Ethnomedicine using mostly plants is of pivotal importance nowadays in several Transylvanian regions in Romania. In this study (2007–2015), one Swabian-German, one Hungarian, three Csángó-Hungarian and nine Székely-Hungarian villages were selected to collect ethnomedicinal treatments for various gastrointestinal diseases. Some of the studied villages have partial or no permanent medical and pharmaceutical services. The 374 inhabitants interviewed used mostly medicinal plants based on ancient knowledge. The 78 (53 wild and 25 cultivated) plants documented have 181 local names and are used to treat ailments such as loss of appetite, bloating, stomach ache, gastric ulcer, and diarrhea, mostly in tea form. This knowledge decreases continuously because of loss of interest among young people and through frequent use of media sources and books. Although some of these plants have also been described in official medicinal sources, several data suggest the need for further fieldwork and new experimental analyses to highlight the valuable role of these plants in recent phytotherapy.
Anthyllis vulneraria L., Fuchsia sp., Galium mollugo L., and Veronica beccabunga L. were selected to analyse the phenolic content and the antioxidant activity by ferric ion reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assays. The highest polyphenol, tannin, and flavonoid contents were measured in Fuchsia species (7.40 ± 0.8, 5.62 ± 0.7 and 0.72 ± 0.1 g/100 g dry weight), while the lowest values were detected in Anthyllis vulneraria (0.68 ± 0.02, 0.17 ± 0.03 and 0.45 ± 0.01 g/100 g dry weight) and Galium mollugo (1.77 ± 0.05, 0.49 ± 0.04 and 0.16 ± 0.06 g/100 g dry weight). The leaf extract of Fuchsia sp. had the highest, while the herb of A. vulneraria had the lowest antioxidant effect measured by both methods, which is probably related to total polyphenol, tannin, and flavonoid contents.
In this study field restharrow (Ononis arvensis) was investigated for histological and antimicrobial features. The aerial part and the root were embedded in synthetic resin and investigated following sectioning by a rotation microtome. The antimicrobial activity and minimum inhibitory concentration of the solvent fractions of the aerial part were studied against four bacterial strains and one fungus. According to histology, the root covered by rhizodermis contains contiguous vascular elements, which are surrounded by sclerenchyma cells. The epidermis cells are anisodiametric in the stem, sepal, and petal. The bundles of the stem form a Ricinus type thickening. The adaxial side of the heterogeneous leaf is covered by unbranching non-glandular and capitate glandular trichomes. The stipule, petiole, sepals and petals are isolateral having mesomorphic stomata. Pollen grains are tricolpate. The different extracts of the herb showed antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella Typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Data show that the extracts of the leaf contain compounds which may be responsible for the antifungal effect, while extracts obtained from display against the tested bacteria, except Escherichia coli. Further studies are required to complete the phytochemical analysis and identify the antimicrobial compounds of extracts.