Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Used by the People of Targuist in the North of Morocco

Der Pharma Chemica
Journal for Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Computational Chemistry

ISSN: 0975-413X
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Research Article - Der Pharma Chemica ( 2018) Volume 10, Issue 5

Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Used by the People of Targuist in the North of Morocco

Zouhri Aziz* and Aarab Lotfi

Laboratory of Bioactive Molecules (LMBSF), Faculty of Sciences & Techniques, University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, P.O. Box 2202, Road of Immouzer, Fez, Morocco

*Corresponding Author:
Zouhri Aziz
Laboratory of Bioactive Molecules (LMBSF)
Faculty of Sciences & Techniques
University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah
P.O. Box 2202, Road of Immouzer, Fez, Morocco


An ethnobotanical survey of plants has been carried out in Targuist area (North of Morocco), it aimed to collect information on the medical and cosmetic uses of plants. By using 3500 questionnaires, ethnobotanical survey was conducted during two periods (2016 and 2017), with traditional herbalists and users of these plants. The analysis of results identified 90 plants distributed in 43 families with a dominance of the lamiaceae (15.28%). The survey revealed that leaves were the most used part of the plants (43%) and the majority preparation used was a decoction (36.6%). Digestive diseases represent the most cited diseases (31%).


Medicinal and aromatic plants, Ethnobotanical survey, Questionnaire, Targuist


Medicinal plants still remain a source of medical care in the developing countries in the absence of a modern medical system [1]. Morocco is one of the Mediterranean countries which have a long medical tradition and a traditional know-how to basis of medicinal plants [2,3]. By its geographical situation, the Kingdom is a natural framework quite original that offers a full range of Mediterranean bioclimate that fosters a rich and varied flora. In effect, the Moroccan flora contains about 500 species and subspecies, potentially aromatics and/or medicinal, including a very reduced number operating on an industrial scale [2]. The ethnobotanical studies that have been carried out in Morocco show that regional data on medicinal plants are very fragmented and scattered [4-9]. Our study is part of the objective: to establish a catalog of the medicinal plants used by the population of Targuist city, collect the therapeutic applications, and local traditional plants.

Materials and Methods

Description of the study area

The City of Targuist derives its name from the Berber word "targist" which means "man standing." It is located in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al- Hoceima and Rif regions (Latitude: 34° 57' North; longitude: 4° 18' west; Altitude: 994 m). The province of Targuist is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the province of Taounate to the south, the province of Taza to the east and the province of Chefchaouen to the west (Figure 1). The total population of the province is estimated at 26,000 inhabitants with a high density of 2352.8 inhabitants/km2.


Figure 1: Geographical situation of Targuist province

Method of the ethnobotanical study

The information on the use of medicinal plants are collected from the inhabitants of the city of Targuist during the year 2016-17. To meet the objectives of the study, a sheet questionnaire has been developed. It is based on open-ended and close-ended questions. The content of these fact sheets have been established in order to collect the maximum information on therapeutic uses of medicinal plants. This questionnaire contains two main parts: The first corresponding to the profile of the surveyed (Age, level of education, family situation) and the second devoted to plants (Vernacular names, pathologies treated, part used).

The taxonomic identification of the harvested species was later carried out in the laboratory of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Fez through a number of botanical works [5,10,11]. A total of 3,500 questionnaire sheets were developed; the data of the survey ethnobotanical obtained have been processed by the Excel software.

Results and Discussion

Profile of respondents

In the province of Targuist, both sexes are affected by traditional herbal medicines. However, women have a greater knowledge on the plant species and their use with a predominance of 79% against a percentage of 21% among men (Figure 2a). Most of the respondents are older than 40 years (48%), then come the age 30-40, and less than 30 years with respective percentages of 37% and 15% (Figure 2b). At the level of the study area, the majority of the respondents are illiterate (42%), followed by the categories of primary and secondary with percentages respectively 39% and 19%. Nevertheless, people with a university level education use little medicinal plants with a percentage of 2% (Figure 2c).


Figure 2: Distribution of the medicinal plants use frequency by sex (a), Distribution of the frequency of medicinal plants use by age group (b), Distribution of the frequency use of medicinal plants according to the educational level (c)

Parts of the plant used

In traditional medicine, different parts of plants identified particularly the leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, the fruit or even whole plant are exploited by the local population. In our study, the leaves are most used with a rate of 43.27%, followed by the seeds (21.94%), the roots (13.34%), the flowers (7.25%), the entire plant (6%) and the whole of the parts remaining used namely fruit, bark, bulbs, rhizomes and stems are represented by a cumulative rate of 8.13% (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Distribution of the various parts medicinal plants used

This frequency of use raised of leaves, seeds and roots (78.55%) can be explained by the ease and the speed of the harvest [12-14]. But also by the fact that leaves are the seat of the photosynthesis and sometimes the storage of the secondary metabolites responsible for biological properties of the plant.

Modes of preparation

In order to facilitate the administration of the active principles of the plant, several modes of preparation are employed to know the decoction, the infusion, the powder, fumigation, cataplasm, and the maceration. In the region of Targuist, the decoction remains the most dominant mode of preparation (36.4%), followed by the powder preparation and infusion respectively by 27.51% and 21.8%. The percentage of the other modes of preparation grouped (Cataplasm, maceration, cru) does not exceed 8% (Figure 4).


Figure 4: Distribution of different preparation methods of treatment plants

Mode of the administrations

According to Figure 5, most of the prepared recipes are orally prescribed with a large percentage of 65% followed by the ointment with a percentage of 25%, the rinsing and the massage with a 4% percentage, and the others mode of administration (2%) are little used by the local population.


Figure 5: Distribution of the modes of administrations

Type of diseases treated

The ethnobotanical survey conducted in the Targuist region has identified a number of pathologies treated by medicinal plants. The results shown in Figure 6 show that the majority of medicinal plants are the main intervention in the treatment of diseases of the digestive system with a percentage of 31%, followed by dermatological diseases (29%), respiratory diseases (14%) and metabolic diseases (10%). These same results were found by Tahri et al. [15] in the province of Settat, by Salhi et al. [16] in the city of Kenitra and Daoudi et al. [17] in the province of Khénifra. The rest of the diseases (Genitourinary, glands annexes, neurological, ostéoarticular glands and cardiovascular) represent less than 6%, which suggests that the local population are not affected by these last disorders.


Figure 6: Distribution of the different uses of medicinal plants in the treatment of diseases

Floristic analysis

According to the families

The medicinal species identified in the study area are of 90 species distributed in 43 families. The analysis of these results (Figure 7) shows that the Lamiaceae family occupies the first ranks with a percentage 15.28%, Apiaceae (9.31%), Asteraceae (8%), Fabaceae (6.14%), Poaceae (6.12%), Myrtaceae (4.17%) and Liliaceae and anacardiaceae and caryophyllaceae with the same percentage (3%). The rest of families are represented by 47.28%. The result is in accordance with that obtained by Bouayyadi et al. [18] in the region of the west of Morocco and Benlamdini [19] in oriental High Atlas of Morocco.


Figure 7: Frequency of families the most cited

According to the most used medicinal plants

On the totality of the results obtained, we gathered the most used species in traditional herbal medicine by the local population. Most of the species (Table 1) grow spontaneously or are grown in the study area.

Family Scientific name of the species Vernacular name Number of citation
Thymus Thymus vulgaris Zaatar 192
Lamiaceae Mentha pulegium Fluo 185
Cannabaceae Cannabis sativa Lkif 106
Lamiaceae Rosmarinus officinalis Azir 99
Asparagaceae Leopoldia comosa Zaz 90
Myrtaceae Eugenia caryophyllata Kranfal 81
Cupressaceae Juniperus foetidissima Laraar 76
Lamiaceae Ocimum basilium L, Rihane 69
Ranunculaceae Nigella sativa lhaba souda 69
Lamiaceae Salvia officinalis salmia (kasaine) 65
Fabaceae Trigonella foenum-graecum Helba 62
Poaceae Pennisetum glaucum ilane (dakhne) 61
Caryophyllaceae Herniaria hirsuta haras lahjar 61
Pinaceae Pinus halepensis Mill, Tayda 58
Anacardiaceae Pistacia lentiscus Drou 58
Amaranthaceae Chenopodium ambrosioides Mkhinza 56
Lamiaceae Lavandula stoechas Halhal 56
Anacardiaceae Pistacia atlantica Btem 56
Asteraceae Inula viscasa Ait, Bagarman 51
Asteraceae Atractylis gummifera L, Togham 50

Table 1: The first 20 medicinal species used the most in the region of Targuist


The ethnobotanical study conducted in the province of Targuist made it possible to inventory the medicinal plants used in the specific traditional medicine of this region. Indeed, the results of this study shows that the local population still prefer to use natural species to address their daily ills. The Information acquired from the questionnaire forms helped us to compile a catalog of 90 plant species whose monographs of medicinal plants are represented in this article.

These taxa is distributed in 43 families with a clear dominance of the Lamiaceae family. In addition, the analysis of the results obtained show that the leaves are the most used part with a percentage of 43%. The decoction (36%) is the most popular method of preparation in most recipes and oral mode (65%). These medicinal plants are used mainly for the treatment of diseases of the digestive system (31%), dermatological diseases (29%), and respiratory diseases (14%). Finally, phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological studies on these plants must be carried out for the purpose of scientific validation of the traditional uses of these plants and to make the traditional medicines Bios.


ANNEXE 1: Ethnobotanical survey sheet


- Age: A1 (< 30); A2 (30-40); A3 (> 40)

- Sex: Male & Female

- Level of study: Illiterate; Primary; Secondary; Academic

- Family situation: Married & Single

Vegetal material

Medicinal species Type of disease Preparation Mode Used Part Dose utilise Sale price

Used Part: Stem; Flower; Fruit; Seed; Bark; Underground apparatus; Bulb; Leaf; The whole plant

Instructions of usage: Infusion; Decoction; Cataplasm; Nature; Powder; Maceration; Other.,

Administration mode: Oral; Massage; Rinsing; Ointment; Other,

Side effects: --------

Toxicity: ---------


Supplementary Table: Aromatic and medicinal plants used in traditional medicine by the Targuist population

Family Scientific name of the specie Vernacular name Number of Part used Preparation administration Medicinal use
Anacardiaceae Pistacia atlantica Btem 56 Leaves and Bark Decoction Oral Against stomach pains
Pistacia lentiscus Drou 58 leaves and Bark Decoction and Powder Oral Anti-diarrheal and diabetes
Rhus pentaphylla Tizgha 38 Leaves Cataplasm Ointment Against injury
Asteraceae Artemisia herba-alba Chih 4 Leaves Decoction Oral Intestinal worms, cold, stomach pains
Artemisia absinthium Chiba 4 Leaves Infusion Oral Diabetes, stomach pains
Scolymus hispanicus Garnina 2 Roots Decoction Oral Diabetes
Lactuca sativa Elkhasse 5 Leaves Cataplasm Oral Headache
Atractylis gummifera L, Togham 50 Roots Powder Ointment and Oral Inhibits bleeding and vomiting
Inula viscosa Ait, Bagarman 51 Leaves Cataplasm Ointment Wound healing
Bellis sylvestris Hellala 49 Leaves Infusion Oral Intestinal pains
Calendula arvensis Jamra 32 Flower Cataplasm Ointement Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
Apiaceae Cuminum cyminum L, Bouchnikha 26 Seeds Decoction Oral Toothache
Daucus carota Khizou 3 Roots Nature Oral Anti-diarrheal
Carum carvi karwiya 48 Seeds Infusion Oral Facilitates digestion
Petroselinum sativum Maadnous 2 Roots Powder Ointment Antirheumatismal
Ammodaucus leucotrichus Coss. Camoun soufi 37 Seeds Powder and Infusion Oral Anti-diarrheal, Dermatological disease and osteoarticular
Foeniculum vulgare Nafaa 49 Seeds Decoction Oral The painful rules
Pinpinella anisum Yansoune 47 Seeds Infusion Oral Genitourinary diseases, anti-lice
Conium maculatum L. Ziyata 3 Leaves Decoction Oral Female infertility
Apium graveolens L, krafass 18 Leaves Decoction Oral kidney pain
Petroselium crispum Maadnous 14 Flower Infusion Oral Neurological diseases
Lamiaceae Lavandula stoechas Halhal 56 Leaves Decoction Oral Against the flu
Lavandula angustifolia khzama 47 Flower Decoction Oral Asthma
Ocimum basilicum L, Lahbaq 22 Leaves Cataplasm Ointment Fever
Lavandula multifida L, Kohayla 32 Leaves Powder Oral Lung disorders
Mentha suaveolens Marseta 12 Leaves Decoction Oral Vertigo
Mentha pulegium Fluo 185 Leaves Infusion Oral Respiratory disease
Teucrium fruticans Miou 24 Leaves Decoction Oral Cold
Salvia officinalis Salmia 65 Leaves Infusion Oral Digestive system diseases
Origanum majorana Mardadouche 19 Leaves Essential oils Oral Respiratory disease
Rosmarinus officinalis Azir 99 Leaves Infusion Oral Respiratory disease
Ocimum basilium L, Rihane 69 Leaves Infusion Oral Digestive system diseases
Fabaceae Trigonella foenum-graecum Helba 62 Seeds Powder Oral Against weight loss, stomach pain, osteoarticular
Glycyrrhiza glabra L, Arq sousse 12 Roots Powder Oral Cough, stomach pain
Vicia faba L, Lfoul 3 Fruit Powder Oral Gastric acidity
Cicer arietinum L Lhamss 11 Seeds Powder Oral Renal lithiasis
Ceratonia siliqua Kharoub 16 Fruit Powder Oral digestive system diseases
Phaseolus vulgaris loubya 26 Seeds Powder Ointment Eczema
Cassia fistula Khyar chambar 12 Fruit Powder Oral Joint pain
Lilliaceae Asphodelus microcarpus salzm Barwag 28 Roots Cataplasm Ointment Dermatological disease
Urginea maritima Bassla dib 31 Roots Decoction Oral Digestive system diseases
Asparagus officinalis L, Sakom 40 underground apparatus Decoction Oral Diuretic
Poaceae Hordeum vulgare L, Chaair 4 Seeds Powder Oral Antidiarrheal
Zea mays Dra 18 Seeds Decoction Oral Anti-inflammatory, antidiabetes
Pennisetum glaucum Ilane (dakhne) 61 Seeds Powder Oral Joint pain
Malvaceae Hibiscus sabdariffa Karkadi 47 Flower Infusion Oral Respiratory disease, Hair strengthening
Malva sylvestris Khobbeza 3 Leaves Cataplasm Ointment Anti-inflammatory
Myrtaceae Eucalyptus globulus Kalibtus 46 Leaves Decoction Oral stomach pains and urinary affection
Myrtus communis Rayhan 29 Leaves Powder Oral and Ointment Stomach pains, hair strengthening
Eugenia caryophyllata Kranfal 81 Flower Powder Massage Joint pain
Ericaceae Arbutus unedo Bakhanou 7 Roots Decoction Oral Digestive system diseases
Arecaceae Chamaerops humilis Doum 40 Fruit Decoction Oral Anti-diarrheal
Iridaceae Crocus sativus Zaafrane lhor 11 Leaves Powder Ointment Eczema
Gladiolus italicus Sif-dib 34 Roots Infusion Oral Stomach pain
Caryophyllaceae Herniaria hirsuta Haras lahjar 61 Leaves Powder Oral Genitourinary diseases
Saponaria officinalis L, Saponia 47 Leaves et Roots Cataplasm Ointment Eczema
Cucurbitaceae Citrullus colocynthis L, Lahdaj 25 Seeds Powder Oral and Ointment Relaxing the stomach, eczema
Bryonia dioica Ineb dib 38 Roots Decoction Oral Anti-diarrheal
Thymelaeaceae Thymelaea hirsuta Matmane 50 Flower Powder Rinsing Hair strengthening
Daphne gnidium Lazaz 38 Leaves Powder Rinsing Hair strengthening
Ranunculaceae Ranunculus bulbosus Sanat lfar 15 Leaves Powder Ointment Skin disease
Nigella sativa Lhaba souda 69 Seeds Essential oils Oral and Rinsing Respiratory disease, hair strengthening
Zingiberaceae Elettaria cardamomum Lhil 42 Leaves Maceration Oral Digestive system diseases, cold
Fagaceae Quercus rotundifolia Karouch 28 Roots Decoction Oral Fever
Quercus petraea Balout 11 Flower Cataplasm Massage Cardiovascular diseases
Apocynaceae Caralluma europaea cuss Daghmouss 46 Leaves Decoction Oral Cough, asthma
Cactaceae Opuntia ficus-indica Dalahia (hendiya) 21 Leaves et Roots Decoction Oral kidney stones, anti-inflammatory
Amaranthaceae Chenopodium ambrosioides Mkhinza 56 Leaves Decoction Oral gastrointestinal diseases, fever
Polygonaceae Rumex acetosa Hommayda 4 Leaves Decoction Oral Digestive system diseases
Punicaceae Punica granatum L, Romane 7 Fruit Decoction Oral Digestive system diseases
Rhamnaceae Zyziphus lotus Nbeg 11 Fruit Nature Oral Digestive system diseases
Rosaceae Prunus amygdalus Louz 5 Seeds Cataplasm Ointment Hair strengthening
Capparaceae Capparis spinosa L, Kabbar 46 Seeds Powder Oral Cough
Solanaceae Datura stramonium L, Chdak jmal 37 Leaves Cataplasm Ointment Anti-inflammatory
Aristolochiaceae Aristolochia longa L, Berztam 32 Roots Powder Ointment Skin disease
Gentianaceae Centaurium erythraea Gosset lhaya 45 Flower Powder Ointment Wound healing
Convolvulaceae Convolvulus althaeoides L, Lawaya 29 Leaves Infusion Oral Constipation
Boraginaceae Echium plantagineum L, Lawcham 27 Leaves Decoction Oral Diuretic
Papaveraceae Papaver rhoeas L, Balaaman 42 Flower Infusion Oral Cough
Pinaceae Pinus halepensis Mill, Tayda 58 Leaves Cataplasm Ointment Toothache
Plantaginaceae Plantago coronopus L, Rjal laghrab 32 Leaves Cataplasm Ointment Anti-inflammatory
Thymus Thymus vulgaris Zaatar 192 Leaves Infusion Oral Digestive system diseases
Cannabaceae Cannabis sativa Lkif 106 Seeds Powder Rinsing Hair strengthening
Euphorbiaceae Ricinus communis Lkharouaa 47 Seeds Essential oils Rinsing Dermatological disease, hair strengthening
Lauraceae Laurus nobilis Rand 20 Leaves Decoction Oral Digestive system diseases
Asparagaceae Leopoldia comosa Zaz 90 Leaves Powder Rinsing Hair strengthening
Cupressaceae Juniperus foetidissima Laraar 76 Bulb Powder Oral Metabolic diseases
Valerianaceae Valeriana officinalis Nardine 27 Leaves Powder Oral Neurological diseases, hair strengthening
Brassicaceae Lepidum sativum Hab rchad 51 Seeds Decoction Oral Respiratory disease
Paeoniaceae Paeonia officinalis Oud salib 46 Seeds Essential oils Oral Neurological diseases

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