22 J. Ferrier et al.
them: “medicinal foods or food medicines”—prepared to obtain “medical action,”
consumed in a “food context,” and in this case, not always cited as medicine.
The Lukomir Highlanders used 41 species for the treatment of diabetes symp-
toms (see Table 2.1). Antidiabetic reports (in parentheses) were of plants situated
in five general habitats: grassland (21), village and shepherd trails (12), mountain
slopes (9), riparian zones (6), rocklands (6), deciduous forest (4), and cultivated (2).
Antidiabetic preparation methods were infusion (46), poultice (7), food (3), bever-
age (2), ear drops (2), juice (1), foot bath (1), eye wash (1), and tincture (1). The
frequency of taxa to treat diabetes and associated symptoms were heart and chest
pain (15), swelling or inflammation (13), slow healing infections (12), diabetes/
panacea (8), increased urination (5), back or kidney pain (2), diarrhea (1), blurred
vision (1), general weakness (1), and sore or swollen limbs (1).
The Lukomir Highlanders mentioned five endemic species (†, Fig. 2.2). Endemic
taxa account for 20 % of use reports: Jovibarba hirta (L.) Opiz (Crassulaceae),
Silene uniflora ssp. glareosa (Jord.) Chater & Walters, Silene uniflora Roth ssp.
prostrata (Gaudin) Chater & Walters (Caryophyllaceae), Salvia officinalis L. (La-
miaceae), and Gentiana lutea L. (Gentianaceae) were also listed as endangered (see
2.3.1 Ways the Lukomir Highlanders Treat Diabetes
and Associated Symptoms
In order to rank taxa from interviews with the SIV function, the weight ( w) of
diabetes and 15 associated symptoms were given association to diabetes values by
four physicians: increased thirst (1), slow healing infections (1), increased urination
(1.25), foot numbness or foot sores (1.25), blurred vision (1.75), diarrhea (2.25),
heart or chest pain (2.25), abscesses or boils (2.25), frequent headaches (2.75),
general weakness (2.75); increased appetite (2.75) and sore or swollen limbs (3);
arthritis or rheumatism (3.25) and back or kidney pain (3.25); and swelling and/or
inflammation (3.25) and diabetes (4).
SIVs of species were presented in Table 2.1. The top five SIV factors (in paren-
theses) belonged to Matricaria matricarioides (Less.) Porter ex Britton (0.0078),
Silene uniflora ssp. glareosa (0.0074), Silene uniflora ssp. prostrata (0.0074),
Achillea millefolium L. (0.0073), and Equisetum arvense L. (0.0059). Each spe-
cies’ SIV was multiplied by 100,000 and presented as wedges to infer phylogenetic
importance at various taxonomic levels (see Fig. 2.2). The top five families with
the highest average SIVs were Caryophyllaceae (0.0074), Equisetaceae (0.0059),
Asteraceae (0.0049), Ericaceae (0.0046), and Rosaceae (0.0044). Considering the
factors and framework of the SIV function, families and genera in Fig. 2.2 with large
SIV wedges have potential in delivering new medicines for diabetes. Furthermore,
studies have indicated that targeting closely related taxa is a sufficient strategy for
bioactivity screening (Cox and Balick 1994; Rønsted et al. 2008; Saslis-Lagoudakis
et al. 2011). However, taxa that have strong phylogenetic signal (see Fig. 2.2) plus
cross-cultural consensus have been demonstrated to contain more bioactive plants
than random samples (Saslis-Lagoudakis et al. 2012).