A Comparative Analysis of the Medicinal Pteridophytes in Turkey, Pakistan, and Malaysia

  • Munir Ozturk
  • Volkan Altay
  • Abdul Latıff
  • Tabinda Salman
  • Iqbal Choudhry


Pteridophytes are among the oldest land plants, dating back to the Carboniferous period as the dominant type of vegetation. At present these are distributed throughout the world, including tropical, temperate, and Arctic environments, but most of the species are located in tropical regions. They flourish on shady, damp areas, but are also found on rocks and dry grounds, making an important contribution to the earth’s plant diversity. Being the second largest group of vascular plants, they form a significant, dominant component of many plant communities. The pteridophytes are not of major, direct economic importance, with one possible exception. But still, they are found to provide food, medicine, fiber, craft, fuel, and building material and decoration in different cultures of many countries on a global scale. Not much information is available on the economic and medicinal values of this group of plants, when compared to the flowering ones. Main aim of this chapter is to analyze the distribution of traditional knowledge on the medicinally valuable pteridophytes in Turkey, Pakistan, and Malaysia. A total of 103 naturally distributed taxa from this group are used in traditional medicine in these countries. Local people in these countries generally use these as herbal remedies for digestive, respiratory, urogenital, dermatological, cardiovascular, gynecological, ear, nose, and throat, and skeletal-muscular systems; neurological and psychological diseases; and mouth and teeth and other ailments. The three highly prevalent uses of the plants from this group are in Turkey diuretic (10 taxa), kidney stone (10 taxa), and stomachache (8 taxa); in Pakistan wounds (11 taxa), febrifuge (7 taxa), and snake bites (7 taxa); in Malaysia cough (6 taxa), skin diseases (5 taxa), and hair tonic (5 taxa). The comparison reveals that five taxa are used for the same and/or similar applications in Turkey and Pakistan. These taxa are Adiantum capillus-veneris L. (for bronchitis, chest tightness/chest pain, cough, diuretic, expectorant, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal diseases), Equisetum arvense L. (for cystitis, diabetes, gallbladder diseases/gallstone, hair straighteners/hair tonic, kidney stone, prostate diseases, urinary tract diseases, and wound), E. ramosissimum L. (for diuretic, skin diseases, wound, kidney stone, and sand/renal disorders), Osmunda regalis L. (for rickets and rheumatism), and Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn. (for intestinal parasites/against worms). Pakistan and Malaysia have only one taxon in common used for the same and/or similar applications, Diplazium esculentum (Retz.) Sw. as tonic. There is no common taxon between Turkey and Malaysia for similar applications. These countries seem to embody a great potential for evaluation of medicinal pteridophytes due to their interesting folk medicine culture.


Pteridophytes Genetic resources Biocultural diversity Traditional medicine 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munir Ozturk
    • 1
    • 2
  • Volkan Altay
    • 3
  • Abdul Latıff
    • 4
  • Tabinda Salman
    • 5
  • Iqbal Choudhry
    • 5
  1. 1.Vice President of the Islamic WorldAcademy of SciencesAmannJordan
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Centre for Environmental StudiesEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Science & Arts, Biology DepartmentHatay Mustafa Kemal UniversityAntakyaTurkey
  4. 4.Faculty of Science & TechnologyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  5. 5.International Center for Chemical and Biological SciencesUniversity of KarachiKarachiPakistan

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