Medicinal Plant Diversity and Utilization in the Argo District of Badakhshan Province, AfghanistanAbdul Hallim Majidi
Objective: Plants have long been used for medicinal purposes and to treat various illnesses. Despite the rich potential of the Argo District in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan, no studies have attempted to study its medicinal plant diversity. This study aims to fill this gap and identity the diversity of medicinal plants in the study area. Materials and Methods: Field surveys and interviews were conducted between May and October 2021, by using semi-structured questionnaires. 136 informants, from 113 households in 16 villages, were interviewed and respondents were selected randomly. Additionally, transect walks in the field were used to collect medicinal plants in the study area and the collected specimens were stored in the laboratory of Biology Department at Badakhshan University. Results: The study found 49 medicinal plant species, belonging to 44 genera and 26 families, to have medicinal properties. The largest percentage of herbal plants belonged to the families of Rosaceae 10%, Fabaceae 10%, Asteraceae 8%, Apiaceae 6%, Brassicaceae 6%, and Amaranthaceae 4% in reducing order of frequency of reported use. The highest genera were Ziziphora and the lowest genera were Portulaca. In terms of habit formation, herbs were the highest percentage at 80%, followed by trees at 14%, and shrubs at 6%. The highest percentage of utilizable plant parts were the leaves (24%), roots (23%), fruits (17%), flowers (14%), seeds (12%), and shoots (10%). Conclusion: The local people used 49 different species of medicinal plants to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, dysentery, cough, fever, gastritis, hypertension, diarrhea, anemia, and wounds.