Medicinal plants and their uses recorded in the Archives of Latvian Folklore from the 19th century

Inga Sile (Coresponding Author), Edita Romane, Sanita Reinsone, Baiba Maurina, Dace Tirzite, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: The records of folk medicine present historical evidence of medicinal plant usage in the territory of Latvia and describe native and imported plants and plant products that were used as medicine. Aim of the study: To collect and analyse the ethnobotanical knowledge found in records of Latvian folk medicine available in the Archives of Latvian Folklore. Materials and methods: Following the International Classification of Primary Care, plant uses were grouped into one of the 17 categories based on the body systems and psychological and social problems. Each plant was identified by its scientific name according to The Plant List website. Additionally, the plant parts used, dosage forms of herbal medicines and routes of administration were analysed. Results: In total, 211 genera belonging to 71 families were mentioned in the analysed materials. The most common health conditions were digestive system disorders, respiratory system disorders and skin disorders. The plant families with the largest number of taxa were Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Lamiaceae, and Apiaceae. The most frequently mentioned native plant taxa were Achillea millefolium L., Matricaria chamomilla L., Allium cepa L., Artemisia absinthium L., and Plantago sp. L. Leaves and flowers were the most commonly used parts, and herbal tea was the most common dosage form. Only 59 out of 211 taxa mentioned in this study are included in the official herbal monographs of the European Medicines Agency. Conclusions: One hundred and fifty-two plant taxa mentioned in the records of Latvian folk medicine are not included in the European Union herbal monographs providing scientific information on the safety and efficacy and deserve further exploration as traditional herbal medicines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112378
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Ethnomedicine
  • folk medicine
  • Medicinal use category
  • Records of Latvian folk medicine

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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