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Survey on current status of folk medicine in Bulgaria reported by local knowledgeable persons


Traditional knowledge is of real danger to be lost in modern society. This research is a part of an ethnobotanical survey aimed on documentation of current status of folk medicine in Central and Northeastern Bulgaria. Semi-structured interviews with local knowledgeable persons were provided. Quantitative ethnobotanical indices consisting of Fidelity level (FL) and Informant consensus factor (ICF) were calculated as indicatives of local importance of species and prevalent uses of species. The respondents reported 15 category uses: to treat 12 health disorders, for prophylaxis/immune stimulation, other health connected conditions and plants included in the diet as food/spices. The highest number of plants was used for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases (65.9%), cardiovascular problems (53.4%) and urinary system problems (46.6%). It should be noted that many herbal medicines are related to disease prevention (52.3%). Maximum FL value (100%) of Hypericum perforatum for digestive and nervous system disorders and Thymus sp. for respiratory system diseases was calculated. Numerous species and specific applications were listed in the paper, contributing to the base ethnobotanical data. Specific use categories indicate most spread health disorders and proved treatments in the studied regions. Results also reflect the growing interest in disease prevention (immune stimulation) and a healthy diet.

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Volume Open
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Chemistry, other, Geosciences, Geography, Life Sciences, Physics