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Ethnobotany in the New Europe: People, Health and Wild Plant Resources

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Volume 14

Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

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Ethnobotany in the New Europe

People, Health and Wild Plant Resources

Edited by Manuel Pardo-de-Santayana, Andrea Pieroni and Rajindra K. Puri

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408 pages, 86 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-456-2 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (June 2010)

ISBN  978-1-78238-124-2 25% OFF! $34.95/£24.00 $26.21/£18.00 Pb Published (March 2013)

eISBN 978-1-84545-814-0 eBook

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“The text itself is useful, entertaining, and informative. In addition, each chapter is a model for modern ethnobotanical studies. Rather than simply cataloguingplant use, each researcher analyzes the historical, societal, economic, or political aspects relevant to changes in human plant usage. Thus, the authors provide a true ethnobotanical resource that can be instructive to academic audiences" · Choice

“This book bridges biological and social science disciplines and it is useful for all those with an interest in biocultural diversity issues. I believe that this book can be useful not only for scientists and scholars active in the field, but also for those engaged in environmental conservation and management.” · International Journal of Environmental Studies

“The merit of the book is that it offers a glimpse in the cultural diversity of Europe as a reflection of its history and shows some of the trends in both local ecological knowledge and ethnobotanical research in the old continent…I recommend this book to any scholar interested in doing ethnobotanical research in Europe and to any student that wants to carry out ethnobotanical research in Europe.” · Economic Botany


The study of European wild food plants and herbal medicines is an old discipline that has been invigorated by a new generation of researchers pursuing ethnobotanical studies in fresh contexts. Modern botanical and medical science itself was built on studies of Medieval Europeans’ use of food plants and medicinal herbs. In spite of monumental changes introduced in the Age of Discovery and Mercantile Capitalism, some communities, often of immigrants in foreign lands, continue to hold on to old recipes and traditions, while others have adopted and enculturated exotic plants and remedies into their diets and pharmacopoeia in new and creative ways. Now in the 21st century, in the age of the European Union and Globalization, European folk botany is once again dynamically responding to changing cultural, economic, and political contexts. The authors and studies presented in this book reflect work being conducted across Europe’s many regions. They tell the story of the on-going evolution of human-plant relations in one of the most bioculturally dynamic places on the planet, and explore new approaches that link the re-evaluation of plant-based cultural heritage with the conservation and use of biocultural diversity.

Manuel Pardo-de-Santayana is a Senior Lecturer of botany and ethnobotany at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He has been researching contemporary and historical uses of Spanish medicinal and wild food plants, homegardens, and folk botanical taxonomies at the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid (CSIC) and the School of Pharmacy (University of London) since 1995.

Andrea Pieroni is an Associate Professor of plant biology and ethnobotany at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Northern Italy. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine and the President of the International Society of Ethnobiology. His research focuses on food and medical ethnobotany in the Mediterranean and in the Balkan areas, and among migrant communities and diasporas in Europe.

Rajindra K. Puri is a Senior Lecturer in environmental anthropology and ethnobiology at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. While his primary research area is Indonesian Borneo, he also supervises M.Sc. and Ph.D. students who conduct ethnobotanical research in Europe. With Christian Vogl he co-organizes a summer field school in the Austrian Alps on methods in ethnobotany and works with the Global Diversity Foundation in Morocco, Malaysia and Namibia.

Subject: Environmental Studies Development Studies General Anthropology
Area: Europe


List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Appendixes

Chapter 1. The Ethnobotany of Europe, Past and Present
Manuel Pardo-de-Santayana, Andrea Pieroni and Rajindra K. Puri

Chapter 2. People and Plants in Lëpushë: Traditional Medicine, Local Foods and Post-communism in a Northern Albanian Village
Andrea Pieroni

Chapter 3. The Cultural Significance of Wild-gathered Plant Species in Kartitsch (Eastern Tyrol, Austria) and the Influence of Socioeconomic Changes on Local Gathering Practices
Anja Christanell, Brigitte Vogl-Lukasser, Christian R. Vogl and Marianne Gütler

Chapter 4. Local Innovations to Folk Medical Conditions: Two Major Phytotherapeutic Treatments from the Maltese Islands
Timothy J. Tabone

Chapter 5. Local Awareness of Scarcity and Endangerment of Medicinal Plants in Roussenski Lom Natural Park in Northern Bulgaria
Hugo J. de Boer

Chapter 6. ‘My Doctor Doesn’t Understand Why I Use Them’: Herbal and Food Medicines amongst the Bangladeshi Community in West Yorkshire, U.K.
Andrea Pieroni, Hadar Zaman, Shamila Ayub and Bren Torry

Chapter 7. Persistence of Wild Food and Wild Medicinal Plant Knowledge in a Northeastern Region of Portugal
Ana Maria Carvalho and Ramón Morales

Chapter 8. The Use of Wild Edible Plants in the Graecanic Area in Calabria, Southern Italy
Sabine Nebel and Michael Heinrich

Chapter 9. The Ecology and Use of Edible Thistles in Évora, Alentejo, Southeastern Portugal
Maria José Barão and Alexandra Soveral Dias

Chapter 10. Spring is Coming: The Gathering and Consumption of Wild Vegetables in Spain
Javier Tardío

Chapter 11. Plants as Symbols in Scotland Today
Veerle Van den Eynden

Chapter 12. The Botanical Identity and Cultural Significance of Lithuanian Jovaras: An Ethnobotanical Riddle
Daiva Šeškauskaite and Bernd Gliwa

Chapter 13. Norway’s Rosmarin(Rhododendron tomentosum) in Past and Present Tradition
Torbjørn Alm and Marianne Iversen

Chapter 14. Chamomiles in Spain: The Dynamics of Plant Nomenclature
Manuel Pardo-de-Santayana and Ramón Morales

Chapter 15. A Preliminary Study of the Plant Knowledge and Grassland Management Practices of English Livestock Farmers, with Implications for Grassland Conservation
Jenny L. McCune

Chapter 16. A Comparative Study of Rural and Urban Allotments in Gravesham, Kent, U.K.
Christine Wildhaber

Notes on Contributors

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