Medicinal plants and traditional ethnoveterinary practices by rural community of Lebanon

N. Arnold-Apostolides, H. Nasser, S. Baydoun
Ethnoveterinary care by indigenous plants is a millennia-old cultural practice in Lebanon. This traditional knowledge is presently eroding and there is an urgent need to have it documented. The aim of this study was to identify medicinal plants and document this traditional knowledge in the rural regions of Lebanon. Using semi-structured questionnaires, personal interviews during field walks with 110 key informants were carried out through 2014-2018. Informants included shepherds, farmers, practitioners, and herbalists. Findings revealed a list of 129 medicinal plant species popularly used in the treatment and management of various ailments and conditions. The cited plants represented 35 families with Asteraceae and Lamiaceae contributing the major share. Artemisia herba-alba, Dittrichia viscosa, Foeniculum vulgare, Olea europaea, Peganum harmala and Trigonella foenum-graecum were the top ranking plants based on the number of Use Reports (URs). The Informant Consensus Factor (FIC) values scored highest for gastrointestinal disease (0.95), followed by endoparasites (0.94); ectoparasites (0.93), reproduction and mastitis (0.92), galactagogue (0.90), dermatitis, wounds, skin injuries and claw disease (0.89), urinary (0.88), poisoning (0.86), respiratory conditions and fever (0.85), eye and nose infections (0.83), bone fractures (0.80) and nervous system condition (0.75), arthritis (0.73). Most herbal recipes consisted of plants offered as fodder and oral applications of single species infusions or decoctions. Cataplasms and fumigation from fresh or dry powdered plants for topical application in skin conditions were also reported. This study provides evidence of the importance of traditional ethnoveterinary. It can serve as a baseline for future investigations in veterinary pharmacology and medicine.
Arnold-Apostolides, N., Nasser, H. and Baydoun, S. (2020). Medicinal plants and traditional ethnoveterinary practices by rural community of Lebanon. Acta Hortic. 1287, 93-102
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1287.13
ethnoveterinary, traditional knowledge, medicinal plants, Lebanon

Acta Horticulturae