Tag Archives: ethnobotany

Phytotherapy against COVID-19 and risks of intoxication

J. Pharm. Pharmacogn. Res., vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 357-386, May-June 2022.

Original Article

Phytotherapy in response to COVID-19 and risks of intoxication: A field study in the city of Meknes (Morocco)

[Fitoterapia en respuesta al COVID-19 y riesgos de intoxicación: un estudio de campo en la ciudad de Meknes (Marruecos)]

Mariame Najem*, Jamal Ibijbijen, Laila Nassiri

Environment and Valorisation of Microbial and Plant Resources Unit, Faculty of Sciences, Moulay Ismail University of Meknes, P.O.B: 11201 Meknes, Morocco.

*E-mail: ma.najem@edu.umi.ac.ma, mariamenajem@gmail.com

Abstract

Context: The contagious global pandemic of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has prompted many Moroccans to turn to traditional phytoremedies.

Aims: To highlight the ethnopharmacological information and the risks of intoxication related to the use of herbal medicine to combat COVID-19.

Methods: Through a semi-structured questionnaire and using the “Free listing” technique, an ethnobotanical survey was conducted among 36 herbalists of the Meknes prefecture to collect ethnopharmacological data on species used in the fight against COVID-19. Then, many databases were used to document their pharmacological and toxicological activities.

Results: A total of 36 species in 22 families were reported to be used to prepare traditional recipes against COVID-19. According to the relative frequency index of citation, the species Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Eucalyptus globulus Labill, Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & L.M. Perry, Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck, and Zingiber officinale Roscoe. were recommended by all respondents and recorded the highest usage values. Based on the value of the plant parts index, leaves were the most used part (PPV = 0.37). Most of the remedies were prepared as infusions and administered orally. The bibliographic research revealed that the plants used have several biological activities and are frequently used to treat respiratory diseases. However, some of them have been reported to be toxic.

Conclusions: Recommended species are endowed with innumerable biological activities. They can be a promising alternative to combat COVID-19. However, their toxic effects require pharmacotoxicological studies to ensure the safety and efficacy of these natural remedies.

Keywords: COVID-19; ethnobotany; herbalism; Morocco; Meknes; phytotherapy; toxicity.

Resumen

Contexto: La contagiosa pandemia mundial del coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) ha llevado a muchos marroquíes a recurrir a los fitorremedios tradicionales.

Objetivos: Resaltar la información etnofarmacológica y los riesgos de intoxicación relacionados con el uso de fitoterápicos para combatir el COVID-19.

Métodos: A través de un cuestionario semiestructurado y utilizando la técnica de “Listado Libre”, se realizó un relevamiento etnobotánico entre 36 herbolarios de la prefectura de Meknes para recolectar datos etnofarmacológicos sobre especies utilizadas en la lucha contra COVID-19. Luego, se utilizaron muchas bases de datos para documentar sus actividades farmacológicas y toxicológicas.

Resultados: Se informó que un total de 36 especies en 22 familias se utilizaron en la preparación de recetas tradicionales contra COVID-19. Según el índice de frecuencia relativa de citación, las especies Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Eucalyptus globulus Labill, Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & L.M. Perry, Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck y Zingiber officinale Roscoe. son recomendados por todos los encuestados y registró los valores de uso más altos. Sobre la base del índice del valor de las partes de la planta, las hojas son la parte más utilizada (VPP = 0,37). La mayoría de los remedios se prepararon como infusiones y se administraron por vía oral. La investigación bibliográfica reveló que las plantas utilizadas tienen varias actividades biológicas y se utilizan con frecuencia en el tratamiento de enfermedades respiratorias. Sin embargo, se ha informado que algunos de ellos son tóxicos.

Conclusiones: Las especies recomendadas están dotadas de innumerables actividades biológicas, pueden ser una alternativa prometedora para combatir el COVID-19. Sin embargo, sus efectos tóxicos requieren estudios farmacotoxicológicos para garantizar la seguridad y eficacia de estos remedios naturales.

Palabras Clave: COVID-19; etnobotánica; fitoterapia; herboristería; Marruecos; Meknes; toxicidad.

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Citation Format: Najem M, Ibijbijen J, Nassiri L (2022) Phytotherapy in response to COVID-19 and risks of intoxication: A field study in the city of Meknes (Morocco). J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 10(3): 357–386.
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Plant vernacular names: diversity and confusion potential risks



J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 9(2): 222-250, 2021.

Original Article

Vernacular names of plants between diversity and potential risks of confusion: Case of toxic plants used in medication in the central Middle Atlas, Morocco

[Nombres vernáculos de las plantas entre la diversidad y los posibles riesgos de confusión: caso de las plantas tóxicas utilizadas en la medicación en el Atlas Medio central, Marruecos]

Mariame Najem*, Laila Nassiri, Jamal Ibijbijen

Environment and Valorisation of Microbial and Plant Resources Unit, Faculty of Sciences, Moulay Ismail University of Meknes, B.P: 11201 Meknes, Morocco.

*E-mail: m.najem@edu.umi.ac.ma, mariamenajem@gmail.com

Abstract

Context: Knowledge of medicinal plants is the first step in preserving traditional use and preventing intoxication.

Aims: To highlight the risks of intoxication related to the similarities of vernacular names between medicinal plants and to confusion during harvesting.

Methods: Indigenous knowledge on the traditional use of toxic plants for medicinal purposes was gathered through direct interviews with practitioners of herbal medicine and field surveys in the Central Middle Atlas. The vernacular names were collected from the respondents and through various bibliographical sources relating to the flora and the traditional Moroccan Pharmacopoeia.

Results: Giving The results identified 83 toxic species, divided into 39 families and 75 genera. These plants have different vernacular names in Arabic or Berber dialects. 60 species out of the 83 plants inventoried have at least 3 vernacular names. The study also revealed that a vernacular name could correspond to several species of the same genus or even of different genera and families; only 27 species of the 83 inventoried have their own vernaculars that they do not share with any other species throughout the country. Because of this similarity of vernacular names, medicinal plants could be confused, which would be the cause of the ineffectiveness of related treatments or even others’ toxicity. The risk of intoxication is aggravated by confusion during the harvesting.

Conclusions: The identification of plants based on affirmed taxonomic criteria and a charter regulating the collection and use of plants is imperative to avoid any risk of intoxication.

Keywords: confusion; diversity; ethnobotany; Moroccan Central Middle Atlas; intoxication risks; vernacular names.

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Resumen

Contexto: El conocimiento de las plantas medicinales es el primer paso para preservar el uso tradicional y prevenir la intoxicación.

Objetivos: Destacar los riesgos de intoxicación relacionados con las similitudes de los nombres vernáculos de las plantas medicinales y con la confusión durante la cosecha.

Métodos: Los conocimientos indígenas sobre el uso tradicional de las plantas tóxicas con fines medicinales se reunieron mediante entrevistas directas con profesionales de la medicina herbaria y estudios de campo en el Atlas Medio central. Los nombres vernáculos se recogieron de los encuestados y a través de diversas fuentes bibliográficas relacionadas con la flora y la farmacopea tradicional marroquí.

Resultados: Los resultados identificaron 83 especies tóxicas, divididas en 39 familias y 75 géneros. Estas plantas tienen diferentes nombres vernáculos en árabe y/o dialecto bereber. 60 especies de las 83 plantas inventariadas tienen al menos 3 nombres vernáculos. El estudio también reveló que un nombre vernáculo podría corresponder a varias especies del mismo género, o incluso de diferentes géneros y familias; sólo 27 especies de las 83 inventariadas tienen sus propias lenguas vernáculas que no comparten con ninguna otra especie en todo el país. Debido a esta similitud de los nombres vernáculos, las plantas medicinales podrían confundirse, lo que sería la causa de la ineficacia de los tratamientos relacionados, o incluso de la toxicidad de otros. El riesgo de intoxicación se ve agravado por la confusión durante la recolección.

Conclusiones: La identificación de las plantas sobre la base de criterios taxonómicos afirmados, así como una carta que regule la recolección y el uso de las plantas son imperativos para evitar cualquier riesgo de intoxicación.

Palabras Clave: confusión; diversidad; etnobotánica; Atlas Central Marroquí; riesgos de intoxicación; nombres vernáculos.

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Citation Format: Najem M, Nassiri L, Ibijbijen J (2021) Vernacular names of plants between diversity and potential risks of confusion: case of toxic plants used in medication in the central Middle Atlas, Morocco. J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 9(2): 222–250.

© 2021 Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research (JPPRes)