A little anonymous manuscript containing a text about ancient remedies was found in the private library of the 17th century house of the President of Centro Studi Valle Imagna, Bergamo, in Northern Italy. This text is significant for Ethnobotanical research, because it contains more than 100 remedies supposedly taken from other sources of the 16th, 17th and 18th. For instance, some of the remedies explicitly refer to the text 'De Secreti del Reverendo Donno Alessio Piemontese, prima parte divisa in sei libri. Opera utilissima...' of Girolamo Ruscelli, 1557. The text has been digitalized, carefully read and analysed. According to some dates, names of historical personages and references to other texts, we think that the manuscript could date to the second half of the 18th century. On the basis of some peculiar dialectal terms, we think that the author of the manuscript was from Northern of Italy, especially from the province of Bergamo. The remedies, grouped by pathology, were made of herbs, animal and human substances and minerals. Plants species cited in the manuscript are more than 180, of which nearly 80% are autochthonous or cultivated (pasrticularly in Lombardy), and 20% imported from the East. Most of the plants mentioned belongs to the families Lamiaceae, Rosaceae and Fabaceae. Most of the references are to very common Italian species such as Malva sylvestris L., Crocus sativus L., Rosa canina L., Olea europaea L. Regarding the diseases, those for the treatment of which the author has collected more remedies are hemorrhoids, renal and ocular problems. We are currently analyzing the current scientific literature to validate or refute the biological activity of the herbs cited as remedies in the manuscript. As an example, we mention the use of a toxis plant which is no longer used nowadays in phytotherapy: Helleborus niger L. In the manuscript, it is used for headache and eyes. Considering the present level of our studies, this text is important because it brings to light historical and cultural information on the ancient uses of plants in a restricted area with references to other historical sources worthy of study.

Remedies from the past: a manuscript about ancient medicine found in Valle Imagna, Bergamo (Italy) / F. Milani, G. Fico - In: Etnobotánica 2.14, la riqueza de un legado : resúmenes / [a cura di] F. Herrera Molina, F. Tarifa Garcia, E. Hernàndez Bermejo. - Prima edizione. - Cordoba : IMGEMA, Real Jardín Botánico de Córdoba, 2014 Nov. - ISBN 978-84-938181-3-5. - pp. 457-458 (( Intervento presentato al 6. convegno ICEB : International Congress of Ethnobotany tenutosi a Cordoba nel 2014.

Remedies from the past: a manuscript about ancient medicine found in Valle Imagna, Bergamo (Italy)

F. Milani
;
G. Fico
2014

Abstract

A little anonymous manuscript containing a text about ancient remedies was found in the private library of the 17th century house of the President of Centro Studi Valle Imagna, Bergamo, in Northern Italy. This text is significant for Ethnobotanical research, because it contains more than 100 remedies supposedly taken from other sources of the 16th, 17th and 18th. For instance, some of the remedies explicitly refer to the text 'De Secreti del Reverendo Donno Alessio Piemontese, prima parte divisa in sei libri. Opera utilissima...' of Girolamo Ruscelli, 1557. The text has been digitalized, carefully read and analysed. According to some dates, names of historical personages and references to other texts, we think that the manuscript could date to the second half of the 18th century. On the basis of some peculiar dialectal terms, we think that the author of the manuscript was from Northern of Italy, especially from the province of Bergamo. The remedies, grouped by pathology, were made of herbs, animal and human substances and minerals. Plants species cited in the manuscript are more than 180, of which nearly 80% are autochthonous or cultivated (pasrticularly in Lombardy), and 20% imported from the East. Most of the plants mentioned belongs to the families Lamiaceae, Rosaceae and Fabaceae. Most of the references are to very common Italian species such as Malva sylvestris L., Crocus sativus L., Rosa canina L., Olea europaea L. Regarding the diseases, those for the treatment of which the author has collected more remedies are hemorrhoids, renal and ocular problems. We are currently analyzing the current scientific literature to validate or refute the biological activity of the herbs cited as remedies in the manuscript. As an example, we mention the use of a toxis plant which is no longer used nowadays in phytotherapy: Helleborus niger L. In the manuscript, it is used for headache and eyes. Considering the present level of our studies, this text is important because it brings to light historical and cultural information on the ancient uses of plants in a restricted area with references to other historical sources worthy of study.
Settore BIO/15 - Biologia Farmaceutica
IMGEMA, Real Jardin Botanico de Cordoba
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/840836
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