Ethnobotanical magnitude towards sustainable utilization of wild foliage in Arabian Desert

J Tradit Complement Med. 2015 Apr 2;6(3):209-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2015.03.003. eCollection 2016 Jul.


The present investigation was deals with identifying traditional uses of medicinal plants for curing a variety of ailments and degree of religious conservation for retention of ethnobotanical knowledge. The study was carried out in the State of Qatar to document the ethnobotanical uses of 58 medicinally important plant species including identification, botanical name, Arabic name, family, habit, habitat, distribution pattern, and the plant parts used for curing variety of ailments. The documented species belong to 54 plant genera and 30 botanical families. They have been used to cure more than 38 different kinds of human ailments. A majority of ethnobotanical plant species belonging to shrubs (41.38%) followed by perennial herbs (31.04%), annual herbs (18.96%) and trees (8.62%) respectively. The frequency of ethnobotanical plant species were recorded maximum in fabaceae (13.79%), followed by lamiaceae, chenopodiaceae (6.89% each), asteraceae, capparaceae, polygonaceae, boraginaceae, aizooaceae (5.17% each), brassicaceae, asclepiadaceae, convolvulaceae, zygophyllaceae, solanaceae (3.44% each) while, remaining 17 families had one (1.72%) species each. Perception of stakeholders concerning prioritization and categorization of potential native plants and 25 ethnobotanical species were prioritized and ranked on the basis of their multipurpose use value, feasibility climatic conditions and Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) criteria measures i.e. drought resistant, low water requirement, growth performance, survival rate, canopy size, adaptation potential, low maintenance and use value for sustainability and landscaping. The analysis emphasized the potentials of ethnomedicinal research, sustainable utilization, conservation initiatives, and urgent need to document ethnobotanical knowledge for sustainability and scientific validation to prevent their losses.

Keywords: Arabian Desert; Ethnobotanical uses; Informants; Landscaping; Native plants; Sustainable utilization.