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Author Notes:

Correspondence: samuelgergely@gmail.com

SGB, LB and NP conducted the fieldwork.

SGB and NP performed the comparative literature analysis.

CLQ performed statistical analyses of the data.

All authors participated in the writing and revision process and read, discussed and approved the final manuscript.

We are grateful for the help and contributions of the study participants.

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by a grant from the OTKA (Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, PD 108534).


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Traditional knowledge
  • Livestock
  • Szekelys
  • Covasna

Ethnoveterinary practices of Covasna County, Transylvania, Romania


Journal Title:

Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine


Volume 11


, Pages 35-35

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Ethnoveterinary medicine is a topic of growing interest among ethnobiologists, and is integral to the agricultural practices of many ethnic groups across the globe. The ethnoveterinary pharmacopoeia is often composed of ingredients available in the local environment, and may include plants, animals and minerals, or combinations thereof, for use in treating various ailments in reared animals. The aim of this study was to survey the current day ethnoveterinary practices of ethnic Hungarian (Székely) settlements situated in the Erdovidék commune (Covasna County, Transylvania, Romania) and to compare them with earlier works on this topic in Romania and other European countries. Methods: Data concerning ethnoveterinary practices were collected through semi-structured interviews and direct observation in 12 villages from 2010 to 2014. The cited plant species were collected, identified, dried and deposited in a herbarium. The use of other materials (e.g. animals, minerals and other substances) were also documented. Data were compared to earlier reports of ethnoveterinary knowledge in Transylvania and other European countries using various databases. Results: In total, 26 wild and cultivated plants, 2 animals, and 17 other substances were documented to treat 11 ailments of cattle, horses, pigs, and sheep. The majority of applications were for the treatment of mastitis and skin ailments, while only a few data were reported for the treatment of cataracts, post-partum ailments and parasites. The traditional uses of Armoracia rusticana, Rumex spp., powdered sugar and glass were reported in each village. The use of some plant taxa, such as Allium sativum, Aristolochia clematitis, and Euphorbia amygdaloides was similar to earlier reports from other Transylvanian regions. Conclusions: Although permanent veterinary and medical services are available in some of the villages, elderly people preferred the use of wild and cultivated plants, animals and other materials in ethnoveterinary medicine. Some traditional ethnoveterinary practices are no longer in use, but rather persist only in the memories of the eldest subset of the population. A decline in the vertical transmission of ethnoveterinary knowledge was evident and loss of practice is likely compounded by market availability of ready-made pharmaceuticals.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Bartha et al.; licensee BioMed Central. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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