Ethnopharmacy of the ethnic Albanians (Arbereshe) of northern Basilicata, Italy

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Pieroni, A, Quave, C, Nebel, S & Heinrich, M 2002, 'Ethnopharmacy of the ethnic Albanians (Arbereshe) of northern Basilicata, Italy', Fitoterapia, vol. 73, no. 3, pp. 217-241.

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Intercultural studies about the methods of use and perceptions of traditional remedies in Europe are strategically important in understanding how pharmaceutical means in our multicultural modern societies are differently accepted by diverse ethnic groups. In this survey, we analysed the biological means traditionally used in the ethnomedicine of three Arb�resh� (ethnic Albanians) communities in the Vulture area (northern Lucania, southern Italy). The majority of remedies are represented by plants belonging to 54 botanical taxa. A few of the recorded species have a traditional therapeutic use that has never previously been reported in southern Italy. Other means—especially used in the past—are comprised of mineral, animal and industrial derived materials. In specific cases, some of these materials and even plants are neither applied externally or internally, but are instead utilised as symbolic ritual objects in spiritual healing ceremonies. Ethnopharmacological and anthropological considerations about these usages are discussed.

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