Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants of Sirjan in Kerman Province, Iran
Ethnopharmacological relevance: From ancient time human beings have used different plants, animals and minerals to prevent and treat various diseases. In this respect, plants have been of particular importance. Ethnobotany is the science of reviewing how indigenous people and local tribes have used their regional plants for particular purposes such as treating diseases in the past. The information gathered from such studies can help to improve national health systems and even lead to the discovery of new medicines. Keeping this in mind, in this study a survey of Sirjan area ethnobotany was conducted during 2011–2012. Materials and methods: At the beginning, thirteen local people were interviewed about their region's medicinal plants and their consumptions. These plants were collected and identified using identification keys. The data collected was analyzed using quantitative value indices FIC, RFC and CI. Result: Many plants collected have medicinal properties and have been used by local people to treat various ailments. Of these plants, nineteen families, 37 genera and 43 species belonged to medicinal plants. Among them, Lamiaceae with 8 species and Malva L. with 3 species were the largest medicinal plant families and genera, respectively. These plants are often used as decoction (28%) and as powder (21%). Also, the fruit of these plants are used most often. Besides being used as medicinal plants, they have other uses such as food, fuel, etc. Malva sylvestris has the largest value of relative frequency of citation and cultural importance indices. The most ailment categories have the highest level of informant agreement (mean FIC¼0.92). Conclusion: Despite the semi-desert climate and lack of rich vegetation, many medicinal and economic plants are found in Sirjan region. Uncontrolled harvesting of the medicinal plants such as Bunium persicum, Cuminum cyminum, Zataria multiflora and Satureja bachtiarica in this region by local people has increased the risk of their extinction and calls for a restrict control over their protection by the authorities.