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Titolo: Medical ethnobotany of the Tabarkins, a Northern Italian (Ligurian) minority in south-western Sardinia
Data di pubblicazione: 2008
Abstract: A medico-ethnobotanical study was conducted among the Tabarkin communities living in Calasetta and Carloforte, in south-western Sardinia. These communities represent a Ligurian minority who have resided in Sardinia since their forebears migrated from Tabarka in Tunisia in the second half of the 18th Century, having previously migrated to Tabarka from Genoa in 1544. In this study, we conducted more than 200 interviews and recorded 53 botanical taxa and 72 folk pharmaceutical preparations, which represent the folk medicine of the Tabarkins. The folk phytotherapy of the Tabarkins living in Calasetta and Carloforte is quite restricted compared with other folk phytotherapy recorded in similar recent ethnobotanical studies conducted in Sardinia. This could indicate that there has been a remarkable erosion of Traditional Knowledge (TK) within these two communities. Of particular interest are a few local medical uses we recorded that have never or only very rarely been documented in Italy; namely the use of Dittrichia graveolens (L.) Greuter as an anti-haemorrhoidal, of Centaurea calcitrapa L. as a remedy for malaria, of Glycyrrhiza glabra L. in ophthalmic treatments, and of Urtica dioica L. as an antiviral in cases of German measles. Most of the botanical species quoted in this research are referred to in the two centres using a local Ligurian idiom. Most of the medico-botanical uses we recorded are very similar to those collected in other ethnobotanical surveys carried out in Liguria and south-western Sardinia. Because there was no evidence in this research of any substantial ethnobotanical traces related to the communities' North-African experience, it would appear that the Tabarkins have readily adopted their host culture's use of medicinal plants and have retained their own traditional cognitive concepts and knowledge of the natural plant world through the language only.
Tipologia:1.1 Articolo in rivista

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