Pharmaceutical ethnobotany in Northern Navarra (Iberian Peninsula)
This paper provides significant ethnobotanical information on pharmaceutical plant uses in Northern Navarra from an area known both for its high biological diversity and its cultural significance, suggesting the survival of uses lost elsewhere. Collect, analyze and evaluate the ethnobotanical knowledge about medicinal plants in Northern Navarra (Iberian Peninsula) with 4243 km2 and 71,069 inhabitants. We performed semi-structured interviews with 253 informants (mean age 69; 61% women, 39% men) in 120 locations, identified the plant reported and analyzed the results, comparing them with those from other territories. The informants reported data on 174 medicinal plants belonging to 63 botanical families. This work is focused on human medicinal plant uses, which represent 98% of the pharmaceutical uses (1725 use reports). The species with the highest number of cites are Chamaemelum nobile, Sambucus nigra and Verbena officinalis, with a long tradition of use in The Mountain (Navarra). All different plant parts are used; aerial part is exploited more frequently than other plant parts. Most of the listed remedies use a single ingredient, typically soaked in water. Usually, the administration is primarily oral followed by topical applications. The main ailments treated are digestive troubles, wounds and dermatological problems, and respiratory affections. Informants reported 24 new or scarcely cited uses for 23 medicinal plants. For 35% of the species (8) we have not found bibliographical references in the scientific literature and 48% (11) have only one to three references.