Algerian people largely rely on traditional medicine practices as part of a community’s identity. This first ethnobotanical study aimed to quantify and document the wild medicinal plant taxa from four family and the related traditional knowledge in Naâma province, Algeria. The survey was carried out between 2018 and 2020. The socio-demographic data and the use of medicinal species were recorded and collected randomly from 84 indigenous people using pre-prepared questionnaire. The result was evaluated using quantitative indices. A total of 27 medicinal plant species belonging to 21 genera used in the community were mostly recorded. The most represented families were Lamiaceae and Asteraceae (12 species for each of them). The aerial parts were the most frequently used plant part (73 %), while a decoction (34 %), and infusion (31 %) were the major modes of remedy preparation. The species with high UV were Rosmarinus officinalis L. (0.80), Artemisia herba-alba Asso (0.76), and Juniperus phoenicea L. subsp. phoenicea (0.75). Species with highest FL were: Ephedra alata subsp. alenda (Stapf) Trab (100 %), Teucrium polium L. (60 %), and Ballota hirsuta Benth (57.14.5 %). Atractylis caespitosa Desf and Nepeta nepetella subsp.amethystina (Poir.) Briq were newly cited as medicinal plants and have not been recorded previously in Algeria. Artemisia herba-alba Asso and Thymus algeriensis Boiss. & Reut were reported to treat COVID-19 symptoms. The results obtained indicate the richness of the area with medicinal plants as well as knowledge of alternative medicine. The most cited plants could be contained molecules that can be tested for therapeutic uses.
The authors are grateful to the peoples of Naâma for accepting to share their knowledge and practices. Without their contribution, this study would have been impossible.