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  • Open Access Estonian
    Authors: 
    Renata Sõukand;
    Publisher: Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum

    In order to become relevant in a given culture, the imported phenomena (e.g. medicinal plants) have to be integrated into own, while also remaining ‘foreign’ in some respect (which, in the case of medicinal plants, gives additional potency to their healing power). The paper takes as examples two imported species of herbs introduced into Estonian ethnomedicine before the 19th century: arnica and camomile. Camomile was already described as a medicinal plant in the first medicinal magazine in Estonian (in 1776), whereas arnica emerged in the popular medicinal literature in the middle of the 19th century. In the folklore collection of Jakob Hurt arnica seems to be more popular than camomile and is described there as a local plant. Indeed, according to the information of Gustav Vilbaste, the first Estonian ethnobotanist, there where altogether 19 local plants known by the phytonym. Arnica montana (the prototype of arnica name) did not get acclimatized in the Estonian climate and thus became ‘own’ by extending its name to locally grown plants, a process that could be called cultural acclimatization; Matricaria sp. acclimatized here, shifted from the cultural sphere to natural and from there into the medical use of the common people. In the more recent tradition, camomile exceeded arnica in popularity; this might have been influenced by its popularity in the 20th-century medical literature.

Include:
1 Research products, page 1 of 1
  • Open Access Estonian
    Authors: 
    Renata Sõukand;
    Publisher: Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum

    In order to become relevant in a given culture, the imported phenomena (e.g. medicinal plants) have to be integrated into own, while also remaining ‘foreign’ in some respect (which, in the case of medicinal plants, gives additional potency to their healing power). The paper takes as examples two imported species of herbs introduced into Estonian ethnomedicine before the 19th century: arnica and camomile. Camomile was already described as a medicinal plant in the first medicinal magazine in Estonian (in 1776), whereas arnica emerged in the popular medicinal literature in the middle of the 19th century. In the folklore collection of Jakob Hurt arnica seems to be more popular than camomile and is described there as a local plant. Indeed, according to the information of Gustav Vilbaste, the first Estonian ethnobotanist, there where altogether 19 local plants known by the phytonym. Arnica montana (the prototype of arnica name) did not get acclimatized in the Estonian climate and thus became ‘own’ by extending its name to locally grown plants, a process that could be called cultural acclimatization; Matricaria sp. acclimatized here, shifted from the cultural sphere to natural and from there into the medical use of the common people. In the more recent tradition, camomile exceeded arnica in popularity; this might have been influenced by its popularity in the 20th-century medical literature.

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