Alkanna Species: A Promising Herbal Medicine and its Uses

Author(s): Omhashem EA Abdel-Gelil, Nagwa A Atwa, Abdel Raouf A Moustafa, Samira R Mansour

The use of traditional medicine, nowadays, has extended globally and has gained popularity worldwide. The growing importance and value of traditional and complementary medicine in the provision of health care, on national and global levels, are no longer limited exclusively to any specific regions or communities. Traditional medication involves the use of herbal medicines, animal parts and minerals; however, herbal medicine is the most common in use on large scale. Concisely, the herb is a plant or plant part used for its scent, taste, flavour, and therapeutic properties. Herbal medicines are considered as one type of dietary supplement which they can be sold in different forms as tablets, capsules, powders, tea bags, syrup extracts as well as fresh or dried plant parts depend on their use. These types of plants are named “Medicinal plants” since ancient era. They are diverse group of the plants that distributed all over the world. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimated in 2002 that over than 50,000 medicinal plants are in use across the world in which 80 to 85% are recorded in Africa. However, in Egypt more than 384 different species of medicinal plants recorded in the Mediterranean coastal region, in the deserts and in the Sinai Peninsula. Among these medicinal plants is Alkanna sp. which reported as important value as a source of health promoting substances and can be used as alternative medicine.

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