Plants as De-Worming Agents of Livestock in the Nordic Countries: Historical Perspective, Popular Beliefs and Prospects for the Future


<p/> <p>Preparations derived from plants were the original therapeutic interventions used by man to control diseases (including parasites), both within humans and livestock. Development of herbal products depended upon local botanical flora with the result that different remedies tended to develop in different parts of the world. Nevertheless, in some instances, the same or related plants were used over wide geographic regions, which also was the result of communication and/or the importation of plant material of high repute. Thus, the Nordic countries have an ancient, rich and diverse history of plant derived anthelmintic medications for human and animal use. Although some of the more commonly used herbal de-wormers were derived from imported plants, or their products, many are from endemic plants or those that thrive in the Scandinavian environment. With the advent of the modern chemotherapeutic era, and the discovery, development and marketing of a seemingly unlimited variety of highly efficacious, safe synthetic chemicals with very wide spectra of activities, herbal remedies virtually disappeared from the consciousness – at least in the Western world. This attitude is now rapidly changing. There is a widespread resurgence in natural product medication, driven by major threats posed by multi-resistant pest, or disease, organisms and the diminishing public perceptions that synthetic chemicals are the panacea to health and disease control. This review attempts to provide a comprehensive account of the depth of historical Nordic information available on herbal de-wormers, with emphasis on livestock and to provide some insights on potentially rewarding areas of "re-discovery" and scientific evaluation in this field.</p

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This paper was published in Directory of Open Access Journals.

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