actual use of such practices, and the eventual validation in scientific literature of the components of remedies.

Use of animal body parts and/or animal substances

The therapeutic properties and uses of marine invertebrates were well known in the ancient Greek world and early Byzantine times; in particular, pulverized cuttlefish bone has been used in various eye itches and diseases [42]. The same use of pulverized cuttlefish bone was referred in our study, and it is supported by a recent review on anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory, and wound healing properties of mollusks [43].

A vast amount of literature about leech therapy exists; active substances in leeches to prevent blood coagulation and treat osteoarthritis and other ailments in humans have received considerable attention [44], and in our survey, leeches were used to treat cows having high blood pressure.

Pig fat (lard) is an important component of several remedies for skin conditions in southern Italy; in addition to its emollient properties, it is also reported to be a useful vulnerary agent in the treatment of both animals and humans [45]. In our survey, lard was used to treat mange on pigs, bloat on cattle, hoof infection, and wounds on horses. Similarly, it has been used in Brazil for scabies, skin diseases, welling, burns, and wounds [46, 47]. Sheep suet has been also used for many disorders, including inflammation, sprains, and swelling [47], while in our study ozzu seu (dried peritoneum of sheep) was indicated for mange, foot rot, and fissures. The same authors have reported the use of milk of goat to treat weakness and malnutrition; in Sardinia, it was used to treat swine fever. Goat milk cream mixed with the pounded roots of Panicum turgidum Forssk. was applied topically to treat deep wounds and fractures in Africa [48].

Urine has been reported [49] as wound disinfectant, and that from cows has been shown to possess antioxidant and antibacterial properties [49]; in our survey, its use was recommended for porcine gonadectomy and for bovine pimples. Beeswax has been suggested to be effective for skin, for digestive disorders, and snake bites [44]. In Spain [6, 29], beeswax was used for cracks in the udder of cows, similar to our interviewees that used it to treat fissures in cows.

The use of animal parts or animal-derived products (ozzu seu, lard, ozzu porchinu, ozzu casu) is still practiced in Sardinian ethno-veterinary preparations and seven out of the 27 remedies still in use included such components.

Use of mineral substances

The use of copper sulphate has been reported in Southern Italy either as a ground powder or dissolved in vinegar or with water and salt applied to cracked hooves or to the chapped skin surrounding the hooves of livestock [45]. In our study, copper sulphate was used for the treatment of mange in dogs, cattle, and pigs, for foot rot in cattle and pigs, and for wounds in pigs and dogs. Kyrgyz (central Asia) people have used blue stone or copper sulphate, white clay, and solution of sodium chloride to disinfect either the oral cavity of animals affected by foot and mouth disease or their external wounds [50]. A solution of copper sulphate has been used as anti-septic for wounds, while combustible sulphur has been employed to treat scabies [50]. It has been attested the use of a solution of copper sulphate in water to kill intestinal parasites [51]. Clay added with salt has been indicated to treat mastitis in cattle in Romania [4]; in our study, that remedy was used to treat gastrointestinal diseases in weaner pigs, hoof infections in cattle, sprains in cattle and horses, and swelling limbs in horses.

We reported the use of mud in the treatment of foot and mouth disease, the same use has been made in India [51]. Studies have demonstrated that mud therapy lowers the levels of inflammatory mediators and has a positive effect on antioxidant condition; recent investigations on the action mechanism of these products explain the reason of the empirical use of mud since ages [52].

Remedies were used in Sahara region such as bitumen and exhaust engine oil (based on products made available with modernization and globalization) to treat mange, and as insecticides against tick and flea infestations; and also cauterizations performed with iron tools to treat mastitis, abscesses, and inflammations [53], likewise the remedies reported by Sardinian farmers in our study. Salt dissolved in warm water and its topical application to bruises, muscular pains, and rheumatisms has been reported in Albania [54]; in our survey, in addition to these usages, it was suggested also for gastrointestinal problems, for foot and mouth disease and for wounds.

Only six remedies containing mineral substances are still in use: copper sulphate for mange in dogs, and, together with pumice stone for wounds in pigs and dogs, clay for diarrheoa in piglets and swelling limbs in horses; ozzu brujadu for mange in pigs and oxen; salt for foot and mouth disease in cows. While other nine remedies still in use, instead of mineral substances, include natural components (cork, olive oil, brewer yeast, frammentalzu, hay, wine, sugar).

In the case of cauterization medicine, a hot iron was used for curative purposes [55]; this tradition still survives in the Mid-Eastern veterinary practice [7]. In our study, a red-hot iron was indicated for the treatment of carbuncle in horses and cattle.

Use of plants or plant- derivatives

In our survey, we recorded 42 plant taxa and 116 ethno-veterinary preparations with plants or plant-derived products as ingredients. In the survey carried out in circum-Mediterranean areas (eight nations) within the RUBIA project, 136 ethno-veterinary preparations and 110 plant taxa used for traditional animal health care have been recovered [2]. Twenty-six of the plant taxa in our ethno-veterinary survey were not mentioned in the report of the RUBIA project. In the review of plants used in folk veterinary medicine in Italy, Viegi [56] does not mention 14 of the species we recorded in our ethno-veterinary survey. Among the Sardinian ethno-botanic traditions investigated by Atzei [57], the species Apium nodiflorum Lag., Daucus carota L., Dipsacus fullonum L., Nasturtium officinale R.Br., Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nym., Prunus spinosa L., and Camellia sp. were not mentioned for ethno-veterinary uses.

In Spain, the remedy for pneumonia in cattle consisted in burning the aerial part of Lavandula pedunculata (Mill.) Cav. with sugar, to generate smoke [58]; similarly, Sardinia respiratory diseases in oxen were treated by fumigations of leaves of Ficus carica L.var. caprificus. Topical application of Euphorbia oxyphylla Boiss. latex has been used to treat wounds in equines [58], while in our study Camellia, tobacco leaves, Quercus pubescens cortex, navelwort leaves, elderberry leaves, powder of bark from stem of lentisk, and mallow were used for the same purpose. We found that Daphne gnidium L. was a remedy for gastrointestinal diseases in cattle, while in Spain it has been used to treat lambs with diarrhoea [58].

Consistent to our finding, it has been reported that for the traditional matanza (slaughter of swine and preparation of hams and sausage) pig fattening was implemented by surgical castration [58]. Nowadays, gonadectomy is performed by qualified veterinarians, but in the past, it was a duty for the most experienced family members. However, the procedure is not devoid of complications, and to minimize the risk of infections and inflammation, the succulent leaves of Umbilicus rupestris (Salisb.) Dandy have been used in Spain [58]. U. rupestris is a plant widely used according to ethno-veterinary studies in the Mediterranean region [13, 14, 59]. Our survey showed that mallow or olive oil were used for the same purposes, alongside non-herbal treatments (urine, ash, ozzu casu, reused motor oil), whereas U. rupestris was employed for other types of wounds in cattle, horses, pigs, dogs, cats, and hens. The use of Malva sylvestris in the management of gastrointestinal diseases has been shown to be a quite broadly diffused practice in Spain [58] and Argentina [18], and our findings reported the same use.

The use of Urtica dioica L. has been documented as a galactogogue for cows in Italy [60]; in our survey, it was used for sprains in horses and bruises in cattle, horses, and pigs.

The widespread use of Allium sativum L. as vermicide has been well-documented in Romania [4], in Spain [61], in Algeria [2], and in Italy [14, 62], and our data showed its use in the treatment of intestinal worms in cattle and for hoof infection in horses and oxen. The use of garlic for bronchitis, fever, and indigestion in equines has been also reported in the Far East [63].

In the Romanian ethno-veterinary practices, Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Nym has been used to improve rumination [4] while our findings showed it was used with lard and onion for bloat in cattle.

According to our interviewees, coffee would help in post-partum collapse. In Switzerland, it has been described for the treatment of gastrointestinal troubles, colic, abdominal pain, or diarrhoea [1].

The topical administration of N. tabacum L. leaves has been reported in our study for wounds in oxen; in Iran it was used for external and internal parasite disorders of dogs [64]; in India it was considered effective against ecto-parasites [65], while it was used for distemper, scabies, and parasitosis in Argentina [18].

In Italy, Zea mays L. was indicated for skin problems and wounds on cattle and for gastrointestinal complaints in horses [56], and in our survey, it was used as a remedy for indigestion in horses; in Pakistan, it was considered useful for anorexia, hematuria, weakness, and wounds in horses [63]. The use of camellia decoctions to treat wounds of horses reported in our survey cannot be found in other European or Mediterranean ethno-veterinary surveys; a traditional use of camellia in East Asia was to soothe skin [66].

Sugar has been described for the treatments of heart problem in horses in Albania [54]; Sardinian farmers, in our study, used it for cattle post-partum collapse and horse hoof infections.

Only few ethno-veterinary remedies implying the use of plants or part of plants (Prunus spinosa, Allium coepa, Smilax aspera, Plantago major, Camellia, Olea europaea, Vitis vinifera, Quercus suber), are still in use in Sardinia.

Conclusion

The Mediterranean rural culture still maintains knowledge about many traditional herbal and non-herbal remedies for curing or treating animals, although in recent years the development of modern livestock farming technologies, administrative controls, and the denial of popular remedies have led to neglect those practices. Considering that only 27 out of the 197 reported remedies are still in use and that the knowledge was mostly hold by the most aged informants, it can be easily foreseen the loss of knowledge about such traditional ethno-veterinary practices in Sardinia. Our survey recovering ancient ethno-veterinary traditions can prevent their disappearance. It is to remark that only a few out of the 27 remedies still in use imply the utilization of plants; as a consequence, the ethno-botanic knowledge related to traditional animal care is going to be lost. The knowledge of traditional ethno-veterinary practices can be a source of useful information for the isolation of natural extracts to develop new products for health care and well-being of animals. Our data may represent novel opportunities for performing further studies, starting from ancient traditions, aimed at uncovering effective natural sources of bio-antioxidants, and new natural products for the well-being and health care of domestic animals. In agreement to Meyer-Rochow [44], the challenge is to identify those traditional healing methods that do have something to offer before nobody knows anything anymore about them and such healing methods have disappeared from the collective memory of a people.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

The authors thank all the interviewees for sharing their knowledge. We dedicate this study in memory of Professor Giovanni Palmieri from the Sassari University.

Funding

This work was supported by the Sardinian Bank Foundation - Grant no. 66/4181/02.

Availability of data and materials

All data generated or analyzed in this study are included in this article.

Authors’ contributions

SB was responsible of the research and made the data collection and analysis. GAR participated in the data collection. MDIM cooperated in the data analysis. GP cooperated in the data analysis. All authors contributed to the preparation and critical revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

All actors involved in this research were informed about the aims of the study and accepted to participate to the interviews.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. 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.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Istituto per il Sistema Produzione Animale in Ambiente Mediterraneo - CNR-ISPAAM, Traversa La Crucca 3, località Baldinca, 07100 Sassari, Italy
(2)
Present address: Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

References

  1. Bischoff T, Vogl CR, Ivemeyer S, Klarer F, Meier B, Hamburger M, Walkenhorst M. Plant and natural product based homemade remedies manufactured and used by farmers of six central Swiss cantons to treat livestock. Livest Sci. 2007;189:110–25.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Pieroni A, Giusti M, de Pasquale C, Lenzarini C, Censorii E, Gonzáles-Tejero M, Sánchez Rojas CP, Ramiro Gutiérrez JM, Skoula M, Johnson C, Sarpaki A, Della A, Paraskeva Hadijchambi D, Hadjichambis A, Hmamouchi M, El Jorhi S, El Demerdash M, El Zayat M, Al Shahaby O, Houmani Z, Scherazed M. RUBIA project: Circum-Mediterranean cultural heritage and medicinal plant uses in traditional animal healthcare: a field survey in eight selected areas within the RUBIA project. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2006;2:15.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Lans C, Nancy T, Gerhard B, Grant L, Karla G. Ethnoveterinary medicines used for horses in Trinidad and in British Columbia, Canada. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2006;2:1.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Bartha SG, Quave CL, Balogh L, Papp N. Ethnoveterinary practices of Covasna County, Transylvania, Romania. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2015;11(1):35.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Anyinam C. Ecology and ethnomedicine: exploring links between current environmental crisis and indigenous medical practices. Soc Sci Med. 1995;40:321–9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Pieroni A, Howard P, Volpato G, Santoro RF. Natural remedies and nutraceuticals used in ethnoveterinary practices in Inland Southern Italy. Vet Res Comm. 2004;28:55–80.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  7. Ali-Shtayeh MS, Jamous RM, Jamous RM. Traditional Arabic Palestinian ethnoveterinary practices in animal health care: a field survey in the West Bank (Palestine). J Ethnopharmacol. 2016;182:35–49.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Baharvand-Ahmadi B, Asadi-Samani M. A mini-review on the most important effective medicinal plants to treat hypertension in ethnobotanical evidence of Iran. J Nephropharmacol. 2017;6(1):3–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Akerreta S, Calvo MI, Cavero RY. Ethnoveterinary knowledge in Navarra (Iberian Peninsula). J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;130(2):369–78.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Benarba B, Belabid L, Righi K, Bekkar A, Elouissi M, Khaldi A, Hamimed A. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Mascara (north west of Algeria). J Ethnopharmacol. 2015;175:626–37.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Barkaoui M, Katiri A, Boubaker H, Msanda F. Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in the traditional treatment of diabetes in Chtouka Ait Baha and Tiznit (western anti-atlas), Morocco. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017;198:338–50.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Di Sanzo P, De Martino L, Mancini E, De Feo V. Medicinal and useful plants in the tradition of Rotonda, Pollino National Park, southern Italy. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013;9(1):19.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Piluzza G, Virdis S, Serralutzu F, Bullitta S. Uses of plants, animal and mineral substances in Mediterranean ethno-veterinary practices for the care of small ruminants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015;168:87–99.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Bullitta S, Piluzza G, Viegi L. Plant resources used for traditional ethnoveterinary phytoterapy in Sardinia (Italy). Genet Resour Crop Evol. 2007;54:1447–64.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  15. Sindhu ZUD, Ullah S, Abbas RZ, Iqbal Z, Hameed M. Inventory of ethno-veterinary practices used for the control of parasitic infections in district Jhang, Pakistan. Int J Agr Biol. 2012;14:922–8.Google Scholar
  16. Yadav M, Rajput DS, Mishra P. Ethno-veterinary practices among tribes of Banswara District of Rajasthan. Indian Res J Ext Educ. 2016;15:87–90.Google Scholar
  17. Kujawska M, Klepacki P, Łuczaj Ł. Fischer’s plants in folk beliefs and customs: a previously unknown contribution to the ethnobotany of the polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian borderland. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017;13(1):20.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Martínez GJ, Luján MC. Medicinal plants used for traditional veterinary in the Sierras de Córdoba (Argentina): an ethnobotanical comparison with human medicinal uses. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2011;7(1):23.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Council Regulation (EC) no. 834/2007 on Organic Production and Labelling of Organic Products. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:189:0001:0023:EN:PDF. Council Regulation (EC) no. 889/2008 on laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) no. 834/2007. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:250:0001:0084:en:PDF. Accessed 17 July 2018.
  20. Boukraa L, Benbarek H, Benhanifia M. Herbal medicines for animal health in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions. In: Katerere DR, Luseba D, editors. Ethnoveterinary botanical medicine. Herbal medicines for animal health. Boca Raton, London, New York: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group; 2010. p. 303–20.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  21. Lev E. Traditional healing with animals (zoo-therapy): medieval to present day Levantine practice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;85:107–18.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Quave CL, Pieroni A. Mediterranean zootherapy: a historical to modern perspective. In: RRN A, Rosa IC, editors. Animals in traditional folk medicine: implications for conservation. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; 2013.Google Scholar
  23. Lawal OA, Banjo AD. Survey for the usage of arthropods in traditional medicine in southwestern Nigeria. J Entomol. 2007;4(2):104–12.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  24. Alves RRN, Barbosa JA, Santos SL, Souto W, Barboza RR. Animal-based remedies as complementary medicines in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep134.
  25. Martínez GJ. Use of fauna in the traditional medicine of native Toba (Qom) from the argentine Gran Chaco region: an ethno-zoological and conservationist approach. Ethnobiol Conservat. 2013;2:2–26.Google Scholar
  26. Alonso-Castro AJ. Use of medicinal fauna in Mexican traditional medicine. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;152:53–70.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Dossey AT. Insects and their chemical weaponry: new potential for drug discovery. Nat Prod Rep. 2010;27(12):1737–57.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Alves RRN, Rosa IL. Why study the use of animal products in traditional medicines? J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2005;1:5.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  29. González JA, Amich F, Postigo-Mota S, Vallejo JR. Therapeutic and prophylactic uses of invertebrates in contemporary Spanish ethnoveterinary medicine. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2016;12:36.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Menale B, De Castro O, Cascone C, Muoio R. Ethnobotanical investigation on medicinal plants in the Vesuvio National Park (Campania, southern Italy). J Ethnopharmacol. 2016;192:320–49.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilkens B. La fauna sarda durante l’olocene: le conoscenze attuali. Int J Archeol. 2004;I:181–97.Google Scholar
  32. Mascheroni E. Zootecnia speciale. Equini. Torino: UTET; 1929.Google Scholar
  33. Gratani L. Cavalli di Sardegna. Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, Assessorato Agricoltura e Riforma Agro-pastorale, Istituto Incremento Ippico della Sardegna. Sassari: Chiarella; 1984.Google Scholar
  34. Viegi L, Bioli A, Vangelisti R, Cela Renzoni G. Prima indagine sulle piante utilizzate in medicina veterinaria popolare in alcune localita` dell’alta Val di Cecina. Atti Soc Tosc Sci Nat Mem Ser B. 1999;106:1–10.Google Scholar
  35. Pignatti S. Flora d’Italia, vol. 1–3. Bologna: Edagricole; 1982.Google Scholar
  36. Conti F, Abbate G, Alessandrini A, Blasi C. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora. Roma: Palombi Editori; 2005.Google Scholar
  37. Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. An update of the angiosperm phylogeny group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. Bot J Linn Soc. 2016;181:1–20.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  38. Tardío J, Pardo-de-Santayana M. Cultural importance indices: a comparative analysis based on the useful wild plants of Southern Cantabria (Northern Spain). Econ Bot. 2008;62:24–39.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  39. Pardo-de-Santayana M. Las plantas en la cultura tradicional de la antigua Merindad de Campoo. Ph.D. dissertation, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. 2003.Google Scholar
  40. Fois P, Mura L, Bullitta S. Plant genetic resources protection in the Mediterranean basin: the case of Sardinian forage species. Cah Options Méditerranéennes. 2000;45:109–12.Google Scholar
  41. Bullitta S. Legal protection of local genetic resources and regulations for germplasm collection activities for scientific, economic and commercial purposes. In: Swiecicki W, Naganowska B, Wolko B, editors. Broad variation and precise characterization-limitation for the future. Eucarpia section genetic resources. Poznan: Prodruk; 2001. p. 15–8. ISBN 83-88518-47-X.Google Scholar
  42. Voultsiadou E. Therapeutic properties and uses of marine invertebrates in the ancient Greek world and early Byzantium. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;130:237–47.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Ahmad TB, Liu L, Kotiw M, Benkendorff K. Review of anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and wound healing properties of molluscs. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2017.08.008.
  44. Meyer-Rochow VB. Therapeutic arthropods and other, largely terrestrial, folk-medicinally important invertebrates: a comparative survey and review. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017;13:9.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Quave CL, Pieroni A, Bennet CB. Dermatological remedies in the traditional pharmacopoeia of vulture-alto Bradano, inland southern Italy. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2008;4:5. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-4-5.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Confessor MV, Mendonça LE, Mourão JS, Alves RR. Animals to heal animals: ethnoveterinary practices in semiarid region, northeastern Brazil. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2009;5(1):37.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Alves RRN, Alves HN. The faunal drugstore: animal-based remedies used in traditional medicines in Latin America. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2011;7:9.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  48. Volpato G, Kourková P, Zelený V. Healing war wounds and perfuming exile: the use of vegetal, animal, and mineral products for perfumes, cosmetics, and skin healing among Sahrawi refugees of Western Sahara. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2012;8:49.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  49. Jarald E, Edwin S, Tiwari V, Garg R, Toppo E. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of cow urine. Glob J Pharmacol. 2008;2(2):20–2.Google Scholar
  50. Tulobaev AZ, Aldaiarov N, Jumakanova Z, Niiazbekova Z. Information on traditional veterinary knowledge of Kyrgyz people. Manas journal of agriculture and veterinary life. Science. 2016;6(2):29–35Google Scholar
  51. Yadav ML, Rajput DS. Ethno-veterinary practices by tribals of Banswara district of Rajasthan. Indian J Nat Prod Res. 2015;6:237–40.Google Scholar
  52. Maraver F, Fernández-Torán MÁ, Corvillo I, Morer C, Váquez I, Aguilera L, Armijo F. Pelotherapy, a review. Med Nat. 2015;9(1):38–46.Google Scholar
  53. Volpato G, Saleh SML, Nardo A. Ethnoveterinary of Sahrawi pastoralists of Western Sahara: camel diseases and remedies. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2015;11(1):54.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  54. Pieroni A, Nedelcheva A, Hajdari A, Mustafa B, Scaltriti B, Cianfaglione K, Quave CL. Local knowledge on plants and domestic remedies in the mountain villages of Peshkopia (eastern Albania). J Mt Sci. 2014;11(1):180–93.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  55. Ghazanfar SA. Wasm: a traditional method of healing by cauterization. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995;47:125–8.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Viegi L, Pieroni P, Guarrera PM, Vangelisti R. A review of plants used in folk veterinary medicine in Italy as basis for a databank. J Etnopharmacol. 2003;89:221–44.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  57. Atzei AD. Le piante nella tradizione popolare della Sardegna. Sassari: C. Delfino; 2003.Google Scholar
  58. González JA, García-Barriuso M, Amich F. Ethnoveterinary medicine in the Arribes del Duero, western Spain. Vet Res Commun. 2011;35(5):283–310.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Bonet MA, Vallès J. Ethnobotany of Montseny biosphere reserve (Catalonia, Iberian Peninsula): plants used in veterinary medicine. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;110:130–47.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Cornara L, La Rocca A, Terrizzano L, Dente F, Mariotti MG. Ethnobotanical and phytomedical knowledge in the north-western Ligurian alps. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;155:463–84.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Blanco E, Macía MJ, Morales R. Medicinal and veterinary plants of El Caurel (Galicia, Northwest Spain). J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;65:113–24.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Guarrera PM, Lucchese F, Medori S. Ethnophytotherapeutical research in the high Molise region (central-southern Italy). J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2008;4:7.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  63. Goraya K, Iqbal Z, Sajid MS, Muhammad G, ul Ain Q, Saleem M. Diversity of flora used for the cure of equine diseases in selected peri-urban areas of Punjab, Pakistan. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013;9(1):70.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  64. Bahmani M, Eftekhari Z. An ethnoveterinary study of medicinal plants in treatment of diseases and syndromes of herd dog in southern regions of Ilam province, Iran. Comp Clin Pathol. 2013;22:403–7.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  65. Adhikary SP. Indigenous knowledge on animal care practices in Surada block of Ganjam District, Odisha. Eur J Environ Health Ecol. 2014;1(1):1–6.Google Scholar
  66. Lim TK. Camellia japonica. In: Edible medicinal and non-medicinal plants. Dordrecht: Springer; 2014. Print ISBN 978-94-017-8747-5.View ArticleGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© The Author(s). 2018

Advertisement