Medicinal plants used in the Barros Area, Badajoz Province (Spain)

Medicinal plants used in the Barros Area, Badajoz Province (Spain)

~ Journal of ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY ELSEVIER Journal of Ethnopharmacology55 (1997) 81 85 Medicinal plants used in the Barros Area, Badajoz Province (Spa...

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Journal of Ethnopharmacology55 (1997) 81 85

Medicinal plants used in the Barros Area, Badajoz Province (Spain) F . M . V f i z q u e z * , M . A . S u a r e z , A. P 6 r e z Departamento de Producci6n Forestal, Servicio de lnvestigaci6n y Desarrollo Tecnol6gico, Finca 'La Orden ", Guada/ira, Apartado 22, 06080 Badq/oz, Spain

Received 21 November 1994; revised 17 July 1996: accepted 22 July 1996


A study on the wild and cultivated medicinal plants used in the Barros Area (southern Spain) is reported, 48 plants distributed among 20 different families are used in the treatment of various human diseases. The use of Bellis annua L., Centaurea ornata Willd., Leuzea conifera (L.) DC., Pulicaria paludosa Link and Asparagus aphyllus L. is reported. Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. Keywords: Traditional phytotherapy; Medicinal plants; Southern Spain

1. Introduction

The medicinal plants used in areas of the Mediterranean Basin constitute traditional culture (Fon Quer, 1983; Diaz-Regafion, 1988; Meana and Pifieiro, 1992), and are bases for the composition of pharmaceutical products. Nevertheless, in some areas traditional remedies are still widely used (Stuart, 1979; Boulos, 1983; Leporatti et al., 1985; Pizarro, 1988a; Rivera and Ob6n de Castro, 1991; Vfizquez, 1991; De Feo et al., 1992) and that utilization of vegetal species

* Corresponding author.

comes from the local flora and the alien plants of America (Lozoya et al., 1990; Del Campo, 1993), Africa (Sfinchez-Monge, 1992) and Asia (SfinchezMonge, 1992). Therefore, with the tendency in modern medicine to assimilate and re-assimilate natural remedies of the common practice, the vegetal species of local floral represents a significant source of culture, medicine and food. Previous studies of this type in this area don't exist, except for the popular medicine of Extremadure (Pizarro, 1988a; Pizarro, 1988b) and the flora and vegetation of a nearby region (Guijo, 1867; Rivas Mateos, 1931; Rivas Goday, 1964). This paper explores the possibility of a more extensive utilization of medicinal plants to im-

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F.M. F~tzquez et al. :Journal q[' Ethnopharmacoh~gy

prove the health of southern Spain (Badajoz province). 2. Methodology The area subjected to our investigation is a table-land of about 120 km 2, and mean elevation of 450 m, in Badajoz province (Spain), in the south-west of the Iberian peninsula (U.T.M. 29SQC), with a population of 250 000 inhabitants. Its soil is calcareous, pH 5 7, and argillaceous. As Mediterranean climate, its mean annual temperature lies around 10-22°C (Cabezas and Escudero, 1989), and the mean annual rainfall amounts 420-550 mm (Vfizquez, 1988). The ethnobotanic data for this report have been obtained by interviewing the residents in the study area, who still utilize some herbal remedies today. The information was also obtained from some older people who have jealously kept herbal prescriptions. During the course of the field study, done from January, 1990 to February, 1991 30 individuals were interviewed. Each interview was carried out using as the focus a specimen plant given by the interviewed individual, who also provided us with its common name, intake methodology and medicinal uses. Each specimen was then pressed, labeled, dried, poisonered and deposited in the herbarium of the Department of Forestry of Service of Investigation and Development Technology (HSIA) or the Department of Botany of University of Extremadure (UNEX). Taxonomic determination of these specimens are based on the one used by Tutin et al. (1980) and Valdds et al. (1987). 3. Results In Table 1, a list of 48 species used in traditional phytotherapy in the Barros area, belonging to 20 families, are presented in alphabetical order by family and genera. For each species, the following information is reported: scientific name (italics) and family, voucher herbarium number, vernacular name, parts of the plant used (when known), ways of preparing the medicine, and popular medicine use.

55 (1997) 81 85

4. Discussion and conclusions The plants utilized as remedies in this territory are 64°/,, the local flora, and 36% are cultivated in domestic gardens, both for medicine and food. Generally, the remedies of the popular medicine are almost exclusively based on the use of a single species. Herbal remedies are used in general for the treatment of digestive, vascular, renal, nervous systems and respiratory problems. These remedies have also various other functions, e.g. laxative, sedative, diuretic, antirheumatic, hypotensive, antispasmodic. The diseases that are most frequently treated through external applications are rheumatism, inflammations, skin affections and wounds. Special mention are made of: the decoction of Phlomis lychnitis L. employed in haemorrhoids: Quercus suber L. as a disinfectant of the wound and vulnerary; Marrubium vulgare L. for treatment of asthma; and finally Ruta angustiJolia Pers. as a abortive. If we compare the data on herbal remedies obtained in this study with the literature on Spain and medicinal plants of the Mediterranean Basin (Osborn, 1968; Fon Quer, 1983; Boulos, 1983; Mufioz, 1987; Pizarro, 1988b; BezangerBeauquesne et al., 1990; Rivera and Ob6n de Castro, 1991; Vfizquez, 1991; De Feo and Senatore, 1993), it reveals five plants not previously reported as herbal remedies, namely, Bellis annua L., as laxative and collyrium; Centaurea ornata Willd., as depurative, cholagogue and antirheumatic; Leuzea conifera (L)DC., as digestive and sedative in cases of colitis and gastritis; Pulicaria paludosa Link as cicatrizer and antinflammatory in cases of haematomas; and Asparagus aphyllus L. as diuretic. The methods and periods of intake may be widely different: digestive and diuretic plants are used just after meals; cataplasms and massage are applied shortly after preparation; sedatives and laxatives are taken generally before going to bed or to rest; tonic and depurative plants in the morning before breakfast. In fact, certain formulas and the intake of a herbal remedy are associated with rituals.

F.M. VOzque: el al. , Journal o! Elhnopharmacoh)gy 55 (1997) 81 85


Table 1 Medicinal plants used in the Barros area, Badajoz province, Spain (*Cultivated plants: I, internal use: E, external use) Family/species (herbarium number) Vernacular name Apiaceae Foeniculum vulgare Miller(HSIA 7294) Petroselinum satiL~um Hoffm.(HSIA 28294) Asteraceae Bellis annua L.(UNEX 7824)

Part used


Use/popular use







Decoction Decoction

E/Diuretic, intestinal antispasmodic E/Tonic, diuretic


l/Against gastric hyperacidity l/Laxative E,'As a collyrium I/Depurative, cholagogue



(k, ntaurea ornata WilId.(UNEX 8929)



Infusion Maceration Infusion

(Ttamaemelum .lm'catum (Brot.) Vasc.(HSIA 6194) Cvnara cardunculus L.(HSIA 7494)



Decoction hffusion

E,'Antirheumatic I/Sedative, laxative


Decoction Infusion Infusion

I/Depurative. vasoregulator l/Digestive lDigestive l/For gastritis and colitis E/Compresses for haematomas: as a cicatrizins l/Digestive

Leuzea toni/era (L.) DC.(UNEX 7925)

Cuchara pastor

Leaves lnflorescences lnflorescences

Pulicaria paludosa Link(UNEX 7951 ) Scolymus hispanicus L.(HSIA 9294) Brassieaceae Nasturtium qDqcmah, R.Br.(HSIA 7694) Lepidium lat(lblium L.(UNEX 8806) Cucurbitaceae Cucumis sativus L.(HSIA 28594)

Hierba piojera


Decoction Decotion


Basal leaves

Eaten in salads


Tall and leaves

Eaten insalads






Maceration Eaten

E/Cosmetic l/Purgative, diuretic

l/Diuretic, laxative; for treatment of renal and biliar calculi E:Antirheumatic, antispasmodic, vulnerary

Dioscoreaceae Tamus communis L.(UNEX 7733) Fagaceae Quercus suher L.(HSIA 18794) Lamiaeeae Lavandula stoechas L.(HSIA 5994) Marrubium rulgare L.(HSIA 6094)

N ueza

Young tall

Eaten in salads





E Vulnerary, desinfectant

Cantueso Marrubio

Infusion Infusion

Mentha .v piperita L.(HSIA 6292)


Mentha puh, gium L.(HSIA 1592) Mentha ,~picata L.(HS1A 6892)

Poleo Hierbabuena*

Mentha sua~eolens Ehrh.(HSIA 3392) Phlomis !vchnitis L.(UNEX 8389)


lnflorencences Leaves and Inflorescences Leaves lnflorescences lnflorescences Leaves lnflorescences Leaves

Eaten in salads Decotion Infusion Eaten in salads Decotion Decotion

l/Digestive, carminative l/For treatment of asthma: as a digestive and antirheumatic l/Diuretic l/For respiratory affections l/Antispasmodic,tonic, digestive 1/Digestive, carminative l/For respiratory affections E;Antirheumatic, antispasmodic

Flowers Leaves lnflorescences lnflorescences

Infusion Decoction Decotion Eaten

l,'Astringent E, For haemorrhages I/Digestive, sedative I / Digestive

Ocimum basilicum L.(HSIA 28194) Origanum virens Hoff. and Link(HSIA 6394)

Candilera Albahaca* Oregano


F.M. V6zquez et al. / Journal ~/' Ethnopharmacology 55 (1997) 81 85

Table 1 (continued) Family/species (herbarium number) Vernacular name

Part used


Use/popular use

Origanum compactum Bentham(UNEX 8247)


Leaves lnflorescences

Decotion Eaten

E/Antirheumatic I/Digestive

Rosmarinus (~[[icinalis L.(UNEX 9673)


Leaves Leaves

Decotion Decotion

E/Antirheumatic E/Vulnerary, antiinflammations

Salvia officinalis L.(UNEX 3950)

Salvia,* T6 moruno

Flowers Leaves Leaves

Infusion Infusion Decoction





l/For respiratory affections I/Antirheumatic E/Vulnerary, antiinflammations, antiseptic I/Sedative, hypotensive, mestrual regulator 1/Digestive, tonic, carminative








l/Digestive, antirheumatic; and for abdominal colics




Tails Talls Talls

Cooked Cooked Cooked

I/Antirheumatic; for arteriosclerosis, hypotensive, vasodilator l/Diuretic l/Diuretic l/Diuretic




l/Tonic in insomnia, hypertension



Infusion Decoction Oil solution

1/Tonic, febrifuge; for respiratoy affections E/Antiseptic, antispasmodic, 1/Expectorant, insecticida




Romaza, Acedera Leaves Romaza Leaves

Decoction Decoction

l/Digestive, purgative, tonic E/For dermatitis, urticaria



l/Astringent, diuretic, digestive

Flowers and young leaves Fruits

Infusion Maceration

1/Hypotensive; for insomnia and palpitation, nerve sedative l/Laxative, astringent

Flowers Pericarp Pericarp

Infusion Cooked Cooked

l/Sedative, digestive l/Digestive, carminative l/Digestive, carminative



Leaves and fruits Decoction

~Antiscorbutic, antispasmodic tor colic, antidysenteric ~Abortive, vasoregulator


I/Sedative: for respiratory afflictions

Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav.(UNEX Tomillo salsero 14224) Thymus mastichina(HSIA 6 4 9 4 ) Tomillo

I/To stimulate blood circulation, digestive I/Diuretic, tonic


Laurus nobilis L.(HSIA 7194) Liliaceae

Allium sativum L.(HSIA 28394)

Asparagus acuti/blius L.(HSIA 6294) Esparrago Asparagus albus L.(UNEX 8031) Esparrago Asparagus aphyllus L.(UNEX 8674) Esparrago Moraeeae

Morus alba L.(UNEX 7529) Myrtaceae

Eucalyptus camandulensis Dehnh.(HSIA 7394)


Olea europaea L.(HSIA 6694)



Rumex crispus L.(HSIA 7094) Rumex puh'her L.(UNEX 8836) Punicaceae

Punica granatum L.(UNEX 9446)



Crataegus monogyna Jacq.(HSIA Majuelo 6994) Rubus uhni/blius Schott(HSIA 6894) Zarzamora Rutaeeae

()'trus aurantium L.(UNEX 9480)


Citrus limon (L.)Burm.f.(HSIA 28494)


Ruta angust~bl& Pers.(UNEX 6710) Ruda Tiliaceae

Til& pNtyphyllos Scop.(UNEX 9509)



F.M. Vt)zquez et al. Journal o[ Ethnopharmacalogy 55 (1997) 81 85


Table 1 (continued) Family/species (herbarium number) Vernacular name

Part used


Use/popular use


Leaves Whole plant

Decoction Decoction

1/Diuretic, depurative E/Antirheumatic, depurative

Hierba Luisa*

Leaves and lnflorescences








Urtica dioica L.(UNEX 8689) Verbenaceae

Aloysia triphylla (L'Herit.) Brin.(UNEX 18943) Vitaceae

Vitis vini/era L.(UNEX 13814)

Finally, the floristic list composed during the survey is dominated by higher plants. Species of Asteraceae, Lamiaceae and Liliaceae predominatein local folk medicine, probably because these families are widely represented in the local flora (Rivas Goday, 1964; V/tzquez, 1988). References Bezanger-Beauquesne, L., Pinkas, M., Torck, M. and Trotin, F. (1990) Plantes MOdicinales des R~gions Temp&bes. Maloine, Paris, 2nd Ed., p. 395. Boulos, L. (1983) Medicinal Plants o] North A[J'ica. Refer. Michigan, p. 286. Cabezas, J. and Escudero, J.C. (1989) Estudio TermomOtrico de la Provincia de Badajoz. Direcci6n General de Investigation y Capacitacion Agraria, Badajoz, p. 123. De Feo, V., Aquino, R., Menghini, A., Ramundo, E. and Senatore, F. (1992) Traditional phtotherapy in the Peninsula Sorrentina, Campania, Southern Italy. Journal of Ethopharmacology 36, 113-125. De Feo, V. and Senatore, F. (1993) Medicinal plants and phytotherapy in the Amalfitan Coast, Salerno Province, Campania, Southern Italy. Journal o.1"Ethnopharmacology 39, 39 51. Del Campo, I. (1993) lntroducci6n de Plantas Americanas en Espafia. Ministerio de Agricultura Pesca y Alimentaci6n, Madrid, p. 506. Diaz-Regafion, J.M. (1988) Te~/J'asto. Historia de las Plantas. Gredos, Madrid, p. 531. Fon Quer, P. (1983) Phmtas Medicinales. El Diase6rides RenoL'ado. Labor S.A., Barcelona, p. 1033. Guijo, M. (1867) CatS_logo de las plantas medicinales que vegetan en Membrio, provincia de C/tceres. Restaurador Farmacehtico 23, 516 524. Leporatti, M.L., Posocco, E. and Pavesi, A. (t985) Some new therapeutic uses of several medicinal plants in the province

of Terni (Umbria, Central Italy). Journal q[ Ethnopharmacology 14, 65 68. Lozoya, X., Denot, E. and Satanowsky, N. (1990) Nicokis Monades. Herholaria de lndias. Turner, Mdxico, p. 319. Meana, J. and Pifieiro, F. (1992) Geogrq/ia de Estrah6n. Libro IlL Gredos, Madrid, p. 132. Mufioz, F. (1987) Plantas Medicinales y Arom('tticas. Mundi Prensa, Madrid, p. 365. Osborn, D.J. (1968) Notes on Medicinal and Other Uses of Plants in Egypt. Economic Botany 22, 165 177. Pizarro, A. (1988a) Plantas Medicinales en la Prorincia de Chceres. Boysu S.L., Mdrida, p. 310. Pizarro, A. (1988b) Plantas Medicinales en Extremadura. Boysu S.L.. Merida, p. 310. Rivas Goday, S. (1964) Vegetacidn y Fl6rula de la Cuenca Extremefia del Guadiana. Excma. Dip., Provincial de Badajoz, Madrid, p. 777. Rivas Mateos, M. (1931) Flora de la Pro~incia de Cticeres. Serradilla, C/tceres, p. 376. Rivera, D. and Ob6n de Castro, C. (1991) La guia de lnca[b de las Plantas (/tiles y Venenosas oh" la Peninsula lh~rica. lncafo S.A., Madrid, p. 1257. S5.nchez-Monge, E. (1992) Bottinica Agricola. Ministerio Agricultura Pesca y Alimentaci6n, Madrid, p. 1991. Stuart. M. (1979) Enciclopedia de Hierbas y Herboristerla. Omega S.A., Barcelona, p. 303. Tutin, T.G., Heywood, V.H., Burges, N.A., Valentine, D.H., Walters, S.M. and Webb, D.A. (1980) Flora Europaea. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Ed. 1964 80, p. 2275. Valdes, B., Talavera, S. and Fernandez-Galiano, E. (1987) Flora Vascular de Andalucia Occidental. Ketres. Barcelona, p. 1680. Vfizquez, F.M. (1988) Vegetaci6n y .fl(~rula de la serrania de Zajra-Jerez de los Caballeros. Tesis Licenciatura. Badajoz, p. 383 (In6dit). Vfizquez, G. (1991) Plantas Medicinales en el Pais Vaseo. Txertoa, San Sebasti/m, p. 298.