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History of European medicinal plants
Medicinal plants have been used since ancient times in Europe. These plants provide a unique, yet little studied resource for drug development, and are crucial for understanding the modern use of such plants in healthcare systems. The popular pharmacopeias of European countries have been influenced by many traditions (Egyptian, Islamic, Jewish, Roman, Greek, Iberian, Pre-Hispanic America). This project compares historical, ethnographical and modern ethnopharmacological sources, for better understanding the contribution of the different European traditions to the popular Materia Medica. Dr Manuel Pardo de Santayana (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain) and Professor Michael Heinrich are developing a database focusing on the Iberian Peninsula which can be used for such comparative studies. The database will contain all relevant modern ethnopharmacological research that has been published in the last three decades in Spain and Portugal and will contribute to an improved sustainable management of these local resources, and to the search for new drugs.
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