An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by the local people of Alaşehir (Manisa) in Turkey

J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Dec 12;150(3):860-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.09.040. Epub 2013 Oct 11.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: This paper represents the first large-scale ethnobotanical study in the Alaşehir and its surrounding (Manisa/Turkey). There are scarcely any studies for using plants. There is urgency in recording such data. This is the first ethnobotanical study in which statistical calculations about plants are done by ICF (Informant Consensus Factor) method. This study aimed to identify plants collected for medicinal purposes by the local people of Alaşehir, located in the Aegean Region of Turkey, and to document the traditional names, preparation and uses of these plants.

Materials and methods: Field study was carried out over a period of approximately 2 years (2010-2012) in Alaşehir. During this period, 137 vascular plant specimens were collected. Demographic characteristics of participants, local plant names, utilized parts and preparation methods of the plants were investigated and recorded. In the scope of the study, medicinal plant species and related information were collected; herbarium materials were prepared; and the specimens were entitled. Field research was conducted by collecting ethnobotanical information during structured and semi-structured interviews with native knowledgeable people in territory. In addition, the relative importance value of species was determined and ICF was calculated for the medicinal plants included in the study.

Results: A total of 137 medicinal plants belonging to 58 families were identified in the region. Among them, 105 species are wild and 32 species are cultivated plant. The most dominant medicinal plant families were Asteraceae (>13%), Lamiaceae (>11%), Rosaceae (>7%), and Fabaceae (>4%), again; the most common preparations were infusion and decoction. It was found that Origanum onites L., Urtica urens, Thymus zygioides Griseb., Matricaria chamomilla L., Salvia tomentosa Mill., Cerasus avium (L.), Tilia argentea Desf. ex DC., Hyoscyamus niger L., Urtica pilulifera L., Anethum graveolens L., Euphorbia rigida Bieb., Hypericum perforatum L., Paliurus spina-christi Mill., Rosa canina L., Viscum album L. subsp. austriacum (Wiesb.) Vollman, Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn., Elymus repens (L.) Gould and Juglans regia L. were the most commonly used species. The traditional medicinal plants have been mostly used for the treatment respiratory tract diseases (14.1%), gastro-intestinal diseases (10%), kidney problems (7.3%), diabetes (7.1%), cholesterol (5%), rheumatism (4%), cancer various (4%), cardiovascular problems (3.1%) and burn (3%).

Conclusion: Gathering, processing and consuming wild edible plants are still practiced in all the studied Alaşehir areas. These plants, used in the treatment of many different diseases, are freely harvested in this region at abundant amounts. Due to the increasing health service facilities in the area, herbal medicine, seemed to be more related to health care and disease prevention than cure.

Keywords: Alaşehir; Ethnobotany; ICF; Medicinal plants; Turkey; UV.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Data Collection
  • Ethnobotany
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnoliopsida / classification*
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plants, Medicinal / classification*
  • Turkey