Medicinal plants used in traditional medicine to enhance immunity: A survey in the southeastern area of Morocco and a literature review

Document Type : Review Article


Laboratory of Natural Substances, Pharmacology, Environment, Modeling, Health, and Quality of Life (SNAMOPEQ), Faculty of Sciences Dhar El Mahraz, University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, Fez, 30000, Morocco



Objective: The threat of immune escape and the discovery of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, as well as the failure of certain conventional drugs that are already in use for the symptomatic treatment of diseases, have prompted a re-evaluation of ancient therapeutic remedies such as phytotherapy, and aromatherapy. In this context, the present study aims to shed light on some medicinal plants mostly used by the population of the Daraa Tafilalet region to strengthen their immune systems, and to provide an up-to-date literature review on this subject.
Materials and Methods: A survey study was conducted using pre-prepared questionnaires addressed to the population of the Daraa Tafilalet region. MS Windows Excel and SPSS software were used for statistical analysis and results presentation. In addition, for the literature review, searches were conducted across several databases, including Google Scholar, Science Direct, Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus, using medicinal plants, date products, enhance immunity, and essential oils as keywords.
Results: Among 142 participants interviewed, 108 used medicinal plants to improve their immune systems. However, 34 interviewers prefer conventional medicine. Date palm fruits and oregano were the most commonly used medicinal plants by the Daraa Tafilalet population to enhance the immune system, followed by anise, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and pennyroyal. These results are supported by literature data.
Conclusion: These results reflect the interesting traditional medical knowledge of this population, which merits being documented.


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