Ethnobotanical survey in the Palestinian area: a classification of the healing potential of medicinal plants

Authors
Ali-Shtayeh, M. S., Yaniv, Z., & Mahajna, J
Journal Name
Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume
73
Issue
1
Pages From
221
To
232
Date
Abstract

An ethnobotanical survey was carried out in the West Bank to evaluate the relative efficacy of the plants used to treat skin diseases and prostate cancer. A total number of 102 informants, 30 years and older and either native born or had been living in the West Bank for more than 30 years, were interviewed using a previously prepared questionnaire. Of about 165 plant species mentioned by the informants, 63 (38.1%) were mentioned by three or more informants. On the basis of their primary uses, 21 of these plants were reported to relieve skin disorders, 17 for urinary system disorders, 16 for gastric disorders, nine for cancer and prostate disorders, eight for arthritis, five for respiratory problems, and five for other ailments. Indices on fidelity levels (FLs), relative popularity level (RPL), and rank-order priority (ROP) were calculated. Plants were classified in two groups: ‘popular’ (RPL=1) or ‘unpopular’ (RPL<1). The following plant species were classified as popular in this study: Teucrium poliumMatricaria aureaUrtica piluliferaParonychia argenteaPetroselinum sativum, and Salvia fruticosa. The remaining 57 species were classified as ‘unpopular’. Fifty-nine plants were claimed to be effective against cancer and prostate disorders, which include Arum dioscorides, U. pilulifera, Allium sativum, Viscum cruciatum, and Allium cepa.

Keywords
Folkloric medicine in Palestine, Medicinal plants, Rank-order priority, Fidelity level, Popularity level, Cancer, Prostate disorders, Skin disorders