An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants in Edremit Gulf (Balikesir - Turkey)
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Ethnopharmacological relevance: This paper provides significant ethnobotanical information on medical plants in the Western Region of Turkey. There is urgency in recording such data. This is the first ethnobotanical study in which statistical calculations about plants are done by FIC method in western part of Turkey. Aim of study: This study aimed to identify plants collected for medical purposes by the local people of Edremit Gulf, located in the Western Region of Turkey, and to document the uses and local names of these plants. Materials and methods: This study, conducted between 2007 and 2010, gathered information on the medicinal plant species traditionally used in Edremit Bay, Turkey and the local names of these plants. In the scope of the study, medicinals plant species and related information were collected; herbarium materials were prepared; and the specimens were entitled. Field research was conducted by collecting ethnobotanical information during structured and semi-structured interviews with native knowledgeable people in territory. In addition, the relative importance value of species was determined and informant consensus factor (FIC) was calculated for the medicinal plants included in the study. Results: A total of 118 medical plants belonging to 50 families were identified in the region. Among them, 99 species are wild and 19 species are cultivated plant. The most common medicinal plant families were Lamiaceae (>18%), Asteraceae (>11%), Rosaceae (>7%); the most common preparations were infusion and decoction. It was found that Hypericum perforatum, Lavandula stoechas, Salviatomentosa, Origanum onites, Origanum vulgare, and Teucrium polium were the most commonly used species. A total of 218 medicinal uses (remedies) were recorded. The traditional medicinal plants have been mostly used for the treatment of abdominal and stomach pain (17%), cough and cold (12%), diabetes (6%), kidney ailments (5%), wounds (4%). Conclusion: The use of traditional medicine was still widespread among the people interviewed during this study. Due to the increasing health service facilities in the area, herbal medicine, seemed to be more related to health care and disease prevention than cure.