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Abstract Detail


Spurgeon, Alexandria [1], Krakos, Kyra [2].

“A Sweet Syrup for the Chest”: An ethnobotanical study of a recipe to treat lung illness from the last Medici princess.

This is a historical ethnobotanical study focusing on the use of Theobroma cacao (in the form of hot chocolate) and Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra in a recipe to treat illnesses of the lungs found within a recipe written by Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (1667-1716). The Medici were a family of bankers who ruled Florence, Italy from 1537-1743. The family developed plant-based medicines and sold them in their “fonderias,” or pharmacies. Anna Maria Luisa de Medici was the last ruling Medici who used her family’s knowledge of plants and medicine as a political tool. This recipe used the common names of the plants, so we determined the correct plant species to understand the efficacy of these ancient recipes. We also uncovered the transfer of ethnobotanical knowledge of these plants to the Medici, the past and present medicinal uses of the plants involved, and the known biochemistry of both species. This research was conducted both in collaboration with the Medici Archives and at the Missouri Botanical Garden Library.

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1 - Maryville University, Arts and Sciences, 1694 Irish Sea, High Ridge, MO, 63049, United States
2 - Maryville University, Arts and Sciences, 650 Maryville University Dr., St. Louis, MO, 63049, United States


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ethnobotany Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PET006
Abstract ID:348
Candidate for Awards:Economic Botany Section best poster

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