Ethnobotanical study of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn in the Taounate Region (Northern Morocco): Knowledge and Use of the Plant for Food and Medicinal Purposes
Background: in order to highlight the knowledge and use of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn plant, an ethnobotanical investigation was carried out amongst Taounate local population. This study aims at raising the degree of valorization of the plant studied by the local population of this region.
Methods: An ethnobotanical survey was conducted amongst the population of some communes of Taounate region between October and December 2022. The survey was conducted in the study area on a sample of 121 people of different age categories, gender, educational level, and socioeconomic level. The data was collected through detailed and well-structured questionnaires. It was statistically analyzed using SPSS software (IBM SPSS Statistics version 26).
Results: The results of our study indicate that the knowledge and use of Silybum marianum (L.) by the local population of the rural and urban communes of Taounate province remains very limited. The Pearson chi-square test carried out showed the existence of a statistically significant correlation between the different variables studied. This means that there is a correlation between these variables that is not simply due to chance. That is, we found a strong significant relationship between Age and knowledge of the S. marianum plant. This may indicate that older individuals generally have a more knowledge of S. marianum than younger people. Similarly, we found that there was a strong relationship between educational level and knowledge of S. marianum. This may suggest that people with higher levels of education are more likely to have a deeper understanding of the plant. Finally, we found that there was a significant relationship between socio-economic level and the use of our plant. This suggests that people with a low socio-economic level tend to use the S. marianum plant more frequently than those with a higher socio-economic level.
Conclusions: The study revealed that Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. remains among the most neglected species in Morocco. Scientific data and research on this plant remain rare despite its economic and therapeutic virtues.
Keywords: Ethnobotanical, medicinal plants, Silybum marianum L., Socio-economic, Taounate, Morocco
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