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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1267: International Symposium on Survey of Uses of Plant Genetic Resources to the Benefit of Local Populations

Socio-economic importance of some high value wild medicinal plants from Lebanon

Authors:   Z. Redwan, S.A. Baydoun, H. Nasser, N. Arnold-Apostolides
Keywords:   medicinal plants, ethnobotany, Lebanon, economic importance
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1267.37
Abstract:
Lebanon is a home for a breadth of native medicinal plants recognized as an integral component of the cultural and natural wealth of the country. The traditional gathering and use of these plants continue to provide benefits for healthcare, income and support to livelihoods of rural regions of Lebanon. This study aims to contribute to the documentation of ethnobotanical traditional knowledge and assessment of the socio-economic potential of important wild medicinal plant species. During 2014-2016, traditional knowledge, collection and trading practices of medicinal plants in 25 villages in different provinces of Lebanon were gathered. Herbalists, traditional healers, elderly villagers, shepherds were interviewed using semi-structured survey questionnaire. Knowledge and data on plant species, collection practices, medicinal uses and means of administration, quantities collected and selling prices were collected. Based on the use value and cultural importance and market economic analysis, findings revealed several highly socioeconomic important species used for the treatment of a range of diseases with a few of which also serve as food condiments. Among these cited plants, Artemisia herba-alba, Ferula hermonis, Fibigia clypeata, Matricaria aurea, Micromeria nervosa, Origanum syriacum, Rheum ribes, Salvia fruticosa and Teucrium capitatum qualified as the most socio-economic valuable species. The study highlights the potential of these plants to enhance rural livelihood and community resilience and calls for the integration of medicinal plants in conservation and development strategies.

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