Ethnobotanical study of Pistacia lentiscus L. in El Tarf region (Northeastern Algeria)

Moncef Beldi, Hayette Merzougui, Amel Lazli


Background: This study was conducted to promote a medicinal plant, Pistacia lentiscus L. (Anacardiaceae), through an ethnobotanical study carried out in the region of El Tarf (Northeastern Algeria), which aims to highlight the virtues and the traditional therapeutic uses reported by the local population and herbalists in its urban center.


Methods: Ethnobotanical surveys on P. lentiscus were carried out during two campaigns (2017 and 2018) using questionnaire sheets and were intended for rural populations in four zones: Bougous, Gantra El Hamra, Cheffia and Bouhadjar. These investigations also affected herbalists in the urban center of El Tarf. Once the fieldwork was completed, the collected data was sorted and organized into a matrix from which graphs and tables were realized using Excel software.

Results: The results obtained indicate that the use of lentisk pistachio is very widespread in the region. Fixed oil extracted from ripe fruits of the plant seems to be the most used by local residents (66%). Indeed, surveys have shown that it is mainly recommended for skin troubles (63%), gastrointestinal and lung disorders (16%). Leaves and stems were also mentioned by the people interviewed (34%) and were used in particular to treat digestive and hepatic disorders as well as respiratory problems. The methods of administration mentioned during the surveys were generally massage with oil, decoction, infusion and maceration. Various Lenstisk products were sold in El Tarf herbalists. Oil was the most sold (39%) followed by cream (18%), leaves (16%), soap and powder (9%). The methods of preparation and the therapeutic indications were similar to those reported by rural populations.

Conclusion: The use of P. lentiscus is widespread in El Tarf region for traditional medicine as well as in herbalists in its urban center. The oil was the most used compared to other parts of the plant. The study confirmed the transmission of knowledge on the uses and therapeutic effects of this plant not only from generation to generation, but also between rural and urban settings.

Keywords: Pistacia lentiscus, surveys, uses, methods of preparation, rural population, herbalists, El Tarf region.


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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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