Medicinal plants used for the prevention purposes during the Covid-19 pandemic in Morocco

Abderrazak EL ALAMI, Abderrazzak FATTAH, Abderrahman CHAIT

Abstract


COVID-19 was first reported in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since spread extensively in worldwide. The World Health Organization recognized this disease as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. During this pandemic, Moroccan population used several medicinal plants for the prevention purposes. The current work focuses on the study of the most medicinal plants used during this pandemic in Morocco. In early March 2020, preliminary information was obtained through interviews with herbalists. In response to the progression of the Covid-19 epidemic, Moroccan's state of health emergency came into effect 20 March 2020. For this reason, survey data was collected with a Google Form. The participants were selected because of their knowledge of the use of medicinal plants. During this study, we identified a total of 23 medicinal plant species belonging to 11 botanical families used during the Covid-19 pandemic. The most important families were that of the Lamiaceae, Cupressaceae and Zingiberaceae. The most used plants were Allium Sativum, Olea europaea, Allium cepa, Zingiber officinale, Thymus maroccanus, Eucalyptus globules, Foeniculum vulgare, Curcuma xanthorrhiza, Phoenix dactylifera, Rosmarinus officinalis, Thymus satureioides, Mentha pulegium and Pimpinella anisum. Information on the biological effects and on the most abundant secondary metabolites in the 23 plants was given. According to several studies the majority of these plants are used to treat many respiratory diseases causing symptoms and signs similar to coronavirus symptoms. These plants have innumerable benefits because of the diversity of the secondary metabolites which they contain. The majority of these compounds, especially essential oils, are well known for their positive biological effects on respiratory functions. But some plants may contain toxic substances which can cause various overdose intoxications and disorders.


Keywords


Covid-19 epidemic, Herbal medicine, Ethnobotanical survey,Morocco.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.48402/IMIST.PRSM/jasab-v2i1.21056