Medicinal plants used to treat acute digestive system problems in the region of Fez-Meknes in Morocco: An ethnopharmacological survey

Imane Es-Safi, Hamza Mechchate, Amal Amaghnouje, Fatima Zahra Jawhari, Amina Bari, Pierfrancesco Cerruti, Maurizio Avella, Andriy Grafov, Dalila Bousta


Background: In Morocco, acute digestive system problems appear to be a famous daily ill which the most population deal with using medicinal plants. This work aims to inventory the plants used to deal with acute digestive system problems in the region of Fez-Meknes.

Methods: A survey was carried out by means of a semi-structured questionnaire. A total of 423 interviews (108 of them are traditional health practitioners) were conducted. Botanical information about identified plants was carefully collected. Data were analyzed through the relative frequency of citation (RFC).

Results: All respondents informed about the effectiveness of the medicinal plants and confirmed successful multiple uses of them. In total, 50 species belonging to 23 families were reported. The most-reported plant families were Lamiaceae (12 species), Apiaceae (10 species), Fabaceae, and Asteraceae (5 species). The most frequently used plants to treat digestive system acute problems based on their RFC values were: Foeniculum vulgare (8.58), Carum carvi (5.11) Glycyrrhiza glabra (4.56) Ammondaucus leucotrichus, Trigonella foenum-graecum, (4.20), Coriandrum sativum (4.01). The use of medicinal plants in the acute digestive system problems, according to the interviewed people, concerned six categories:  Acute ache, digestion problems; intestinal comfort; bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

Conclusion: Knowledge of medicinal plants used to treat acute digestive system problems was solid. Indeed, all the local population used medicinal plants as a first choice to deal with it. This study represents a useful inventory to preserve and spread this knowledge.

Keywords: Ethnopharmacological survey; Digestive system problems; Medicinal plants; Morocco; Acute ache; digestion problems; intestinal comfort; bloating, diarrhea; constipation.

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
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