Pharmaceutically important plants used in traditional system of Arab medicine for the treatment of livestock ailments in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A study on the pharmaceutical importance of some medicinal pants used for the treatment of livestock ailments was conducted during summer 2010 in different parts of Saudi Arabia, where no such study has been conducted so far. The aim of the study was to identify and document the medicinal plants used for the treatment of different livestock ailment in the traditional system of Arab medicine. Ethnoveterinary information was collected through the show-and-tell/semi-structured method and personal interviews during field trips. The methodology is largely based on the Sustainable Livelihood Framework, which is based on the premise that livelihood is not about resource productivity but it is about people and their lives. The study revealed 24 plants species of ethno-veterinary importance. These were used for the curing of various livestock ailments such as gastrointestinal disorders, fever, cough, respiratory tract infection, urinary tract diseases, promote lactation, wound healing, placenta removal, deworming, carminative, paralysis and flatulence in Arab system of medicine. Some plants were used singly while many others were used in combination with other plants or edible items. Similarly, few plants species are considered for the treatment of only one specific disease while several other have multiple such uses. The detail local uses, local recipe preparation, application and disease treated were reported for each species. The study concluded that, the medicinal plant knowledge of the people is strongly influenced by Arab system of traditional medicine and that medicinal plants have exerted and continue to exert, a strong influence on the standardization of plant knowledge among rural populations in Saudi Arabi. However, distinct local use of plants also exists; indicating that plant knowledge specific to the local Badous is alive and practiced. The study recommends scientific validity and toxicity tests of the medicinal plants used in traditional Arab system of medicine.
Key Words: Medicinal plants, livestock, diseases, traditional system of medicine, local recipes.