Ethnobotanical studies and economic evaluation of medicinal plants in Taounate province (Northern Morocco)

J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jun;86(2-3):149-58. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(03)00012-6.


An ethnobotanical survey was carried out among the Taounate population in Northern Morocco to identify plants used in folk-medicine. Two distinct physiographic regions of the province, populated by two ethnic groups, were surveyed. Extensive investigation undertaken during the past 5 years has brought to light 102 medicinal plants belonging to 48 families. The scientific and vernacular names of plants, their ecological distribution, and the popular uses of the plant, the part of the plant used, the preparation and mode of administration are presented. Plants are widely used in indigenous pharmacopoeia to alleviate the common symptoms of cardiovascular (5.8%), gastrointestinal (24.9%), bronchopulmonary systems (9.8%), urogenital (12.2%) and skin (9.2%) diseases, and other disorders which are often associated with magic. The majority of medicinal plants grow in the wild (61%), while others are cultivated (37%) and some (1.9%) are domesticated. These plants are more abundant in the northern part (62%) of the province where they grow in forested areas. Among the 102 species inventoried, 13(12.7%) medicinal plants are widely commercialized in the region and exploited outside of the province. The data collected from 17 wholesalers, show the income derived from medicinal plants to be about USD 1,826,900 per year. This survey demonstrates that the medicinal plant sector in the province is a promising economic resource for developing this region, but it needs planned exploitation, and that the tribes should continue to master the folk-medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Ethnobotany*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, African Traditional*
  • Morocco
  • Plant Extracts* / economics
  • Plant Extracts* / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal / classification*
  • Rural Population


  • Plant Extracts