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J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 May 28;154(1):76-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.03.016. Epub 2014 Mar 29.

Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used by people in Oriental Morocco to manage various ailments.

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Laboratory of Physiology and Ethnopharmacology, URAC-40, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed First University, Oujda, Morocco. Electronic address:
Laboratory of Physiology and Ethnopharmacology, URAC-40, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed First University, Oujda, Morocco.



This document presents the uses of plants in traditional herbal medicines in Oriental Morocco. It also determines the homogeneity of informant knowledge in medicinal plants suitable for different ailment categories and the most preferred plant species used to treat each illness category in the study area.


The ethnobotanical information was obtained from 3151 inhabitants who were 20 years and older in five different areas of Oriental Morocco region. The data were analyzed through informant consensus factor (ICF) and frequency of uses (FC).


The results indicated that 65.7% of the participants interviewed used medicinal plants to treat 23 ailments. The inventory of medicinal plants is summarized in a synoptic table, which contains the scientific and vernacular names of the plant, the part of the plant and the preparation used and the therapeutic indication. Extensive investigations have brought to light 148 medicinal plants belonging to 60 families; of these, 108 are used for the disorders of the digestive system, 74 for diabetes, 73 for dermatological problems, 66 for allergy, 66 for cardiovascular disorders and 63 for respiratory problems. In this region, the most frequently used plants including Origanum compactum Benth., Trigonella foenum graecum L., Lavandula dentata L., Mentha pulegium L., Nigella sativa L., Rosmarinus officinalis L., Lippia citriodora L., Tetraclinis articulata Benth., and Atemisia herba-alba Asso. Lamiaceae and Asteraceae are the dominant locally used families. Most medicines were prepared in the form of powder and used orally. Leaves were the most frequently used plant part. Gastro-intestinal ailments have high ICF (0.92) whereas pathologies of the circulatory and ophthalmological uses have low ICF (0.22 and 0.24, respectively).


Oriental Morocco boasts an extensive phytotherapy knowledge base and ICF values indicated that there was high agreement in the use of plants in gastro-intestinal ailment category among the users. The frequency use value (FC) indicated that these plants are the most preferred species used in study areas. These preferred plant species could be prioritized for conservation and subjected to further studies related to chemical screening for their authenticity.


Ailment; Frequency; Informant consensus factor; Management; Medicinal plant; Oriental Morocco

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