We carried out an ethnobotanical survey in Tafilalet region. This region is classified by the UNESCO as a reserve of biosphere and represents an important area with important knowledge of traditional medicine, especially the use of medicinal plants for human healthcare. Furthermore, the geographic location of this region makes this site a diverse and interesting resource of herbal biodiversity.
The aim of the study
The study aimed to collect information about medicinal plants used in Tafilalet region as well as the indigenous knowledge related to the use of this natural resource in healthcare by the local population in order to preserve and protect this invaluable inheritance from loss and overlook. We aimed also to compare taxa used by the indigenous people of Tafilalet for health-care purposes in comparison with other regions of Morocco as well as neighboring countries.
Material and methods
The total of informants interviewed in this study was 1616 (1500 were local inhabitants and 116 were herbalists). This enquiry was carried out through semi-structured and unstructured interviews and the sampling technique used was the stratified sample (9 stratums). Data obtained were analyzed calculating 6 indices: Use Value (UV), Family Use Value (FUV), Fidelity Level (FL), Rank Order Priority (ROP), Informant Consensus Factor (Fic) and Jaccard similarity Index (JI).
194 species belonging to 69 families were inventoried in this survey and 17 species were cited for the first time in an ethnobotanical survey in Morocco. The highest value of UV was obtained for Rosmarinus officinalis L. (UV=0.24) and Liliaceae was the family frequently used by inhabitants of Tafilalet (FUV=0.106). In addition, the highest value of FL was recorded for Cistus salviifolius L. and Daphne gnidium L. with FL value of 100% for both species and Origanium vulgare L. had the highest ROP with a value of 53% while the highest value of FIC was mentioned for digestive system disorders (FIC=0.29). Concerning the level of similarity between our study and other regions of Morocco, the province of Tata seems to be the most similar to Tafilalet (JI=42.97), while M'sila (Algeria) was the most similar to Tafilalet among areas in neighboring countries (JI=13.00).
Despite the richness which characterizes Tafilalet regarding diversity and effectiveness of medicinal plants as well as the largest culture and knowledge related to the popular phytotherapy among local people in this region, several procedures must be realized to protect and to valorize this interesting inheritance.
- Ethnobotanical survey;
- Medicinal plants;
- Rank order priority;
- Informant consensus factor;
- Jaccard similarity Index