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Tradition and change in the urban milieu. The popular use of medicinal plants in Valencia (Spain)

AuthorsFresquet Febrer, José Luis ; Aguirre Marco, Carla Pilar
KeywordsFolk medicine
Medicinal plants
Valencia, Spain
History of medicine
Medical anthropology
Issue Date2002
PublisherIRD Éditions
CitationFresquet Febrer, J.L.; Aguirre Marco, C.P. , Tradition and change in the urban milieu. The popular use of medicinal plants in Valencia (Spain), En: Jacques Fleurentin, Jean.Marie Pelt, Guy Mazars (eds), From the sources of knowledge to the medicines of the future. Proceedings of the 4th European Congress on Ethnopharmacology. Metz, 2000., Paris, IRD Éditions, 2002, pp. 362-370
AbstractThe city of Valencia is the capital of the Valencian Region and also of the L’Horta district. It is situated in the centre of an alluvial, irrigation plain crossed by eight main irrigation channels. Its official population in 1996 was 746.683 with 764.924 actually living there. No information was available about the use of medicinal plants by the population before hand. Publications on this subject range from first rate botanical research to those aimed at a wider audience. None of them takes into account data obtained from field work and they provide very little information about present-day uses in folk medicine. Our intention is to determine which plants are used in folk medicine in the city of Valencia, the names they are known by, the parts used and how they are prepared and administered, and finally, their therapeutical purposes. In this particular case, we also sought to determine differences that may exist in comparison with the results obtained in rural areas. Three hundred semi-structured interviews conducted over a ten year period (1986-1996) were selected from the ethnographic material housed in the Instituto de Historia de la Ciencia y Documentación (CSIC-UV), eliminating those involving herbalists and health science experts.
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