Traditional and ethnobotanical dermatology practices in Romania and other Eastern European countries

Clin Dermatol. 2018 May-Jun;36(3):338-352. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2018.03.008. Epub 2018 Mar 10.


The geographic and ecologic specificity of Romania and other Eastern European countries has resulted in the development of an exceptional diversity of medicinal plants. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of the ethnobotanical dermatology practices based on the use of medicinal plants in this region. The indications, ethnopharmacologic activities, parts used, and administration of 106 medicinal plants are provided. We also discuss the relative importance of these species, using two modified indices of quantitative ethnobotany: Use Value Index and Relative Dermatologic Importance, which were calculated on the basis of etic constructions (indications and ethnopharmacologic activities). The species identified to have the highest dermatologic importance (on a scale of 100) were Brassica oleracea L. (100), Matricaria chamomilla L. (79.17), Arctium lappa L. (74.82), Daucus carota L. (72.28), Equisetum arvense L. (70.47), Juglans regia L. (69.93), Populous nigra L. (65.94), Symphytum officinale L. (63.59), Chelidonium majus L. (57.78), Calendula officinalis L. (57.78), Achillea millefolium L. (57.43), Melilotus officinalis L. (55.25), Allium cepa L. (51.45), Quercus robur L. (51.08), and Betula spp. (50.91). This preliminary study on ethnobotanical dermatology practices indicates that Eastern European traditional medical knowledge represents an important heritage that is currently underexploited.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases as Topic
  • Ethnobotany*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Romania
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*