Hamdi Bendif1,2*, Mohamed Djamel Miara3, Mohamed Harir1, Karim Merabti1, Nabila Souilah4, Salima Guerroudj5, Roumaissa Labza6
1Département SNV, Université de M’Sila, Algeria
2Laboratoire d’Ethnobotanique et Substance Naturelles, ENS de Kouba, Algeria
3Département de Biologie, Université Ibn Khaldoun, Algeria
4 Département de Chimie, Université de Constantine 1, Algeria
5 Département de Biologie, Université Amar Telidji, Algeria
6Département de Biologie et Physiologie Cellulaire, Université Saad Dahlab de Blida, Algeria
Received: 28 November 2018
Accepted: 18 December 2018
Version of Record Online: 28 December 2018
Bendif H, Miara MD, Harir M, Merabti K, Souilah N, et al. (2018) Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants of El Mansourah (West of Bordj Bou Arreridj, Algeria). J Soil Plant Biol 2018(1): 24-39.
Correspondence should be addressed to
Hamdi Bendif, Algeria
Copyright © 2018 Hamdi Bendif et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and work is properly cited.
The population of the west of Bordj Bou Arréridj (communes of the Daïra of El Mansourah) uses large-scale medicinal plant resources. This area is very rich and has many species of undeniable medicinal interest. The valorisation of this natural heritage requires an ethnobotany study which allows to describe the different uses of medicinal plants by the local population and to establish the catalogue of medicinal plants and their therapeutic uses. Our survey, conducted in March-May 2015, using 200 questionnaires, we identified 78 medicinal plants used in traditional medicine of the region studied. Which are divided into 40 families, of which six are the most dominant, including Lamiaceae (10 species), Asteraceae (9 species), Apiaceae (5 species), Poaceae (4 species), Fabaceae (3 species), and Chenopodiaceae (3 species). Leaves are the most used part. The majority of the remedies are prepared in the form of infusion. The almost exclusive use of the local population for medicinal plant species in its daily care and the opening of a more or less organized market of these plants will only accentuate the pressure on these medicinal resources which can lead to the disappearance of some of the most vulnerable species. It is therefore urgent to adopt a sustainable management approach for the safeguarding and preservation of medicinal plants in these regions. The results obtained are a very valuable source of information for the region studied and for the national medicinal flora. They could be a database for further research in the fields of phytochemistry and pharmacology and for the purpose of searching for new natural substances.
Since the dawn of time, our ancestors have used plants to heal themselves and to overcome suffering and improve human health . From generation to generation, they passed on their knowledge and simple experiences by striving when they could record them in writing. Since the last decades, the medicinal plant has been making a return in strength, based on safe values, tested long dates by our ancestors. The ethnobotany and the ethnopharmacology relate the knowledge of traditional physicians and the current science. It should be noted that the purpose of ethnopharmacology and ethnobotany is therefore to understand the practices and representations relating to the health, disease, description and therapeutic evaluation of plants used in Traditional Pharmacopoeias. Indeed, there are about 500,000 species of plants on earth, of which 80,000 have medicinal properties . The therapeutic use of medicinal plants is very present and especially developing countries, in the absence of a modern medical system . Algeria has a large variety of medicinal plants that have never been completely abandoned and people have never stopped using traditional medicine, which has led to maintaining a living therapeutic tradition despite the Spectacular development of modern medicine , also allows Algeria to occupy a privileged place among the Mediterranean countries that have a long medical tradition and traditional know-how based on medicinal plants, these plants are potential natural remedies that can be used in curative and preventative treatment. This is the reason for this study, which aims to contribute to the knowledge of medicinal plants used by villagers in the western region of Bordj Bou Arréridj (Algeria). To produce a catalogue of these plants in the so-called region and to gather as much information as possible about the therapeutic uses practised by the local population. For this, surveys were carried out with the population of the communes of the Daïra of El Mansourah. Indeed, it is very important to translate this traditional knowledge into scientific knowledge in order to revalue it, to preserve it and to use it in a rational way.
Presentation of the study area
The study area (Daïra of El Mansoura) (Latitude, 31° 97' 96'' N; longitude, 03° 74' 59'' E; elevation, 698 m) (Figure 1), is located in the western part of the Willaya of Bordj Bou Arréridj (Algeria) about 30 km from the chief place of the wilaya covers an area geographical area of about 836 km2, this Daïra includes the following communes: Mansoura, Ouled Sidi Brahim, Harraza, Ben Daoud, and El Nagaraju (Figure 2). The study area is limited to the south by the wilaya of Me Sila, Bejaia to the north, Bouira to the west, and Bordj Bou Arréridj chief place to the east. The terrain of the region is presented in two aspects: a mountainous region, the forest massif of the zone of the Bibanns (Ouled Sidi Brahim, Harraza, Ben Daoud), and an area of high Plains (Mansoura and El Nagaraju) . The climate is semi-arid continental in harsh winters and dry and warm summers. However, there are rainfall contrasts linked to the altitude between the different regions of the area. The main species that make up the forest background are Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), Green Oak (Quercus ilex), Atlas Cedar (Cedro atlantica), and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), the large forests of Aleppo pine are concentrated in the region of the Bibanns. On the other hand, steppe formations composed mainly of white sagebrush and Alpha, whose state of degradation is advanced, also it is rich of several types of animals and birds . The population of the region is dichotomized in urban and rural areas. The urban population is low. The rural (periphery of the region) are essentially composed of tribes of Hammadid to Mansoura, Berber tribe of the Sanhaja to Ben Daoud that the various revolutions have not moved from their mountains, the Dréat who are at the origin of the foundation of the village of Mansoura. The population distribution of this region is included in the table 1. The region has a very diversified economic potential that contributes remarkably to its socio-economic development. One of these strengths is agriculture.
Table 1: Distribution of the population of the study area.
Figure 1: General view of the Harraza region on the left and Ouled Sidi Brahim on the right (Photo Bendif H, 2015).
Daïra of el Mansourah Wilaya of BBA Algeria
Figure 2: Geographical location of the El Mansoura Daïra.
The ethnobotanical study is carried out following a series of surveys (Appendix 1) based on the semi-structured interview method . The survey was conducted from March to April 2015 spread over 200 questionnaire cards, with a random population sample of the following communes (Table 1). The time spent on each interview was about half an hour. The information collected concerned the profile of the interviewee (age, sex, level of study, family situation and habitat), and the ethno-pharmacological data for each plant include the common local name, the uses, the part (s) used, the method of preparation appendix 1. The identification of the harvested material was done first in the field and completed at the Ethnobotany and natural substance laboratory, ENS of Kouba, Algeria. The determination of the scientific nomenclature was carried out at the species level, thanks to the documents: Nouvelle flamme d’Algerie from Quézel & Santa . We also collected samples of the medicinal plant species of the region study to validate and / or verify their local names with several interviewees. Finally, computer processing was necessary to better analyze the data that were collected during our ethnobotanical surveys. For this, we opted for Excel 2007 software. This allowed us to perform a set of efficient operations in a short time.
The results obtained are listed according to therapeutic practices, the use of plants and the treatment of diseases. For all the listed species we will represent them in the form of a catalogue. The use of medicinal plants in the study area is prevalent in all age groups, with predominance in people aged over 60 years with 48%. The age groups [40-59], [20-39] and [< 20] then come with a percentage of 42%, 8% and 2% respectively. Knowledge of the uses of medicinal plants and their properties are generally acquired following a long accumulated experience and transmitted from one generation to the next . The transmission of this knowledge is in danger at present because it is not always ensured (Figure 3). There is also a loss of information on medicinal plants, which is due to the mistrust of some people, especially young ones, who tend not to believe in this traditional medicine. In this region, men and women are concerned with the use of medicinal plants. However, medicinal plants are used by both women and men (73% vs 27%) (Figure 4). These results confirm the results of other ethnobotanical work carried out at the national level ; In the region of Ouennougha (M’sila), which showed that women are more holders of traditional herbal knowledge. This is explained by the fact that women are concerned with the collection of medicinal plants, drying, storing and preparing recipes for the care of family members, this can be explained by their responsibility as mothers, it is they who give first aid especially for their children. These results confirm other ethnobotanical work carried out at the national level, case studies of Rebbas K  in the region of Ouennougha (Sila). The unemployed make up the vast majority of users of medicinal plants with 65%, because plants are available year-round in their environment, and plants are cheaper compared to medicines, retirees occupy 20% of users, however, for employed people, a rate of 10% is noted. And last 5% for herbalists (Figure 5). Medicinal plants are much more used by married people (80.80%) than by singles (19.20%) (Figure 6). As these allow them to avoid or minimize the physical burdens required by the doctor and pharmacist and also the fact that they are responsible as parents to give first aid especially for their children. According to the census carried out in 2015 by the DPSB, the region has an average level of schooling, in the study area, the vast majority of users of medicinal plants are illiterate with a percentage of 60.27% (Figure 7). This relatively high percentage is directly correlated with the level of study of the local plant-user population. Nevertheless, those with primary school level have a non-negligible percentage of medicinal plants, which is 25.89%, while those with a secondary and university level use very little of the plants Medicinal (secondary 8.48%, academic 5.36%). This clearly high illiteracy rate among medicinal plant users can be a real obstacle to local development. It handicaps the region at the level of the creation of its own elite, and promotes the degradation of the natural resources of the region, whose vegetation of the forests of El Mansourah. The majority of the information of the respondents originates the experience of their predecessors (relatives, neighbors and friends) with 89%, indicating that the population knows the therapeutic virtues of plants in a traditional and empirical way. While only 9% of their information originated from herbalists and 2% for reading (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Distribution of the frequency of use of medicinal plants according to the origin of their information.
Medicinal plants used
Using the 200 questionnaires established, we identified 75 medicinal plants used by the population of the study area. The appendix 2 contains the list of plants. For each plant listed, we give the scientific name, the French name, vernacular names, the family, the used part, the therapeutic effects and the method of preparation adopted by the local population, as well as the frequency of use.
The results of the Ethnobotany survey allowed us to set up a list of 75 medicinal species used by the local population, these medicinal species belong to 67 genera and 39 botanical families. The 75 species are part of the branching of the flowering plants with a clear dominance of the dicotyledons on the monocotyledons. The most represented families in the region are the Lamiaceae (10), the Asteraceae (9), the Apiaceae (5) and the Poaceae (4) (Figure 9). The remaining botanical families have only one or two species. These families alone hold 36 species (or 48%) of the overall workforce. On all the results obtained, we have collected the most used species in traditional herbal medicine by the local population, which are: Artemisia Herba-Alba Asso., Paronychia argentea Lam., Ajuga iva (L.) Schreb., Pinus halepensis Mill., Lavandula stoechas L., and Marrubium vulgare L. These species were reported by all informants (over 85%) (Figure 10). The remainder of the medicinal plants, not reported in figure 10, were mentioned only by a few informants.
Each part of the plant has therapeutic properties. For this, medicinal plants can be used whole, or in part (leaf, fruit, stem, root, bark) . In our study area, the parts used are classified in order of decreasing importance: leaves 35.30%, aerial parts 22.8%, fruits 10.5%, leaves-stems 8.2%, bulbs 7.2%, seeds 5.87%, leaf-flowers 4.7%, roots 3.5%, are the most used parts. The remainder for stems, fruit-cuticles by 1.17% (Figure 11). The ease and speed of harvesting maybe the cause of the high rate of foliage use by the region’s population [12,13]. In herbal medicine, there are several methods of plant preparation, depending on the type of use . And in order to facilitate the administration of the drug. Infusion is the most common method of preparation (42.74%). It is followed by a decoction (22.9%) and powder (12.21%), (Figure 12). Other modes like fumigation, poultice and maceration represent a small percentage. Most of the users of medicinal plants in the western region of Bordj Bou Arréridj use medicinal plants with non-precise doses. The dose is still random which is manifested by adverse health effects because it says “no substance is poison itself, it is the dose that makes the poison”.
The analysis of the types of diseases treated by medicinal plants highlights that many of these plants are used in the treatments of the digestive system by 43 plants, the external use of plants takes the second place by 36 plants, the cardiovascular diseases relieved by 26 medicinal species, and in the end the respiratory system and the urinary tract are treated by 12 species (Figure 13).
The Ethnobotany survey found that the majority of medicinal species are used mainly against diseases of the digestive system (43 species), with a different number of uses (Figure 14). Some species in the study area are used for the treatment of respiratory tract diseases (12 species), with a different number of uses (Figure 15). Our result revealed that 12 medicinal species are used primarily against diseases of the urinary tract, with a different number of use (Figure 16). Several species of the study area are used for the treatment of skin diseases and external uses (36 species), with a different number of uses (Figure 17). Our result showed that 26 medicinal species are used primarily against diseases that affect the cardiovascular system, with a different number of uses (Figure 18). 38% of people in the western region of BBA believe that plants Medicines allow a cure for treated diseases. 50% believe that medicinal plants only allow an improvement in health status. While 12% of the local population believe that medicinal plants cause side effects, toxic states and even worsening of the disease especially in the case of dermatological diseases (Figure 19).
Through this work, we are interested in the ethnobotany study of medicinal plants of the western region of Bordj Bou Arréridj, especially of the Daïra of El-Mansoura. This study allowed us to reveal the relative importance given to traditional herbal medicine in the health system to the regions studied, and to confirm that the use of medicinal plants in the therapeutic field still persists despite the revolution in medical technology. Similarly, the collection and analysis of the collected data has made it possible to transform the popular oral knowledge in this region into knowledge transcribed by the establishment of a catalogue of medicinal plants used and their therapeutic uses. The floristic analysis of the results obtained by this study allowed us to identify 75 medicinal species distributed in 39 families, with the prevalence of six families: Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, Apiaceae and Poaceae, Fabaceae. Similarly, the most commonly used species in this region are in numbers of 6, most of which are spontaneous and relatively abundant. Thus, the results obtained showed that the leaves are the most used parts and infusion is the bulk of the preparation of plant drugs in traditional herbal medicine. In addition, the distribution of the frequency of use of medicinal plants according to the group of treated diseases has shown that digestive pathologies are the major therapeutic indications. In addition, this study has helped to appreciate and know the traditional practices used by the population of the western region of BBA. The richness of this know-how appears through the results obtained but it is important, on the one hand to extend this kind of investigations to other regions of the country in order to safeguard this precious cultural heritage by a complete monograph and on the other hand validate experimentally the remedies enumerated by rigorous scientific protocols.
Appendix 1: Questionnaire on the ethnobotanical survey of plants commonly used in the study area.
Appendix 2: List of medicinal plants identified in the study area for their therapeutic properties and traditional uses.
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