Herbals in Iğdır (Turkey), Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan), and Tabriz (Iran)

  • Munir Ozturk
  • Volkan Altay
  • Ernaz Altundağ
  • S. Jamshid Ibadullayeva
  • Behnaz Aslanipour
  • Tuba Mert Gönenç


Healing properties of plants are known to the humans since ancient times. The use of natural medicines is an important issue. Medicinal plants are used as medicinal herb juices, raw as salad, in brewing, baking, ointment, and so on. This chapter includes data on the medicinal and aromatic plants of Iğdır (Turkey), Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan), and Tabriz (Iran), which have borders touching each other and have similar cultures. The main aim has been to analyze the distribution of the traditional medicinal plant knowledge in these three different sociolinguistic regions. The specific aims are to compare the composition and richness of medicinal ethnofloras and explore the factors that explain the variations. A total of 341 naturally distributed taxa belonging to 65 families are used in the traditional medicine in Iğdır (Turkey), Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan), and Tabriz (Iran). These belong to the families Asteraceae (63 taxa), Lamiaceae (39 taxa), Apiaceae (24 taxa), Fabaceae (23 taxa), and Rosaceae (23 taxa). These five families constitute 50.44% of the medicinal and aromatic plant species (MAPS) distributed in three neighboring states. Most common taxa among these are Achillea millefolium L. and Cichorium intybus L. (Asteraceae), Glycyrrhiza glabra L. and Melilotus officinalis (L.) Desr. (Fabaceae), Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. subsp. orientalis (Uglitzkich) Browicz and Rosa canina L. (Rosaceae), Peganum harmala L. (Nitrariaceae), Plantago major L. (Plantaginaceae), and Urtica dioica L. (Urticaceae). The parts commonly used are leaves (100 taxa), followed by the herb (98 taxa), fruit (57 taxa), and root (54 taxa). Common preparations evaluated are decoction (161 taxa), followed by infusion (72 taxa), fresh (54 taxa), and poultice (40 taxa). Locals in the three states generally use herbal remedies for the treatment of digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, gynecological, skeletal–muscular, ear, nose and throat, and urogenital disorders as well as in dermal, neurological, and psyschological diseases and mouth and tooth and other ailments. A comparison on the basis of MAPS reveals that in all three areas, four taxa are widely distributed and used almost for the same applications: Glycyrrhiza glabra (for digestive and respiratory systems), Malus sylvestris ssp. orientalis (for respiratory system), Rosa canina (for digestive and urogenital systems), and Urtica dioica (for digestive system). The three neighboring states belonging to three countries show several resemblances from cultural and other aspects. These areas seem to embody a great potential for evaluation of MAPS and interesting folk medicine culture.


Herbal Ethnobotany Ethnoflora Traditional medicine 


  1. Akerele O (1992) Importance of medicinal plants: WHO’s programme. In: Baba S, Akerele O, Kawaguchi Y (eds) Natural resources and human health. Elsevier Science Publishers B.V, Amsterdam, pp 63–72Google Scholar
  2. Altundağ E (2009) Iğdır İli’nin (Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi) doğal bitkilerinin halk tarafından kullanımı. Ph D. thesis. Istanbul University, Istanbul, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  3. Altundag E, Ozturk M (2011) Ethnomedicinal studies on the plant resources of east Anatolia, Turkey. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 19:756–777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amiri R, Weng Q, Alimohammadi A, Alavipanah SK (2009) Spatial-temporal dynamics of land surface temperature in relation to fractional vegetation cover and land use/cover in the Tabriz urban area, Iran. Remote Sens Environ 113(12):2606–2617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bandiera O, Rasul I (2006) Social networks and technology adoption in northern Mozambique. Econ J 116(514):869–902CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bedelov H, Aliyev A, Zeynalov I (2014) Xınalıqda Yetişen Derman Bitkileri. Gothe University, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
  7. Bradacs G, Heilmann J, Weckerle CS (2011) Medicinal plant use in Vanuatu: a comparative ethnobotanical study of three islands. J Ethnopharmacol 137(1):434–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapman AD (2009) Numbers of living species in Australia and the World. Heritage, 2nd (September), p 84Google Scholar
  9. Cocks M (2006) Biocultural diversity: moving beyond the realm of “indigenous” and “local” people. Hum Ecol 34(2):185–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Almeida CDFCBR, Ramos MA, Silva RRV, De Melo JG, Medeiros MFT, Arajo TADS et al (2012) Intracultural variation in the knowledge of medicinal plants in an urban-rural community in the Atlantic Forest from northeastern Brazil. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012:1. Scholar
  11. De Pasquale A (1984) Pharmacognosy: the oldest modern science. J Ethnopharmacol 11:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. van den Broeck K, Dercon S (2011) Information flows and social externalities in a Tanzanian banana growing village. J Dev Stud 47(2):231–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellen RF (2009) Classification. In: Barnard A, Spencer J (eds) The Routledge encyclopedia of social and cultural anthropology. Routledge, London and New York, pp 129–133Google Scholar
  14. Ellena R, Quave CL, Pieroni A (2012) Comparative medical ethnobotany of the senegalese community living in Turin (northwestern Italy) and in Adeane (southern Senegal). Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012(4):1. Scholar
  15. Etkin N (1988) Ethnopharmacology: biobehavioral approaches in the anthropological study of indigenous medicines. Ann Rev Anthrop 17:23–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fabricant DS, Farnsworth NR (2001) The value of plants used in traditional medicine for drug discovery. Environ Health Perspect 109(Suppl. 1):69–75PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Farnsworth NR (1992) Preclinical assessment of medicinal plants. In: Akerele O, Kawaguchi Y, Baba S (eds) Natural resources and human health. Elsevier Science Publishers, B.V., Amsterdam, pp 87–91Google Scholar
  18. Farnsworth NR, Soejarto DD (1991) Global importance of medicinal plants. In: Akerele OV, Heywood V, Synge H (eds) Conservation of medicinal plants. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 25–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ghazanfar S (2011) Medicinal and aromatic plants Arabia and Iran. In: Ethnopharmacology. Encyclopedia of Life Supports Systems (EOLSS), New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Ghorbani A, Langenberger G, Sauerborn J (2012) A comparison of the wild food plant use knowledge of ethnic minorities in Naban River watershed National Nature Reserve, Yunnan, SW China. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 8:17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. González-Tejero MR, Casares-Porcel M, Sánchez-Rojas CP, Ramiro-Gutiérrez JM, Molero-Mesa J et al (2008) Medicinal plants in the Mediterranean area: synthesis of the results of the project Rubia. J Ethnopharmacol 116(2):341–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Güner A, Aslan S, Ekim T, Vural M, Babaç MT (2012) Türkiye Bitkileri Listesi (Damarlı Bitkiler). Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanik Bahçesi ve Flora Araştırmaları Derneği Yayını, IstanbulGoogle Scholar
  23. Hadjichambis AC, Paraskeva-Hadjichambi D, Della A, Elena Giusti M, De Pasquale C et al (2008) Wild and semi-domesticated food plant consumption in seven circum-Mediterranean areas. Int J Food Sci Nutr 59(5):383–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Halberstein RA (1997a) Traditional botanical remedies on a small Caribbean island: middle (grand) Caicos, West Indies. J Altern Complement Med 3:227–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Halberstein RA (1997b) Health and disease in the Caribbean: an historical perspective. J Carib Stud 12:1–5Google Scholar
  26. Halberstein RA (2005) Medicinal plants: historical and cross-cultural usage patterns. Ann Epidemiol 15(9):686–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Halberstein RA, Saunders AB (1978) Traditional medical practices and medicinal plant usage on a Bahamian Island. Cult Med Psychiatry 2(2):177–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Han MI, Bulut G (2015) The folk-medicinal plants of Kadişehri (Yozgat-Turkey). Acta Soc Bot Pol 84(2):237–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hasanova G, Ozturk M, Akçiçek E (2000) Azerbaijan’da geleneksel tedavide kullanılan bitkiler. In: XIII. Bitkisel İlaç Hammaddeleri Toplantısı, pp 221–229, Marmara University, Istanbul, TurkeyGoogle Scholar
  30. Hylands P, Stuart M (1981) The medicinal uses of plants. In: Stuart M (ed) The encyclopedia of herbs and herbalism. Crescent Books, New York, pp 47–65Google Scholar
  31. Joudi L, Bibalani GH (2010) Exploration of medicinal species of Fabaceae, Lamiaceae and Asteraceae families in Ilkhji region, eastern Azerbaijan Province (northwestern Iran). J Med Plants 4(11):1081–1084Google Scholar
  32. Kidane B, Van Der Maesen LJG, Van Andel T, Asfaw Z (2014) Ethnoveterinary medicinal plants used by the Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia. J Ethnopharmacol 153(1):274–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Labeyrie V, Rono B, Leclerc C (2014) How social organization shapes crop diversity: an ecological anthropology approach among Tharaka farmers of Mount Kenya. Agric Hum Values 31(1):97–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Leman DJ (2006) Sustainable wild collection of medicinal and aromatic plants: development of an international standard. In: Bogers RJ, Craker LE, Lange D (eds) Medicinal and aromatic plants: agricultural, commercial, ecological, legal. Pharmacol Soc Aspects Springer, Heidelberg, pp 97–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Leonti M, Casu L (2013) Traditional medicines and globalization: current and future perspectives in ethnopharmacology. Front Pharmacol 25:4–92Google Scholar
  36. Leporatti M, Ghedira K (2009) Comparative analysis of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine in Italy and Tunisia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 5:31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Leporatti ML, Ivancheva S (2003) Preliminary comparative analysis of medicinal plants used in the traditional medicine of Bulgaria and Italy. J Ethnopharmacol 87(2–3):123–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Łuczaj Ł (2010) Changes in the utilization of wild green vegetables in Poland since the 19th century: a comparison of four ethnobotanical surveys. J Ethnopharmacol 128(2):395–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Madaleno IM (2010) Local use of front and backyard medicinal species – a comparative study in six Latin American cities. WIT Trans Ecol Environ 129:637–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Maffi L (2005) Linguistic, cultural and biological diversity. Annu Rev Anthropol 29:599–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mamedov NA, Craker LE (2012) Man and medicinal plants: a short review. In: Ghaemghami L, et al. Proc. IS on Medicinal and aromatic plants, IMAPS 2010 and “History of Mayan Ethnopharmacology”, IMAPS 2011, Acta Hort. 964, ISHS 2012Google Scholar
  42. Mattalia G, Quave CL, Pieroni A (2013) Traditional uses of wild food and medicinal plants among Brigasc, Kyé, and Provençal communities on the western Italian alps. Genet Resour Crop Evol 60(2):587–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McNeely JA (2000) Cultural factors in conserving biodiversity. In: Wilkes Y, Tillman A, Salas H, Grinter M, Shaoting T (eds) Links between cultures and biodiversity, Proceedings of the Cultures and Biodiversity Congress. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, China, Kunming, pp 128–142Google Scholar
  44. Mehtiyeva N, Zeynalova S (2008) Medicinal and aromatic plants of Azerbaijan. In: Ethnopharmacology. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), New YorkGoogle Scholar
  45. Menendez-Baceta G, Aceituno-Mata L, Reyes-García V, Tardío J, Salpeteur M, Pardo-De-Santayana M (2015) The importance of cultural factors in the distribution of medicinal plant knowledge: a case study in four Basque regions. J Ethnopharmacol 161:116–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Milton K (1996) Environmentalism and cultural theory. Exploring the role of anthropology in environmental discourse. Routledge, London and New York Scholar
  47. Mir-Babayev NF, Waigh RD (1997) Plants of the republic of Azerbaijan with potential medicinal applications. Pharm Biol 31(1):47–54Google Scholar
  48. Mirzeyev PS (1972) Nakhchivan MSSR-in Agroiglim Sedzhijjesi. Azerneshr, BakuGoogle Scholar
  49. Moerman DE, Jonas WB (2002) Deconstructing the placebo effect and finding the meaning response. Ann Intern Med 136:471–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Novruzova LA, Maharramov SH, Ibadullayeva SJ (2015) Management of gastroenterostomy illness with herbs in veterinary practice in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijan). Int J Vet Sci 4(4):224–226Google Scholar
  51. Ozturk M, Altundağ E, Gücel S (2012) Medicinal and aromatic plants (Turkey). In: Ethnopharmacology. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), New YorkGoogle Scholar
  52. Ozturk M, Altay V, Altundağ E, Gücel S (2016) Halophytic plant diversity of unique habitats in Turkey: salt mine caves of Çankırı and Iğdır. In: Khan MA et al (eds) Halophytes for food security in dry lands. Academic press is an imprint of Elsevier, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  53. Pieroni A, Quave CL (2005) Traditional pharmacopoeias and medicines among Albanians and Italians in southern Italy: a comparison. J Ethnopharmacol 101(1–3):258–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pieroni A, Giusti ME, Quave CL (2011) Cross-cultural ethnobiology in the western Balkans: medical ethnobotany and ethnozoology among Albanians and Serbs in the Pešter plateau, Sandžak, south-western Serbia. Hum Ecol 39(3):333–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Posey DA (1999) Cultural and spiritual values of biodiversity. A complementary contribution to the global biodiversity assessment. In: Posey da (ed) cultural and spiritual values of biodiversity. UNEP and Intermediate Technology Publications, London, pp 1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Quiroga R, Meneses L, Bussmann RW (2012) Medicinal ethnobotany in Huacareta. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 8:29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rates SMK (1991) Plants as source of new drugs. Toxicon 39(5):603–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rexhepi B, Mustafa B, Hajdari A, Rushidi-Rexhepi J, Quave CL, Pieroni A (2013) Traditional medicinal plant knowledge among Albanians, Macedonians and Gorani in the Sharr Mountains (republic of Macedonia). Genet Resour Crop Evol 60(7):2055–2080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Saslis-Lagoudakis CH, Hawkins JA, Greenhill SJ, Pendry CA, Watson MF et al (2014) The evolution of traditional knowledge: environment shapes medicinal plant use in Nepal. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 281(1780):20132768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Seyidova H, Hüseyin E (2012) Macrofungi of Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan) Autonomous Republic. Turk J Bot 36(6):761–768Google Scholar
  61. Singh RJ, Lebeda A, Tucker AO (2012) Medicinal plants-nature’s pharmacy. In: Singh R (ed) Genetic resources, chromosome engineering and crop improvement: medicinal plants. CRC Press, LLC, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL, pp 13–51Google Scholar
  62. Sõukand R, Kalle R (2010) Herbal landscape: the perception of landscape as a source of medicinal plants. Trames J Humanit Soc Sci 14(3):207–226Google Scholar
  63. Sõukand R, Pieroni A (2016) The importance of a border: medical, veterinary, and wild food ethnobotany of the Hutsuls living on the Romanian and Ukrainian sides of Bukovina. J Ethnopharmacol 185:17–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sõukand R, Quave CL, Pieroni A, Pardo-de-Santayana M, Tardío J, Kalle R et al (2013) Plants used for making recreational tea in Europe: a review based on specific research sites. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 9:58. Scholar
  65. Taghipour H, Mosaferi M (2009) Characterization of medical waste from hospitals in Tabriz, Iran. Sci Total Environ 407(5):1527–1535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Whistler WA (1985) Traditional and herbal medicine in the Cook Islands. J Ethnopharmacol 13:239–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. WHO (1993) Guidelines on the conservation of medicinal plants. World Health Organization (WHO), GlandGoogle Scholar
  68. Wong W (1976) Some folk medicinal plants from Trinidad. Econ Bot 30(2):103–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Zlatković BK, Bogosavljević SS, Radivojević AR, Pavlović MA (2014) Traditional use of the native medicinal plant resource of Mt. Rtanj (eastern Serbia): ethnobotanical evaluation and comparison. J Ethnopharmacol 151(1):704–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munir Ozturk
    • 1
    • 2
  • Volkan Altay
    • 3
  • Ernaz Altundağ
    • 4
  • S. Jamshid Ibadullayeva
    • 5
  • Behnaz Aslanipour
    • 6
  • Tuba Mert Gönenç
    • 7
  1. 1.Vice President of the Islamic World Academy of SciencesAmannJordan
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Centre for Environmental StudiesEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Science and Arts, Department of BiologyHatay Mustafa Kemal UniversityHatayTurkey
  4. 4.Faculty of Science and Arts, Department of BiologyDüzce UniversityDüzceTurkey
  5. 5.Botany Institute of the Azerbaijan NAS, EthnobotanyBaküAzerbaijan
  6. 6.Centre for Science and TechnologyEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  7. 7.Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of PharmacognosyEge UniversityIzmirTurkey

Personalised recommendations