Malaria in the Renaissance : remedies from European Herbals from the 16th to 18th Century

Adams, M. and Alther, W. and Kessler, M. and Kluge, M. and Hamburger, M.. (2011) Malaria in the Renaissance : remedies from European Herbals from the 16th to 18th Century. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 133 (2). pp. 278-288.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6001434

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Background: From antiquity up into the 20th century tertian and quartan malaria which are caused by the parasites Plasmodium vivax and P. malariae were widespread in Central Europe. Hundreds of different remedies against malaria can be found in herbals from the Renaissance. Aim of the study: To document and discuss from a modern pharmacological viewpoint the old remedies described in eight 16th and 17th century herbals written in German. Materials and Methods: Eight of the most important herbals of the 16th and17th century including Bock (1577), Fuchs (1543), Matthiolus (1590), Lonicerus (1560), Brunfels (1532), Zwinger (1696), and Tabernaemontanus (1591 & 1678) were searched for terms related to malaria, and documented plants and recipes described for its treatment. Additionally the overlapping of these remedies with those in De Materia Medica by the Greek physician Dioscorides was studied. Results: Three hundred and fourteen taxa were identified in the herbals for this indication. Recent pharmacological data was found for just 5% of them. The influence of De Materia Medica was shown to be negligible with only 3.5 % of the remedies in common. Conclusions: European Renaissance herbals may be a valuable source of information for the selection of plants for focussed antiplasmodial screening programmes, but have received only little scientific attention. Antimalarial remedies from these herbals must be viewed as independent sources of knowledge separate from Dioscorides’s De Materia Medica.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Pharmazeutische Wissenschaften > Pharmazie > Pharmazeutische Biologie (Hamburger)
UniBasel Contributors:Hamburger, Matthias and Adams, Michael and Kessler, Michael and Kluge, Martin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:28 Nov 2017 09:57
Deposited On:11 Oct 2012 15:16

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