In recent years, ethnobotanical research has become an essential tool to face one of the most stimulating current challenges: the preservation of plant and cultural biodiversity. Specifically, mountain areas are recognized as a reservoir of traditional plant knowledge, the preservation of which can promote local phytodiversity and the discovery of new natural bioactive compounds. In this framework, the folk plant uses documented by this ethnobotanical study carried out in Valmalenco (Sondrio, Italy) represented the base to promote an alternative strategy for the sustainable development of the area. Our survey is part of the European Interreg Italy-Switzerland B-ICE project and aimed at investigating the traditional uses of the autochthonous plant species within the municipalities of Chiesa in Valmalenco, Caspoggio, Lanzada, Spriana and Torre di Santa Maria. Open and semi-structured interviews were conducted and archived in a specific database, paying attention to the common and dialectal names of the plants, their traditional purpose, their presence/absence at the study area over time, their past or actual use, together with the employed plant parts, the preparation forms, and the administration methods. From 2019 to 2022, a total of 401 informants were interviewed, all aged between 10 and 96 years old, providing information on 232 plants, belonging to 79 families, among which Asteraceae (24.2% of the total citations), Rosaceae (13.2%), Ericaceae (8.9%) Pinaceae (7.9%) and Lamiaceae (7.1%) were the most cited ones. Out of the most cited species, the flowering tops of Arnica montana L. (5.9% of the total citations) were used in form of ointment in cases of contusions, muscle and joint pain and inflammation. The fruits of Vaccinium myrtillus L. (5.6%) were consumed as fresh fruits, country snack or in jams. The decoction of inflorescences of Achillea moschata Wulfen (4.8%) was adopted to treat digestive disorders and stomachache. The unripe pinecones of Pinus mugo Turra (4.6%) were prepared in form of syrup and administered to treat cough and sore throat. Finally, the infusion obtained from the leaves of Malva sylvestris L. (4.4%) was employed for its anti-inflammatory effect to make gargles, or in form of compresses as emollient and soothing. To preserve this “cultural landscape” the project includes, among others, the design and realization of a high-rise Botanic Garden in Sant’Antonio di Caspoggio, which is being realized with a brave purpose: securing in a “repository without any time and space” the plant and cultural biodiversity of Valmalenco. The Botanic Garden will host the most representative plant species the survey brought out, attracting interest not only for their traditional uses, but also for their conservation value, to strengthen the abilities to manage and safeguard the local natural ecosystems. In addition, the final aim will be to offer a new strategy for a sustainable form of tourism based on the rediscovery of ethnobotanical traditions, which start from people and must return to them in full respect of an Open Science policy.

Ethnobotany as an effective tool to preserve biodiversity: the case study of Valmalenco (SO, Italy) / M. Bottoni, F. Milani, L. Colombo, P. Sira Colombo, C. Giuliani, P. Bruschi, G. Fico - In: 117° Congresso della Società Botanica Italiana : Abstract, Keynote lectures, Communications, Posters[s.l] : Società Botanica Italiana, 2022 Sep. - ISBN 9788885915275. (( Intervento presentato al 117. convegno Congresso della Società Botanica Italiana : VIII International Plant Science Conference (IPSC) : 7 - 10 Settembre tenutosi a Bologna nel 2022.

Ethnobotany as an effective tool to preserve biodiversity: the case study of Valmalenco (SO, Italy)

M. Bottoni
Primo
;
F. Milani
Secondo
;
C. Giuliani;G. Fico
Ultimo
2022-09

Abstract

In recent years, ethnobotanical research has become an essential tool to face one of the most stimulating current challenges: the preservation of plant and cultural biodiversity. Specifically, mountain areas are recognized as a reservoir of traditional plant knowledge, the preservation of which can promote local phytodiversity and the discovery of new natural bioactive compounds. In this framework, the folk plant uses documented by this ethnobotanical study carried out in Valmalenco (Sondrio, Italy) represented the base to promote an alternative strategy for the sustainable development of the area. Our survey is part of the European Interreg Italy-Switzerland B-ICE project and aimed at investigating the traditional uses of the autochthonous plant species within the municipalities of Chiesa in Valmalenco, Caspoggio, Lanzada, Spriana and Torre di Santa Maria. Open and semi-structured interviews were conducted and archived in a specific database, paying attention to the common and dialectal names of the plants, their traditional purpose, their presence/absence at the study area over time, their past or actual use, together with the employed plant parts, the preparation forms, and the administration methods. From 2019 to 2022, a total of 401 informants were interviewed, all aged between 10 and 96 years old, providing information on 232 plants, belonging to 79 families, among which Asteraceae (24.2% of the total citations), Rosaceae (13.2%), Ericaceae (8.9%) Pinaceae (7.9%) and Lamiaceae (7.1%) were the most cited ones. Out of the most cited species, the flowering tops of Arnica montana L. (5.9% of the total citations) were used in form of ointment in cases of contusions, muscle and joint pain and inflammation. The fruits of Vaccinium myrtillus L. (5.6%) were consumed as fresh fruits, country snack or in jams. The decoction of inflorescences of Achillea moschata Wulfen (4.8%) was adopted to treat digestive disorders and stomachache. The unripe pinecones of Pinus mugo Turra (4.6%) were prepared in form of syrup and administered to treat cough and sore throat. Finally, the infusion obtained from the leaves of Malva sylvestris L. (4.4%) was employed for its anti-inflammatory effect to make gargles, or in form of compresses as emollient and soothing. To preserve this “cultural landscape” the project includes, among others, the design and realization of a high-rise Botanic Garden in Sant’Antonio di Caspoggio, which is being realized with a brave purpose: securing in a “repository without any time and space” the plant and cultural biodiversity of Valmalenco. The Botanic Garden will host the most representative plant species the survey brought out, attracting interest not only for their traditional uses, but also for their conservation value, to strengthen the abilities to manage and safeguard the local natural ecosystems. In addition, the final aim will be to offer a new strategy for a sustainable form of tourism based on the rediscovery of ethnobotanical traditions, which start from people and must return to them in full respect of an Open Science policy.
Settore BIO/15 - Biologia Farmaceutica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/937540
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