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Collection of empirical knowledge on the treatment of livestock with medicinal plants and natural substances in Bavaria
Collection of empirical knowledge on the treatment of livestock with medicinal plants and natural substances in Bavaria
(Ethno-)veterinary relevance: While the interest in finding medical solutions for the worldwide antibiotics crisis is rising, the dwindling legal possibility of simplified authorization of veterinary herbal medicinal products is causing problems. Important bases for both the preservation and for the further development of the knowledge base of veterinary herbal medicine are, on the one hand, ethnoveterinary research and, on the other hand, historical written sources on the treatment of farm animals with medicinal plants. There is only limited systematic ethnoveterinary research in Europe so far, with the exceptions of the Mediterranean region, Switzerland and Austria. In this study, a survey on the ethnoveterinary knowledge of farmers in all seven districts of Bavaria was conducted and two regional historical textbooks were analyzed. Aim of the study: This study documented the indigenous veterinary knowledge about livestock in the whole of Bavaria (including local historical book knowledge and a broadly based ethnoveterinary study) to discover opportunities for the future development of European veterinary phytotherapy, and analyzed them both in terms of lawfulness and related to the content. Material and methods: 77 semi-structured interviews with 101 farmers from different types of farms were conducted in 2018/2019. Detailed information about homemade herbal remedies (plant species, plant part, manufacturing process, source of knowledge) and the corresponding use reports (target animal species, category of use, route of administration, dosage, source of knowledge, frequency of use, last time of use and farmers satisfaction) were collected. To compare the data with the literature, the use reports of two historical textbooks from South Germany were analyzed and compared to the present Bavarian field study. Results: A total of 716 homemade remedy reports (HRs) for altogether 884 use reports (URs) were documented in the interviews with the farmers. Thereof, the 363 HRs that consisted of a single plant species with or without other natural products (HSHRs) were analyzed in more detail. These HSHRs were prepared from 108 plant species belonging to 57 botanical families. Calendula officinalis L. (from the family of Asteraceae), Linum usitatissimum L. (Linaceae) and Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) were the most often documented species. A total of 484 URs were gathered for the 363 HSHRs. The largest number of URs was for treatments of gastrointestinal disorders and metabolic dysfunctions, followed by skin alterations and sores. For nearly half of the URs the source of knowledge was family and friends. For 80 URs the source of knowledge was different from that of the corresponding HSHRs. For 68% of the URs farmers mentioned at least one use during the last 5 years. Half of the plant species that were mentioned in the historical literature were also mentioned in recent URs. Conclusion: In Bavaria, homemade remedies mainly based on medicinal plants are still known and actively used by farmers with a high level of satisfaction on large and small, organic and conventional farms. In particular, there is a great deal of agreement with studies from neighboring countries to the south and with regional book knowledge. This shows a certain traditionality in ethnoveterinary medicine in Europe. It was also found that this knowledge is not passed on from generation to generation in a purely static way, but is dynamically developed by the users in almost one fifth of the cases. Furthermore, ethnoveterinary research combined with data from historical sources may facilitate the discussion about a simplified registration for traditional herbal veterinary medicinal products.
ethnoveterinary medicine, livestock, Bavaria
Schlittenlacher, Theresa
2022
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Schlittenlacher, Theresa (2022): Collection of empirical knowledge on the treatment of livestock with medicinal plants and natural substances in Bavaria. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
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Abstract

(Ethno-)veterinary relevance: While the interest in finding medical solutions for the worldwide antibiotics crisis is rising, the dwindling legal possibility of simplified authorization of veterinary herbal medicinal products is causing problems. Important bases for both the preservation and for the further development of the knowledge base of veterinary herbal medicine are, on the one hand, ethnoveterinary research and, on the other hand, historical written sources on the treatment of farm animals with medicinal plants. There is only limited systematic ethnoveterinary research in Europe so far, with the exceptions of the Mediterranean region, Switzerland and Austria. In this study, a survey on the ethnoveterinary knowledge of farmers in all seven districts of Bavaria was conducted and two regional historical textbooks were analyzed. Aim of the study: This study documented the indigenous veterinary knowledge about livestock in the whole of Bavaria (including local historical book knowledge and a broadly based ethnoveterinary study) to discover opportunities for the future development of European veterinary phytotherapy, and analyzed them both in terms of lawfulness and related to the content. Material and methods: 77 semi-structured interviews with 101 farmers from different types of farms were conducted in 2018/2019. Detailed information about homemade herbal remedies (plant species, plant part, manufacturing process, source of knowledge) and the corresponding use reports (target animal species, category of use, route of administration, dosage, source of knowledge, frequency of use, last time of use and farmers satisfaction) were collected. To compare the data with the literature, the use reports of two historical textbooks from South Germany were analyzed and compared to the present Bavarian field study. Results: A total of 716 homemade remedy reports (HRs) for altogether 884 use reports (URs) were documented in the interviews with the farmers. Thereof, the 363 HRs that consisted of a single plant species with or without other natural products (HSHRs) were analyzed in more detail. These HSHRs were prepared from 108 plant species belonging to 57 botanical families. Calendula officinalis L. (from the family of Asteraceae), Linum usitatissimum L. (Linaceae) and Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae) were the most often documented species. A total of 484 URs were gathered for the 363 HSHRs. The largest number of URs was for treatments of gastrointestinal disorders and metabolic dysfunctions, followed by skin alterations and sores. For nearly half of the URs the source of knowledge was family and friends. For 80 URs the source of knowledge was different from that of the corresponding HSHRs. For 68% of the URs farmers mentioned at least one use during the last 5 years. Half of the plant species that were mentioned in the historical literature were also mentioned in recent URs. Conclusion: In Bavaria, homemade remedies mainly based on medicinal plants are still known and actively used by farmers with a high level of satisfaction on large and small, organic and conventional farms. In particular, there is a great deal of agreement with studies from neighboring countries to the south and with regional book knowledge. This shows a certain traditionality in ethnoveterinary medicine in Europe. It was also found that this knowledge is not passed on from generation to generation in a purely static way, but is dynamically developed by the users in almost one fifth of the cases. Furthermore, ethnoveterinary research combined with data from historical sources may facilitate the discussion about a simplified registration for traditional herbal veterinary medicinal products.