3 years ago

Traditional use of ethnomedicinal native plants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Hanan Aati, Ali El-Gamal, Hamdy Shaheen, Oliver Kayser


The Arabian Peninsula is recognized as an arid area dominated by deserts and poor biodiversity. However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (henceforth abbreviated into KSA) has a wide range of flora, consisting of different species of trees, herbs, and shrubs and containing numerous edible and medicinal plants. The KSA is characterized by its vast area of diverse geographical landscapes and climates. Consequently, there is enormous variation in the distribution of plants across the Kingdom. The traditional use of ethnomedical plants in the KSA represents a strong interconnection among familiar remedies, health, diet, and traditional healing practices characterized by specific cultures.

The present paper reviews a collection of medicinal plants in KSA used in ethnomedicine. This review might be useful in developing strategies for the sustainable use of medicinal plants which are among the threatened important natural resources in folk medicine in the KSA. The present study reports 309 genera which cover 471 species from a total of 2253 known species belonging to 89 families. The most dominating families are Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Solanaceae, Apiaceae, Brassicaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Poaceae, Amaranthaceae, Boraginaceae, Apocynaceae, Convolvoulaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Capparaceae, Polygonaceae, and Zygophyllaceae.

Open access
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