Main Article Content
Aims: The gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important organs of the human body and is vulnerable to different diseases. Available drugs often have low efficacy or are associated with many adverse effects. Therefore, alternative drugs are necessary to treat gastrointestinal complications. This study intended to identify medicinal plants in the Western Middle Atlas, Morocco, that can affect gastrointestinal disorders.
Place and Duration of Study: Field studies were carried out approximately over a period of two years (2013-2014).
Methodology: During the field trips, the information was collected through interviews, including various data obtained from local healers and traditional medicine men, herbalists, shepherds, patients and elderly persons.
Results: A total of 58 medicinal plants, grouped in 30 taxonomic families and 55 genera were identified. In addition, their popular uses, the part or parts employed, form of use and their biological activity are described. Lamiaceae was the most dominant family reported to be used for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases (9 species). Among all the plant parts leaves and seeds were the most preferred plant parts used by the informants. Decoction and powder were the most popular form of treatment used. The four main disorders cured by the plants are: Stomachache/Stomach pain (39.65%), diarrhoeas (22.41%), abdominal pain (17.24%) and bowel disorders (17.24%).
Conclusion: This study aims at emphasizing the profound importance of investigating those species of plants that have not been the subject of any pharmacological study, in spite of existing reports on their traditional use.