Ethnopharmacy of Turkish-speaking Cypriots in greater London
Yoney, A, Prieto, JM, Lardos, A & Heinrich, M 2010, 'Ethnopharmacy of Turkish-speaking Cypriots in greater London', Phytotherapy Research, vol. 24, pp. 731-740.
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For centuries, in the Eastern Mediterranean region, medicinal plant use has been widely accepted as a treatment method for both minor and major diseases. Although some knowledge exists on the use of such medicinal plants within the Greek Cypriot culture and considerable information is available on various regions in Turkey, no detailed ethnopharmaceutical or ethnobotanical studies exist on Turkish-speaking Cypriots (TSC) both in Cyprus and within one of the largest TSC migrant communities in London, UK. Semi-structured interviews with members of the TSC community in London were conducted by using a questionnaire consisting both of open and closed questions. Open questions were aimed at identifying herbs, spices, medicinal plants and their uses. Also, graded questions were used to defi ne informants’ opinions as a quantitative parameter, constructing a statistical basis. A wide range of therapeutic claims were recorded, including 13 chronic illnesses within 85 different plant species, of which 18 were cited more than 10 times. The most frequently mentioned species were Mentha spicata, Salvia fruticosa and Pimpinella anisum. The plants recorded are frequently based on knowledge derived from Turkish-Cypriot traditions, but many examples of medicinal plants with a use based on UK or general western herbal medical traditions were also recorded. Informants highlighted the risk of knowledge loss in younger generations and thus this study serves as a repository of knowledge for use in the future. Due to a lack of knowledge about such usages in the healthcare professions, our study also highlights the need to develop information sources for use by healthcare practitioners in order to raise awareness about benefi ts and risks of such medical and health food products. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.