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Ethnomedicine survey on folk dermatology in Transylvania, Romania

      Abstract

      From the beginning of recorded history through the present day, dermatologic disorders have been treated with ethnomedicine remedies. We present the ethnodermatologic practices in Transylvania, Romania. We conducted ethnomedicine surveys in 35 villages in Transylvania (2007-2019). The 650 people interviewed were questioned about the treatment of dermatologic disorders by drugs derived from plant, animal, human, or other origins. Collected data were compared to earlier records of the regions and other European countries, completed with relevant pharmacologic studies of some plants. A total of 180 drugs were documented for 45 skin problems, including 112 plants, 1 fungus, 19 animals, 5 humans, and 43 other materials used in 11 preparation forms. Among these, 144 drugs were mentioned in humans, 10 in veterinary medicines, and 26 included in both therapies with overlapping human/animal (eg, Petroselinum crispum) and specific uses (eg, Daphne mezereum, Scrophularia nodosa). Compared to data from other countries, the local use of 32 plants and various animals and minerals was described only in the study area. The present study demonstrates that ethnomedicine practices are a valuable source of knowledge for skin diseases and highlight the relevance of fieldwork in the selected regions of Transylvania.

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