Ethnobotanical investigation of traditional medicinal plants commercialized in the markets of Mashhad, Iran

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Biology, Payame Noor University, Tehran, I. R. Iran

2 Research Center for Plant Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, I. R. Iran


Objective: An ethnobotanical survey on the medicinal plant species marketed in Mashhad city, northeastern Iran, was conducted in order to document traditional medicinal knowledge and application of medicinal plants.
Materials and Methods: This study was undertaken between 2011 and 2012. The indigenous knowledge of traditional healers used for medicinal purposes were collected through questionnaire and personal interviews during field trips. Ethnobotanical data was arranged alphabetically by family name followed by botanical name, vernacular name, part used, folk use, and recipe. Correct identification was made with the help of the various Floras and different herbal literature at the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Herbarium (FUMH).
Results: The present investigation reported medicinal information for about 269 species, belonging to 87 vascular plant families and one fungus family. The most important family was Lamiaceae with 26 species, followed by Asteraceae with 23, Fabaceae with 20, and Apiaceae with 19. Herbal medicine uses reported by herbalists was classified into 132 different uses which show significant results to treat a wide spectrum of human ailments. Plants sold at the market were mostly used for digestive system disorders, respiratory problems, urological troubles, nervous system disorders, skin problems, and gynecological ailments.
Conclusion: This survey showed that although people in study area have access to modern medical facilities,  a lot of them still continue to depend on medicinal plants for the treatment of healthcare problems. The present paper represents significant ethnobotanical information on medical plants which provides baseline data for future pharmacological and phytochemical studies.


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