IMR Press / FBS / Volume 15 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbs1501004
Open Access Original Research
Ethnobotanical Survey and Pharmacological Screening of Medicinal Plants Used as Antihypertensive in Sefrou Province (Middle-North of Morocco): Benefits and Challenges
Show Less
1 Laboratory of Natural Substances, Pharmacology, Environment, Modeling, Health, and Quality of Life (SNAMOPEQ), Faculty of Sciences Dhar El Mahraz, University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, 30000 Fez, Morocco
2 The Higher Institute of Nursing Professions and Health Techniques (ISPITS), 30000 Fez, Morocco
3 Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Orleans, Eure et Loir Campus, 28000 Chartres, France
*Correspondence: (Badiaa Lyoussi); (Christophe Hano)
Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2023, 15(1), 4;
Submitted: 21 December 2022 | Revised: 15 February 2023 | Accepted: 23 February 2023 | Published: 13 March 2023
Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Herbal medicine was used since the old time in the treatment of different types of diseases in Sefrou province, Morocco. However, few studies have been carried out to identify local medicinal flora and to scientifically document the knowledge of the traditional use of these medicinal plants by the population. This study aims to investigate the medicinal plants in Sefrou province, record their usage in folk medicine by the population and evaluate the hypotensive effect of selected plants using in vitro vascular activity. For that, an ethnobotanical survey was conducted among the Arabs and Amazighs population of Sefrou province from January 2017 to December 2018. The survey was conducted through oral interviews with a structured questionnaire. It covered those who knew and/or used plants for medicinal purposes, retailers, and wholesalers, and also included ecological repartition as well as the mode of administration. Then we selected some plants to evaluate the antihypertensive activity based on the in vitro bioassay. A total of 134 medicinal plants belonging to 52 families were identified; 61% are wild species, 49 (36%) are cultivated and 4 (3%) are cultivated as well as spontaneous. Medicinal plants used in Sefrou folk medicine have been investigated for their antihypertensive activity. They were selected based on their usage as cardiotonic, diuretics, and other uses related to the symptoms of hypertension. Most of the plants tested in this study were found to be more sensitive to relaxing contractions induced by noradrenaline. Out of 32 species examined, 14 (44%) showed more than 50% inhibition in isolated rat aortic rings, the vasorelaxant activity of these plants used for the screening was mostly inhibited by pre-treatment with N-ω-nitro-L-arginine (L-NOArg). The plants inventoried are alleged to be active against 104 therapeutic indications. Nine common symptoms are widely treated in indigenous pharmacopeia: gastrointestinal (19 plants), renal (27 plants), broncho-pulmonary system (7 plants), skin (13 species), diabetes (12 plants), cardiovascular (13 plants), eye, ear, nose, teeth, and throat diseases (5 plants); gynecological disorders (6 plants); rheumatism and gnawing pain (11 plants). 14% (19 species) of the plant inventoried are traded on a large scale and scope and more than 90 percent of the medicinal plants purchased from Sefrou go to big cities for export. The expansion of unregulated trade and commercial use of medicinal and aromatic plants poses a major threat to biodiversity in the region. Overall, people in Sefrou hold rich knowledge of herbal medicine. The vasorelaxant activity proved for the documented plants will provide a basis for other preclinical and clinical investigations.

medicinal flora
Sefrou ethnobotany
pharmacological screening
vasorelaxant activity
medicinal plants' incomes
Fig. 1.
Back to top