Traditional phytotherapy in Central Italy (Marche, Abruzzo, and Latium)

Fitoterapia. 2005 Jan;76(1):1-25. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2004.09.006.


In this study, the more significant results of extensive ethnopharmacobotanical research carried out by the author in the years 1977-2000 in 175 localities of three regions of Central Italy (Marche, Abruzzo, and Latium) have been reported and compared. The usages of 80 species belonging to 36 families are described, of which 71 were used in human therapy and 29 in veterinary medicine. Uses are suited with the number of localities in which they have been mentioned. Among the wild plant mainly still used, Malva sylvestris, Urtica dioica, and Sambucus nigra are particularly highly considered, while major uses of plants concern these plants in addition to Allium sativum, Rubus ulmifolius, Parietaria diffusa, Cynodon dactylon, and Ficus carica. Unusual phytotherapic uses concern Brassica oleracea, Taraxacum officinale (warts), Ruscus aculeatus, S. nigra (chilblains), Allium cepa (chilblains; to remove thorns and splinters), Juglans regia, R. ulmifolius (burns), and Euphorbia paralias (bites of weevers). Among new uses with only one quotation, we remember Cirsium arvense (intestinal disturbances), Centaurea bracteata (cough), Lupinus albus (calluses), Melittis melissophyllum (eye inflammations, antispasmodic), and Artemisia absinthium (tendon inflammations), while among plants employed in various regions with interesting less-known properties, there are C. arvense (emergency haemostatic), P. diffusa (insect bites), and Scrophularia canina (antiseptic and cicatrizing agent for wounds in bovines and sheep).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ethnobotany
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plants, Medicinal*