Subscribe Now Subscribe Today
Research Article
 

An Ethnobotanical Study of Indigenous Medicinal Plants of Oman



Neelam Sherwani, Khamis Sulaiman Al-Dhafri and Sardar A. Farooq
 
Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit Linkedin StumbleUpon E-mail
ABSTRACT

Background and Objective: Sultanate of Oman abodes immense biodiversity, including some unique, threatened, endemic and regionally endemic medicinal flora confined to specialized ecological niches carved under the complex geographical terrain of this arid desert biome. In the current study, we systematically documented the diversity and therapeutic uses of medicinal plants. Materials and Methods: An intensive ethnobotanical survey carried out in different physiographic regions of the Sultanate of Oman for a time of 4 years 2014-2018. Results: A total of 437 medicinal plants are found across the geographical extent of Oman, of these 160 common medicinal plants were verified and documented for their distribution and therapeutic uses in the traditional indigenous tribes of Oman. Among these 160 medicinal species belong to 53 families and 131 genera. Fabaceae and Asteraceae were the dominant families contributing remarkably to the local ethnomedicinal tradition. Other pharmacologically active species were found among Apocynaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Lamiaceae, Amaranthaceae and Solanaceae. In general, leaves are the preferred part used to alleviate an ailment, followed by usage of the whole plant to mitigate the malady. Conclusion: This baseline survey of ethnomedicine can lead to contribution in the field of drug discovery since Omani medicinal plants are not yet fully exploited commercially for their medicinal uses, besides, at present without any in situ protected area to conserve medicinal plant diversity in Oman. This study also emphasizes the importance of setting up strategies and conservation priorities and the utilization of ethnomedicinal plants.

Services
Related Articles in ASCI
Search in Google Scholar
View Citation
Report Citation

 
  How to cite this article:

Neelam Sherwani, Khamis Sulaiman Al-Dhafri and Sardar A. Farooq, 2021. An Ethnobotanical Study of Indigenous Medicinal Plants of Oman. Asian Journal of Scientific Research, 14: 43-56.

DOI: 10.3923/ajsr.2021.43.56

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajsr.2021.43.56
 
Copyright: © 2021. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the creative commons attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

INTRODUCTION

Pharmacologically active phytochemicals of ethnomedicinal plants had played a pivotal role in the primary health care system since time immemorial. The traditional herbal medicine system is universally the most extensive system of medical care with globally 70-95% of the population of developing countries relying on the traditional herbal treatment as Materia Medica for their primary health care1. Even much of the understanding of the contemporary western- allopathic medicine which is widely practiced in the developed world can be owed to plant’s active pharmacological principles since medicinal plants still represent an important reservoir for the formulation of novel drugs. Indeed, approximately a quarter of all the prescription medicines presently in use in the market have their origin from active ingredients of medicinal plants2. Around 48.6% of the anti-cancer drugs can be sourced back to plant-based natural products and in fact out of the 1562 FDA-approved drugs between the period of 1981-2014, about 38.1% are based on natural products (majority plant-based) and their derivatives3. Herbal medicine is certainly a popular and strong growing trend owing to emerging consumer concerns regarding possible side effects of many synthetic allopathic medications and recent enhanced Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) against in the use of infectious diseases drugs. With 10 million lives estimated to be lost per year by 2050 due to AMR, there is an increased emphasis and surge in exploring medicinal plants for phytopharmaceuticals as novel antibiotics against deadly infectious diseases4.

Globally in 2016, the trade-in herbal medicine was evaluated at USD 71.19 billion5 and is expected to witness substantial growth, the Globe Newswire has projected the world trade of herbal medicine to exceed USD 411 billion by 2026 due to the surge in demand for herbal products in the healthcare system globally.

World Health Organization (WHO) as a part of its Sustainable Development Goals 2030, included Traditional and complementary medicine in specifications of essential health services and via the Declaration of Astana (Oct 2018) WHO declared to apply both scientific as well as traditional knowledge to strengthen primary health care services worldwide6. Total 170 member states have pledged to develop national-level policies and strategic plans to regulate practices and products of traditional medicine and have acknowledged the appropriate stepwise integration of traditional and complementary medicine into the health care system.

The Sultanate of Oman with an estimated land area spanning across 309,500 km2 and coast of 1,700 km is home to a vast number of unique, rare and endemic flora owing to its strategic positioning on the Northern tropic, the latitudes of Cancer, a transitional latitudinal zone between tropical and subtropical climatic belts and notably diverse geography. Marked geomorphological and geological heterogeneity, resulted in an array of exclusive ecological niches and domains of microenvironments, the habitats, varying from desert gravel plains, salt flats, lagoons, hyper-arid deserts, dunes, wadis, rugged mountain ranges and coastal plains7. These specific habitats sustain special divarication of species inducing distinct biological flora. Oman a desert geographical land form is floristically endowed with rich and diverse flora, with 1407 plant species found across the latitudinal gradients of Oman8, but as water-limited lands are well known to trigger speciation of species, Oman is home to some unique and rare flora, displaying the significant degree of endemism with 84 plant species exclusively endemic to Oman8 this flora is geographically confined, unique, ecologically meagre and many of them are threatened and endangered. In specialized dry realms, extreme xeric environmental conditions, torrid heat and water stress establish unique and distinctive habitats, where biota under the influence of local phytoclimate accrue some unique phytochemicals as an adaptive response for their survival and defense9. Owing to this Oman is a crucial emporium of some unique endemic or near-endemic medicinal plants, which are restricted to Oman and nearby regions.

Indigenous knowledge of these medicinal plants, their properties, active principles, the way of preparations and their toxic potential is available among local elder generation and medicinal healers but was rarely recorded and is rapidly depleting as it is passed down through generations only by oral tradition and has never been properly documented or commercialized on a larger scale as done in other countries globally. Given the unique and diverse nature of the medicinal flora present and the diminishing traditional therapeutics knowledge, the documentation and conservation of the important and endangered medicinal species in the wild are imperative. Few studies were done earlier in Oman but some are confined to smaller geographical regions of Oman and others discussed medicinal plants in the context of the Arabian Peninsula rather than Oman in particular. Parallel to this, human-induced biodiversity losses are substantially affecting the plant species in wild10, out of the 25,791 documented medicinal plant species at Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), 723 (13%) are categorized as threatened11.

Further in desert biomes, under extreme environmental conditions, species are living at their physiological limits, biodiversity is often fragile and specifically more susceptible to climate change, easily affected by local human-induced habitat conversion, overgrazing, or over-harvesting12. Thus the scientific documentation of the medicinal flora with regards to its distribution and therapeutic uses are imperative in light of species extinction under influence of climate change, habitat destruction/fragmentation due to modernization/urbanization, unsustainable overgrazing and species invasiveness.

In this perspective, we systematically initiated the current research to document the diversity of medicinal species across the extensive geographical extent of Oman, to record the highest representation among Angiosperm families and to record the indigenous uses of these medicinal plants before this valuable information is lost forever.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Study area: Sultanate of Oman can be divided into four physiographic regions, with distinct landscape features and climate. Along the northern frontier of Oman is an Al Hajar montane ecoregion, divided into Western Hajar ranges (Al Hajar al Gharbi) and the Eastern Hajar ranges (Al Hajar Ash Sharqi) and receives an average annual rainfall of 200/300. The 2nd region is the coastal plains along the foothills of the Al Hajar ranges. The third region, hyper-arid desert, the Central Oman plateau, with an annual average rainfall of 50 mm. The fourth zone, the southern province Dhofar, has a seasonal tropical microclimate receiving an annual mean rainfall of 250 mm/year.

Methodology: For the study, planned ethnobotanical surveys were carried out throughout the geographical extent of the Kingdom of Sultanate of Oman from 2014-2018 to document the ethnomedicinal data. Extensive field trips, semi-structured questioners and interviews were carried out to document the location and traditional therapeutic uses of the listed plants. The part of the plant used in traditional medicine was also recorded. Groups consulted for the questioners and interviews were village elders in the age group of 45-80 years who holds deep knowledge and understanding of the curative characteristics of the medicinal herbs, traditional healers in villages, herbal medical practitioners in villages and cities. In total 48 respondents were selected for interviews and questioners, out of which 36 were males and 12 were females. Several field trips were made to different localities. Specimens of all documented medicinal plants were collected, identified using the 4 volumes of Flora of Oman and other related literature, taxonomic books. The collected specimens were compared with voucher specimens of the herbarium at the Life Science Unit of SQU.

RESULTS

The results of the survey summarize the current ethnobotanical knowledge regarding the medicinal plants of Oman. In Oman, a high proportion of overall native flora exhibits pharmacological properties, with a total of 437 species of medicinal plants which are nearly 31% of the total floristic diversity (1407 species) documented in the country. These 437 medicinal species are distributed among 283 genera and 95 families and have been traditionally used to cure multiple ailments by local communities. In the present study, 160 common medicinal plant species belonging to 131 genera and 53 families were studied for their traditional uses. The collected, verified medicinal flora along with its traditional uses is documented in Table 1. From the results of the ethnobotanical survey, it’s quite evident that medicinal species diversity is not uniformly dispersed along the latitudinal gradients of Oman. Rather the medicinal species richness is aggregated into certain regions termed as Centre's of medicinal species richness in Oman (Fig. 1). 4 Centre's of medicinal species richness scattered along the geographical length of Oman were observed during this study. The Jabal Al Qara escarpment in Dhofar (Southern province of Oman) hosts the greatest species pool of medicinal plants in Oman (Fig. 1).

The second area of medicinal species richness was the Al Hajar al Gharbi ecoregion hosting high altitude Jabal Al Akhdar ranges in the North of Oman. The third species pool was documented from the Al Hajar Ash Sharqi range hosting Jabal Bani Jabir, Jabal Abyad and Jabal Aswad, mountain ranges. The fourth region of high medicinal plant diversity was Masirah island located on the eastern coast of the geographic landform of Oman in the Arabian sea. Central Oman which occupies 70% of the total geographical area of Oman shows less diversity of medicinal plants.

Out of the documented 53 families, Fabaceae/ Leguminosae with 15 species was the most dominant family have the maximum representation among the medicinal flora (Fig. 2).

Table 1: Medicinal plants species, local names, parts used, traditional uses in herbal remedies
Family Plant name Local name Part used Traditional uses
Acanthaceae Ecbolium viride Alnuwma, Thwaimah Leaves Leaves used for treating skin rashes, pimples and earaches
Aizoaceae Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum Gasol, Samah Leaves, roots Roots took to treat constipation
  Trianthema portulacastrum Qarah Alkhash Leaves Edema and rheumatism
Amaranthaceae Achyranthes aspera Harsha', na'em Menaksah Leaves, roots Leaves, stomachache, piles, skin allergies. Crushed roots used to cure inflammations caused by scorpion bites
  Aerva javanica Ra, Ara Whole plant Whole herb for toothache, flowers, leaves used for stopping bleeding, diuretic
  Amaranthus viridis Sander, Orf al-deek Whole plant Used to boost appetite, diuretic, expectorant, laxative
  Anabasis setifera Gilu Leaves Cure liver disease
  Celosia argentea Al-deek Seeds, flower Anti-inflammatory and disinfectant
  Chenopodium murale Abu'efain, zorbaih, Lesan, Attair Whole plant Stomach pain
  Cornulaca monacantha Sali Leaves Leaves used to treat jaundice
  Digera muricata Shoki Leaves Anti-inflammatory and improve digestion
  Haloxylon salicornicum Gatha, Remth Whole plant Diabetes, intestinal problems
  Seidlitzia rosmarinus Suad, Aswad, kharizi Stem and leaves Applied for dizziness, nausea and gum infections
  Suaeda aegyptiaca Maliah Stem and leaves Tooth and gum infections and improving poor vision
Apiaceae Ammi majus Al khutat, Arnage aoun, Nainha Fruits Dried fruits are used for the treatment of skin disorders and infections of the urinary tract
Apocynaceae Calotropis procera Ashakhar Leaves, latex,roots Dried leaves smoked for asthma, leaf powder for worm infection, the bark of roots to treat dysentery, latex for skin ailments
  Caralluma arabica Khansur, dig Stem Stem is used in making tea to treat liver ailments. Stems are used to cure hypertension
  Caralluma flava Dur al Kebeh Whole plant Aerial parts are used as tonic and stomach ailments
  Caralluma penicillata Dij Stem Anti-inflammatory and for gastritis
  Gomphocarpus fruticosus Atab Latex, roots Skin allergies and swellings
  Leptadenia pyrotechnica Marakh Stem Used as a diuretic
  Nerium oleander Haban Leaves, roots Roots and leaves are used in skin diseases, itching, ulcers and tumours. Leaves are used to cure sinusitis and bronchitis
  Pentatropis nivalis Fashagh Whole plant For sore eyes
  Pergularia tomentosa Ghalqah Whole plant Used for treatment of skin allergies and cough
  Rhazya stricta Harmal Leaves, seeds Leaf extract is used for sore throat, fever, conjunctivitis, diabetes, and constipation. The smoke of leaves inhaled for chestproblems. Seeds used for bad breath
  Sarcostemma viminale Beedowl Latex Wounds, burns, skin infection
Aristolochiaceae Aristolochia bracteolata Ghagha, Mekhisa Whole plant Used to treat snake and scorpion bites and for skin problems
Asteraceae Artemisia herba-alba Shuha , shih Rumi Flower Digestive disorders and abdominal pains
  Carthamus tinctorius Zafaran Whole plant Used for treating conjunctivitis, red and swollen eyes
  Cichorium intybus Handba bariyat Leaves Leaves decoction used as a fever treatment. Fruits are eaten for treating headaches and jaundice
  Eclipta prostrata Albahnagha albayda Whole plant For scorpion sting
  Euryops arabicus Henqlan Leaves, stems Wounds, analgesic, snake bites
  Launaea intubace Huwah Leaves Stop excessive bleeding after childbirth, stomach ulcers
  Pluchea arabica Iqat, abu ain safra, Ansfout Whole plant, leaves Whole plant is used for treating boils, skin sores, juice of leaves used as ear drops and colic pain
  Pulicaria glutinosa Al Mihtedi Whole plant, leaves Stomach ache, colic pain
  Reichardia tingitana Nakad, Hiwa, Marar Leaves Leaves are used for treating stomach ache, constipation and eyes inflammation
  Sonchus oleraceus Al adheed, Dalaween Whole plant Diuretic, laxative and as a general tonic
  Tagetes erecta Almakhmaliat Leaves Flower Leaves, antiseptic, muscular pain, boils, Flower for fever
  Vernonia cinerea Kibb Leaves, roots and seeds Leaves are used to treat scorpion bites, also used in fevers. Roots and seeds used as diuretic
Asphodelaceae Aloe dhofarensis Subr Leaves Leaves for headache, limb and joint pain, skin rashes, diabetes, fever and wound healing
  Asphodelus tenuifolius Kawther Whole plant, seeds Whole plant and seeds, laxative, diuretic, to treat toothache and colds
Boraginaceae Arnebia hispidissima Hamat, Haberk, Kohl Whole plant To relieve fever, skin and hair diseases
  Cordia myxa Bamiraah, Kao, dabag, makhet Leaves Seeds Seeds are eaten to cure diarrhoea, tea of leaves to treat abdominal pains
  Heliotropium bacciferum Haffa Leaves A poultice of leaves is used against scorpion bites
  Heliotropium kotschyi Ramram, Fahha Leaves Leaves are used to cure boils, inflammations. Also used for treating ulcers and blisters
  Heliotropium longiflorum Hablim, Shebram Leaves For eye and skin infection
Brassicaceae Anastatica hierochuntica Kaf Mariam Whole plant Anti-diabetic activity, Dried plant used during childbirth, reduce fever and colic in children
  Lepidium sativum Alrashad Seeds Healing fractures, cough and chest tightness, asthma
  Physorrhynchus chamaerapistrum Khefij   Leaves and stems Leaves and stems are used for treating earache and the seeds are used for getting rid of moles and warts
  Sisymbrium irio haurah Seeds A solution obtained from boiling the seeds in water is used to relieve cold and fever
Burseraceae Boswellia sacra Luban Resin, Sap Asthma wounds ulcer, bronchitis, stomach problem, gum problem, thoracic disease and kidney stone
  Commiphora gileadensis Sookof Sap, bark, leaves, flower Pain, fever, swelling peptic ulcer
  Commiphora myrrha Almyrh Resin Anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory activity
  Commiphora wightii Meqel Resin Inflammation, arthritis, wound, fractures
Capparaceae Cadaba farinosa Azan al Arnab Leaves Leaves are used for colic, eye troubles and cough
  Cadaba heterotricha Alqadb Leaves, inner bark Leaves and the inner bark is used to treat snakebite, reduce inflammation and itchiness
  Capparis cartilaginea Qanfar Leaves and stems Leaves and stems are used for earache, kidney problems, headache, bruises, paralysis, swellings and snakebite
  Capparis decidua Kalyl, Kabrh Leaves Bark Bark extract is used in asthma and cough. Leaves used for inflammations
  Capparis spinosa Lisaf Root, leaves, seeds Powered leaves mixed with oil used as ear drops. Leaves are used for diabetes. The root extract is used for the cure of rheumatism and paralysis, cough. Seeds were taken to treat feminine fertility and menstruation pains, crushed seeds were applied to ulcers
  Stellaria media Mushit, Algharshih Leaves Rheumatic pain, ulcers, wounds
  Dipterygium glaucum Alqa Whole plant, leaves The plant is used in asthma and as an expectorant
  Maerua crassifolia Sarah Leaves Leaves used to cure toothache, abdominal colic, constipation and intestinal diseases
Caryophyllaceae Polycarpaea repens Almakara, mukhur Whole plant Crushing plant is applied as an antidote against snake bites
Cleomaceae Cleome brachycarpa Khizima Whole plant Inflammation, skin diseases, headaches
  Cleome gynandra Abukareem Aerial parts Pain and muscle weakness
  Cleome rupicola Shajarat al wahsh Whole plant Cataract
Convolvulaceae Convolvulus arvensis Mudid Leaves, Roots Used to stop bleeding and as a sedative
  Cressa cretica Nadwat, shawil Whole plant All parts of the plant used as an expectorant
  Ipomoea pes-caprae Deregh Seeds Seeds are used as a laxative
Cucurbitaceae Citrullus colocynthis Handal Leaves, seeds, fruits Fruits and leaves are used for Diabetes and hypoglycemia
  Cucumis prophetarum Lumat Al housh Root, seeds, fruits Liver diseases, constipation, purgative, stomach pain
Cupressaceae Juniperus excelsa Al alan Fruit, Leaves Digestive and diuretic
Cyperaceae Cyperus rotundus Saad asir Seeds Seeds are used as a diuretic also used to treat aching teeth and gum problems
Ephedraceae Ephedra foliata Ketel Whole plant Cataract and conjunctivitis
Euphorbiaceae Acalypha indica Aeyan al aqrada Whole plant Expectorant, laxative, used for the cure of bronchitis and asthma
  Chrozophora oblongifolia Meshriah Fruits Fruits used to treat wounds
  Euphorbia granulata Halab Sap Wounds healing
  Euphorbia hirta Eshbat alrabui Whole plant Used in asthma and bronchitis
  Euphorbia larica Isbuq Latex The latex is used to treat skin problems and earache
  Euphorbia schimperi iimtz Latex Healing stinking wounds
  Ricinus communis Arash, kharwah Leaves and roots Leaves and roots are used against blisters, ulcers, toothache, eye inflammation and paralysis
Fabaceae Acacia ehrenbergiana Salam Stem The smoke of wood used for treating paralysis by passing smoke over affected limbs
  Acacia gerrardii Talh Resins, Fruits, leaves Resin applied on burned skins, also chewed for aching teeth, fruits used against fever and leaves used for colic
  Acacia nilotica Qarat Leaves, Roots, Seeds Leaves for cataracts, cough, diabetes, burns, roots for cleaning teeth, seeds for stomach ulcer
  Alhagi graecorum Alooq, shuwaika whole plant Jaundice, cataracts, migraine, painful joints, analgesic, diuretic and laxative
  Astragalus fasciculifolius Enteris Resin Cataracts
  Crotalaria aegyptiaca Niza, Qudhub Leaves, Stems Asthma
  Indigofera oblongifolia Ahasyt, asura Roots, Roots are used as analgesic and anti-inflammatory
  Melilotus albus nafal, alhndqwq al'abyad Whole plant Used to treat rheumatic pain
  Melilotus indicus Gard, Naflah, Alhndqwq alhindiu Whole plant Used to cure swelling, bowel complaints, to soothe skin rashes
  Prosopis cineraria Ghaf Leaves Bark Extract of crushed pods used as ear drops leaves chewed for toothache. Ashes of burnt bark mixed with water applied to the site of fracture to relieve pain
  Senna holosericea Kharkhash Leaves and seeds Leaves and seeds, used as a laxative and for treating nervous diseases
  Senna italica Ishrik Leaves and seeds Seeds and leaves are used to treat stomach cramps and constipation
  Tephrosia apollinea Al dafra Roots and leaves Roots and leaves earache, cough, bronchitis, wounds and lower blood pressure
  Tephrosia nubica Aqman, Aytiman Leaves Treatment of epilepsy
  Tephrosia purpurea Hawayrat arjwania Whole plant, Roots Used for bronchitis, asthma, tumours and ulcers
Juglandaceae Juglans regia Naksh, jooz Leaves Leaves are used to treat eczema, fruit is used for nervous problems
Lamiaceae Lavandula dhofarensis Haram, Ahboun Leaves Leaves are used for curing stomachache, treating kidney problems and for the nervous system
  Ocimum forsskaolii Rehan Leaves, seeds Leaves for cold, diarrhoea, seeds boiled in water and taken as a drink for diarrhoea
  Salvia aegyptiaca Rael, Berahoo, maru Seeds The seeds are used for piles and diarrhoea.
  Teucrium stocksianum Jada leaves Colic, stomach pain, fever, anti-inflammatory. For fever leaves boiled in rose water for a long time
  Teucrium polium Misk al jin Whole plant Leaves decoction used for skin ulcers. Whole plant for liver Leaves decoction used for skin ulcers. Whole plant for liver
  Zataria multiflora Zatar leaves Cough, stomach pain
Lythraceae Lawsonia inermis Henna Leaves, flowers, young buds Hair tonic, fevers, anti-inflammatory, fever and mouth ulcers
Malpighiaceae Acridocarpus orientalis Qafas Seed and leaves Headache, muscle pain and massaging paralyzed limbs
Malvaceae Abutilon pannosum Qarqa Seed, Bark, Seed, Bark, The seed is used as the treatment of cough. The bark and the root used as diuretic, in fever. Leaves for diarrhoea
  Malva parviflora Shuwayb al hammam Leaves, seeds Infusion of seeds and leaves applied to soothe skin, treat fevers, headaches and also used as a gargle for mouth ulcers
Menispermaceae Cocculus pendulus nishtayn, Resras Leaves and roots Constipation, skin problems and sore eyes
Molluginaceae Glinus lotoides hambaz Whole plant, Used for diarrhoea and pain in limbs
Moraceae Dorstenia foetida Karteeb Seeds Seeds are used for stomach disorders
  Ficus carica Tyn Sap, fruit, leaves Milky sap applied on site of poisonous bites. Fruit, leaves, latex for cough; skin treatment and relieve cough
  Morus nigra Tawat al aswad' aw Leaves, roots, fruit Cough, fever, toothache, inflamed eyes and headache
Moringaceae Moringa peregrina Shua Seed Seed oil for joints pains, backache, bone setting, stomach cramps and swelling
Myrtaceae Myrtus communis Yas Leaves, fruits, flowers Burns, sores, ulcers, abdominal colic, scorpion stings and leishmaniosis
Oleaceae Jasminum grandiflorum Yasmeen Leaves, flower Dried leaves and flowers for dysentery, abdominal pain and leaves used as a purgative
  Olea europaea Itm Leaves Fruit Bark Leaves for hypertension, resin, fruit leaves and bark are used to treat cataracts Rheumatism and inflamed gums
Orobanchaceae Cistanche tubulosa Dhunun 'anbubi Leaf, flowers Jaundice and diarrhoea
Oxalidaceae Oxalis corniculata Alhamad Leaves Cold and cough
Papaveraceae Argemone mexicana Ghadrect Roots, leaves, Leaf juice for scorpion sting: Root paste applied to paining area
  Fumaria parviflora Shaeir Shatraj Aerial parts Used as an anthelmintic, laxative. Also used for skin disorders
Phyllanthaceae Andrachne aspera Shajarat al eaqarab Roots Used for treating eye inflammation
Plantaginaceae Plantago coronopus Lisan alhaml Whole plant Whole plant is used as a purgative and to treat wounds
  Plantago major waraq Seeds Seeds are used in diarrhoea, dysentery and treating fever
  Plantago ovata Qarbatuh, Liqimat alfiga Seeds Seeds mixed with water used to treat venereal disease
Plumbaginaceae Dyerophytum indicum Melihlah Young stems Stems dried smoked as a treatment for breathing difficulties and cough
  Limonium axillare Alqatf, khazamaa albahr Whole plant Whole plant is used for diarrhoea and as an astringent
  Plumbago zeylanica Enki’n, Ensain Roots, stems Roots and stems are used for treating skin problems
Polygalaceae Calligonum comosum Artaa, Artaan, Abl Leaves, stems Anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer action, toothache
  Pteropyrum scoparium Seedaf Leaves Leaves are eaten to treat dyspepsia and as a blood purifying tonic
  Rumex vesicarius Alhamad, Daras aleajuz, Suryl Leaves, seeds Leaves and seeds are used against scorpion stings
Portulacaceae Portulaca grandiflora Albiqlat almuzahira Leaves, Stem Used to treat snake and insect bites and burns
  Portulaca oleracea Ghelinbah, Riglah, barbir Whole plant, leaves Whole plant for constipation, skin diseases and diseases of the bladder and kidney
Primulaceae Anagallis arvensis Eawaynat, Eayan, alqatwat Whole plant Used against skin rashes, blisters and skin ulcers
Resedaceae Ochradenus arabicus Qurliya, Asmat, Hibab Fruit Unripe fruits are eaten as a treatment for digestive problems
Rhamnaceae Ziziphus jujuba Aleinab Fruit Fruits are effective in being laxative and used in constipation used for diabetes
  Ziziphus spina-christi Sidr Leaves fruit bark Leaves are used for skin sores and inflamed joints and fruit and kernels are eaten to treat chest pains
Rubiaceae Plocama aucheri Khirman, khurman Leaves, roots For Colic and dizziness
Rutaceae Citrus aurantifolia Allayumun albaladi Fruit Bark Juice, fruit, peel, bark used for cataracts, colds, fever, chest pain, earache and stomachache
  Haplophyllum tuberculatum Tafer tays Leaves Leaves are used to strengthen back muscles after childbirth, for chest pain, stomach problem and a sedative
  Ruta chalepensis Sidab Leaves For dressing for Snakebites, fever, colic
Salvadoraceae Salvadora persica Rak Leaves, fruits Stems Used as toothbrushes, leaves, dried fruits and stems are used for treating swelling, ulcers, blisters and coughs
Sapindaceae Dodonaea angustifolia Shiraj Leaves Fever and sore throats
  Dodonaea viscosa Shahs Leaves, flower Leaves are used for treating toothache, burns and bones
Sapotaceae Sideroxylon mascatense Boot Fruits Fruits are being used as laxative and tonic
Solanaceae Datura innoxia Alshuwkia, aldatura Leaves, seeds Colic pain, asthma, headache, anaesthetic
  Datura metel Meranha Flowers, leaves Flowers and leaves smoked as a treatment for asthma and as sedatives and treating skin eruptions
  Lycium shawii Qasad Stems Used as a purgative, diuretic and tonic
  Physalis minima Harnaksh Leaves, fruits, seeds Tonic and purgative
  Solanum incanum Sharinjiban, helqem Leaves, fruits Leaves and fruit used for dyspepsia dislocated bones and toothache
  Solanum nigrum Majaj, shajarat al Gharub Leaves roots Leaves and roots to treat burns, to reduce swellings, roots as a sedative
  Withania somnifera Babu Leaves, roots Leaves and roots to treat stings and bites
Tiliaceae Grewia erythraea Sharham Leaves, roots Scabies
Verbenaceae Lantana camara Muqusatan, lantana, Multawiat Em Kalthoom Leaves, roots Leaves for skinitches and wounds. The root is used for cough, fever and headache
  Phyla nodiflora Zanzalah Whole plant For ulcers, wounds, fever and asthma
  Verbena officinalis Raei alhamam Whole plant Used in fever and anaemia
Vitaceae Cissus quadrangularis Silaa, Atraa Stem Stem used in piles and constipation
Zygophyllaceae Fagonia indica Sheka Leaves, roots Leaves and root for treating burns, fevers and constipation
  Fagonia schweinfurthii Alqawb, Durnuh Whole plant Anti-inflammatory and wound healing, skin allergies
  Tribulus terrestris Darees Fruits Fruits are used as a tonic, diuretic and treat urinary disorders and impotency
  Tetraena simplex Thurumid, al damaran Leaves Leaf extract used against eyes swelling


Image for - An Ethnobotanical Study of Indigenous Medicinal Plants of Oman
Fig. 1: Distribution of medicinal plant flora along with the geographical extent of Oman


Image for - An Ethnobotanical Study of Indigenous Medicinal Plants of Oman
Fig. 2: Number of medicinal plant species per family


Image for - An Ethnobotanical Study of Indigenous Medicinal Plants of Oman
Fig. 3: Percentage of plant parts used in herbal medicine

Asteraceae with 12 species was the second most represented family in traditional medicine. The other families contributing substantially to the ethnomedicinal flora include Apocynaceae (11 spp.), Amaranthaceae (11 spp.), Capparaceae (8 spp.) Solanaceae (7 spp.) Euphorbiaceae (7) and Lamiaceae (6 spp.) and Boraginaceae (5 spp.) Almost 50% of ethnomedicinal diversity in the present study is contributed by the above-mentioned nine families. Brassicaceae, Burseraceae and Zygophyllaceae have 4 pharmacologically active species each. The rest of the 43 families either has a single species representation or 2-3 species per family.

All the different parts of plants, leaves, roots, bark, stems, sap, seeds, fruits and flowers are used to treat various types of diseases since antiquity. From the documented records the leaves were the most frequently used part of a plant to cure various ailments (33%) (Fig. 3). Seeds of plants are widely used by the local community to mitigate various types of illnesses (18%), followed by the usage of a whole plant for the treatment of several diseases (12%). Roots were used to cure 10% of ailments followed by fruits used in 8% cases, stems in 7%, sap in 5%, flowers in 4% and barks in 3% cases (Fig. 3).

DISCUSSION

Our results indicated that medicinal plant species have a high representation in the flora of Oman, with 437 medicinal species found in Oman. Biota found in extreme dryland ecosystems have evolved special adaptive functional features to cope up with the limited water availability and immoderate heat prevailing in such ecosystems. Such adaptive strategies under hostile environments have immense importance in terms of survival and plants overcome these ecological constraints by regulating their phytochemicals13. The accumulation of these active principles as a physiological expression of defence is greatly influenced by the adverse abiotic environment or biotic stress and imparts exceptional medicinal properties to this unique plants14. Further, as exclusive metabolites are strongly influenced by exceptional local environmental conditions, endemic medicinal flora has phenomenal uniqueness and significance15. Thus Oman being a special desert biome is home to many medicinal plants, with many endemic species, not found anywhere else in the world. In this study, 160 common medicinal plant species belonging to 131 genera and 53 families were studied for their traditional uses. Leguminosae with 15 medicinal species was the most represented family used as herbal remedies. Overall in terms of angiosperm floristic diversity, Fabaceae/Leguminosae is the most represented family in Oman and globally this family is known for its ethnopharmacological importance16,17. Out of the total 28,187 medicinal plants registered with Kew’s Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS), the Leguminosae family species has the largest representation with 2,334 documented plant species18. Worldwide Fabaceae members have been used as therapeutic agents eliciting antimicrobial19 anti-inflammatory16, anti-diabetic20, anticancer21 and antiulcer22 properties. The Second highest representation in terms of medicinal plants was observed in the Asteraceae family, with 12 medicinal plants, globally many species belonging to Asteraceae are sources of potential active principles used effectively to cure many ailments23 like cardiovascular24, wound healing25, anti-inflammatory properties26 diuretic effects27, indigestion28. Apocynaceae and Amaranthaceae species were also recorded to be widely used by the local community, many medicinal attributes in traditional medicine have been documented to Apocynaceae29,30 and Amaranthaceae31,32 families previously. Apocynaceae species being well endowed with cardiac glycosides, alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids and terpenoids are potent sources of medicinally active phytochemicals. Many species in Apocynaceae are sources of natural cardenolides, a type of C- steroids, the anticancerous compounds, around 109 cardenolides has been identified from Apocynaceae members33. Solanaceae species also represented widely in this study are known worldwide as sources of tropane alkaloids, hyoscyamine and scopolamine which when used in small appropriate amounts can be an important source of medication.

Medicinal flora is not evenly distributed across Oman rather medicinal species richness is confined to certain areas called Centre of Medicinal Species richness in Oman, with 4 Centre of Medicinal Species richness recognized in Oman. The Al Hajar Al gharbi mountain ecoregion in the north with an Irano-Turanian floral influence34, is botanically abundant and supports unique flora under the effect of Northeasterly winds and is home to many medicinal plants. The flora of the Hajar Al Gharbi Mountains including the Musandam peninsula is one of the richest, with 60% of the total plant diversity of Oman represented in this region. In this ecoregion, Al Jabal Al Akhdar a massive carbonate culminations forms the central part in the Saiq plateau, which is a massif of mid-Permian to mid cretaceous black carboniferous limestone, brownish dolomite and sandstone35. At the lower elevations of the culmination, Samail Ophiolite sequences from oceanic crust are emplaced36. This dark ophiolite area does not support vegetation except in the wadis, on the other hand, floral species diversity is high in the richer soils of carbonate limestone rocks. A clear altitudinal zonation with distinct plant community composition is quite evident in these mountain ranges as elevation strongly influences the species diversity. The altitudinal gradient ranges from 650-3048 m at Jabal shams, with maximum diversity found at mid-latitudes at 1100-2000 m above sea level37. Annual rainfall at lower elevations is on average 75 mm reaching approximately 350 mm at higher elevations. The average annual temperature along the altitude varies from 26-18°C, with the temperature reaching subzero at the summit in winters leading to frost events. Thus a relatively conducive temperature and rainfall events at mid altitudinal zones support a higher diversity of plants between 1100 -2000 m above sea level. This vegetation distribution is a type of sub-arid mountain zone in a desert biome. Important medicinal plant species found in this special phytogeographical region are Euryops arabicus, Sideroxylon mascatense, Olea europaea, Teucrium stocksianum, Dodonaea viscosa and Moringa peregrina. The second centre of medicinal species richness in northern Oman is the Eastern Al Hajar Ash Sharqi ranges, a part of the Al Hajar mountain ecoregion. Hajar Al Sharqi Mountains is an arid climatic zone with a mean annual precipitation of 120 mm under the effect of northeast winds and reaching the highest altitudinal elevation of 2,152 m38. Jabal Bani Jabir, Jabal Abyad, Jabal Aswad and Jabal Qahwal are the species-rich ranges supporting many medicinal plant species. As plants species are known to accumulate specific phytochemicals as a convergent adaptive strategy as they respond to stimulations of natural regional environment39. Eastern Hajar mountains host 23% of the total floristic diversity of the country. Species wise this region has a distinct flora compared to the Western Al Hajar range. Flora of eastern Al Hajar has representation similar to the semi-arid desert steppe found in central Iran’s high inner plateau. Important medicinal plant species found in this physiographic region are, Astragalus fasciculifolius, Grewia erythraea, Lycium shawii and Haplophyllum tuberculatum.

The most important medicinal species richness centre is found down south in the Dhofar province. Lying in the monsoon belt, the Dhofar region under the effect of southwest monsoon has a seasonal summer, June to September tropical climate40. Monsoon winds cause dense coastal fogs generated due to rapid cooling of the moist westerlies along the windward sea-facing elevations of the Jabal Al Qara and Jabal Al Qamar limestone massif41, providing adequate moisture, consequently creating a unique dense green seasonal cloud forest of deciduous woodlands along the escarpment and creating an extraordinary microclimate needed to sustain a rich and unique vegetation cover42 which makes this region unique refugia and the densest woodland of the Arabian peninsula. This specialized physiographic unit supports around 70% of the species represented in the country and displays a very high degree of endemism. This Somalia-Masai influenced floristic diversity43 is mainly found in Jabal Qamar (receiving maximum precipitation, annual mean rainfall of 250 mm/year), Jabal Qarah and Jabal Samhan. Jabal Qamar hosts pharmacologically active species like Aloe dhufarensis and Boswellia sacra. Jabal Qara hosts a very important medicinal plant Lavandula dhofarensis and Commiphora kua. Jabal Samhan, the highest of the three peaks of Dhofar mountains with an elevation reaching as high as 2100, lies at the peripheries of the foggy ecosystem has dry plateaus at the summit, inundated with narrow deep wadis and gorges44 supporting endemic woody medicinal species subshrubs and trees including medicinally active species of Commiphora wightii and Boswellia. All these regions are unique niches curved under the influence of specialized environmental conditions and flora established in such biomes are rare and specialized. Masirah islands the 4th centre of endemism is the largest island 19 km from the South-eastern coast of the Sultanate of Oman into the Arabian sea, the island has a rugged hilly terrain of Masirah ophiolite a part of Indian ocean crust overlaid by Cretaceous ocean sequence45, this hilly arch runs centrally from north to south with marginal coastal plains. Many medicinal species like Suaeda monoica, Suaeda moschata and Limonium axillare are found on this island

Hyper-arid Central Oman overall shows less representation in terms of angiosperm floristic diversity and also shows minimal representation to medicinal diversity. As the interplay between the topography and the environment profoundly influences the vegetation patterns46, Central Oman a hyper-arid desert of gravel and sand with two major escarpments, the Huqf escarpment/ depression as well as Jiddat Al Arkad represents physiography of extreme aridity due to average annual rainfall of less than 48 mm and extreme raging temperatures making central Oman a desolate zone47. The major realm in central Oman is a gravel and tertiary limestone plateau, Jiddat Al-Harasis around 100-150 m above sea level, with no proper drainage system, rather the plateau is incised with not so deep sandy depressions, the Haylahs, supporting merger vegetation48. The Al Huqf escarpment/depression is a barren rocky terrain made from bigger rocks from Permian to upper Cretaceous with Oceanic Crystalline Rocks reaching the surface at certain points in the escarpment, the depression has salt plugs the sabkhas at certain areas, vegetation is rather confined to gravely sandy ridges, the runnels in the huqf under the influence of occasional fogs49. On the western fringes, Jiddat al Harasis is bounded by hyper-arid uninhabited and inhospitable region Rub al Khali or Empty Quarter the biggest active sand desert found in the world (650,000 km2). This active sea of shifting sands is an extreme environment with precipitation of hardly 15-35 mm and hosting the biggest inland brackish poisonous saline sabkha quagmire ‘Umm al Samim’ or the Mother of poisons (3,000 km2)50. Under these hostile conditions, plant species diversity is very low, represented by low growing natural psammophilus plants of Saharo-arabian types. This vegetation is highly significant in terms of stabilizing the dunes substrate, as dunes are a highly dynamic system subject to ecological changes under the influence of environmental changes. Vegetation act as a windbreaker, downscaling the topsoil loss due to wind erosion and providing habitat to many dune fauna51. As under influence of abiotic factors, plant species accrue specific bioactive principles as a response strategy52, flora found in this region is unique, endemic and some are threatened and endangered.

Climate change along with other factors like habitat degradation due to urbanization/industrialization, overexploitation of resources/ overgrazing and species invasiveness, are responsible for this exceptional biodiversity loss53. According to a new report of World Economic Forum, State of Worlds plant and fungi 2020, by Royal Botanic garden Kew, 40% of the world's plants at risk of extinction, indicating that a “sixth mass extinction” is under way54. The sultanate of Oman has quite ambitious goals regarding nature conservation as is evident from Sultanate ratification and implementation of many conservation treaties like Convention on biological diversity 2011-2020, Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 2010-2020, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Oman’s Supreme Council for Planning (SCP) has also endorsed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 (SDGs) in its third meeting in 2015. For the conservation of plant genetic resources, Oman has established 18 nature reserves in form of national parks and nature reserves and 4 protected rangelands but presently there are no in situ protected areas that actively conserve medicinal plant diversity in Oman. There has been overwhelming evidence that fragile vulnerable desert biomes exhibit rapid species extinction, also regions that exhibit high topographical heterogeneity, usually experience strong climatic oscillations55. Furthermore, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2018, Oman has ranked 28th in terms of climatic risk, in this regard it is imperative to document and conserve the valuable medicinal flora of a fragile desert ecosystem like Oman. Traditional knowledge of a particular culture is a heritage accumulated from centuries of practices that need to be valued and conserved. Further, the emerging and the ongoing trend of herbal products derived medicine has enormous potential to directly or indirectly benefit economically the current and coming generations.

CONCLUSION

Oman has a rich ethnobotanical traditional history and this rich culture reflects the close association of its people with plants. Our findings signified and documented the current status of the medicinal species population, their therapeutic uses, potential threats and their conservation status. This study emphasizes the prioritization of efforts to sustainably conserve the medicinal flora of this unique biome, efforts should be made to identify, extract and isolate the pharmacologically active principles, establish their physiological effects and analyse their cytotoxic potential before this indigenous valuable heritage is lost in the process of modernization of the society. There is an imperative need for in-country commercialization of medicinal plants and impetus should be given to establishing pharmaceutical companies using local Omani medicinal plants.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT

In the light of the unprecedented loss of biodiversity under the impact of ongoing climatic change crisis and the traditional herbal medicine knowledge being mainly undocumented, this study is a keystone work in direction of harnessing the untapped potential of local Omani medicinal plants to discover new bioactive principles for drug discovery which will financially benefit the local community at a larger scale as the local medicinal flora of Oman which shows high degree endemism is unexplored commercially.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors would sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the valuable knowledge the local elders and herbal practitioners have shared, our gratitude towards their kindness and our appreciate and recognize their contribution to this study. We also like to thank the team at Herbarium, Life Science unit, SQU for their help.

REFERENCES

  1. Lemonnier, N., G.B. Zhou, B. Prasher, M. Mukerji and Z. Chen et al., 2017. Traditional knowledge-based medicine: A review of history, principles and relevance in the present context of P4 systems medicine. Prog. Prev. Med., Vol. 2.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  2. Pan, S.Y., S.F. Zhou, S.H. Gao, Z.L. Yu and S.F. Zhang et al., 2013. New perspectives on how to discover drugs from herbal medicines: CAM's outstanding contribution to modern therapeutics. Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Med., 2013: 1-25.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  3. Newman, D.J. and G.M. Cragg, 2016. Natural products as sources of new drugs from 1981 to 2014. J. Natural Prod., 79: 629-661.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  4. de Kraker, M.E.A., A.J. Stewardson and S. Harbarth, 2016. Will 10 million people die a year due to antimicrobial resistance by 2050? PLoS Med., Vol. 13.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  5. Bhosale, V.V. and D. Banerjee, 2020. Scientific validation of herbal medicine. In: Herbal Medicine in India, Sen, S. and R. Chakraborty, Springer, Singapore, ISBN: 978-981-13-7248-3, pp: 573-579
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  6. Stenberg, K., O. Hanssen, M. Bertram, C. Brindley, A. Meshreky, S. Barkley and T.T.T. Edejer, 2019. Guide posts for investment in primary health care and projected resource needs in 67 low-income and middle-income countries: A modelling study. Lancet Glob. Health, 7: e1500-e1510.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  7. Charabi, Y., 2013. Projection of future changes in rainfall and temperature patterns in oman. J. Earth Sci. Clim. Change, Vol. 4.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  8. Patzelt, A., T. Harrison, S.G. Knees and L.A. Harthy, 2014. Studies in the flora of Arabia, XXXI. New Records from the Sultanate of Oman. Edinb. J. Bot., 71: 161-180.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  9. Sherwani, N. and S.A. Farooq, 2019. Impact of habitat heterogeneity on growth dynamics and physiological responses of Dipterygium glaucum. Asian J. Plant Sci., 18: 75-84.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  10. Perring, M.P., R.J. Standish, J.N. Price, M.D. Craig and T.E. Erickson et al., 2015. Advances in restoration ecology: Rising to the challenges of the coming decades. Ecosphere, 6: 1-25.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  11. Howes, M.J.R., C.L. Quave, J. Collemare, E.C. Tatsis and D. Twilley et al., 2020. Molecules from nature: Reconciling biodiversity conservation and global healthcare imperatives for sustainable use of medicinal plants and fungi. Plants People Planet, 2: 463-481.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  12. Hoffmann, S., S.D.H. Irl and C. Beierkuhnlein, 2019. Predicted climate shifts within terrestrial protected areas worldwide. Nat. Commun., Vol. 10.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  13. Wilkinson, S.W., M.H. Magerøy, A.L. Sánchez, L.M. Smith and L. Furci et al., 2019. Surviving in a hostile world: Plant strategies to resist pests and diseases. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol., 57: 505-529.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  14. Isah, T., 2019. Stress and defense responses in plant secondary metabolites production. Biol. Res., Vol. 52.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  15. Sampaio, B.L., R. Edrada-Ebel and F.B. Da Costa 2016. Effect of the environment on the secondary metabolic profile of Tithonia diversifolia: A model for environmental metabolomics of plants. Sci. Rep., Vol. 6.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  16. Catarino, S., M.C. Duarte, E. Costa, P.G. Carrero and M.M. Romeiras, 2019. Conservation and sustainable use of the medicinal leguminosae plants from Angola. Peer J., Vol. 7.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  17. Salmerón-Manzano, E., J.A. Garrido-Cardenas and F. Manzano-Agugliaro, 2020. Worldwide research trends on medicinal plants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Vol. 17.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  18. Sutjaritjai, N., P. Wangpakapattanawong, H. Balslev and A. Inta, 2019. Traditional uses of leguminosae among the Karen in Thailand. Plants, Vol. 8.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  19. Dzoyem, J.P., L.J. McGaw and J.N. Eloff, 2014. In vitro antibacterial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activity of acetone leaf extracts of nine under-investigated Fabaceae tree species leads to potentially useful extracts in animal health and productivity. BMC Complement Altern. Med., Vol. 14.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  20. Parasuraman, S., T.H. Ching, C.H. Leong and U. Banik, 2019. Antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic effects of a methanolic extract of Mimosa pudica (Fabaceae) in diabetic rats. Egyp. J. Basic Appl. Sci., 6: 137-148.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  21. Sharma, A., R. Kaur, J.K. Katnoria, R. Kaur and A.K. Nagpal, 2017. Family fabaceae: A boon for cancer therapy. In: Biotechnology and production of anti-cancer compounds, Malik, S. (Ed.)., Springer International Publishing, Cham, ISBN: 978-3-319-53880-8 pp: 157-175
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  22. Paguigan, N.D., D.H.B. Castillo and C.L. Chichioco-Hernandez, 2014. Anti-ulcer activity of leguminosae plants. Arquivos de Gastroenterologia, 51: 64-67.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  23. Neto, R.N.M., R.F.B. Setúbal, T.M.M. Higino, M.C.A. Brelaz-de-Castro, L.C.N. da Silva and A.S. dos Santos Aliança 2019. Asteraceae plants as sources of compounds against leishmaniasis and chagas disease. Front. Pharmacol., Vol. 10.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  24. Michel, J., N.Z.A. Rani and K. Husain, 2020. A review on the potential use of medicinal plants from asteraceae and lamiaceae plant family in cardiovascular diseases. Front. Pharmacol., Vol. 11.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  25. Carvalho, A.R., R.M. Diniz, M.A.M. Suarez, C.S.S.eS. Figueiredo and A. Zagmignan et al., 2018. Use of some asteraceae plants for the treatment of wounds: From ethnopharmacological studies to scientific evidences. Front. Pharmacol., Vol. 9.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  26. Chagas-Paula, D., T. Oliveira, D. Faleiro, R. Oliveira and F. Da Costa, 2015. Outstanding anti-inflammatory potential of selected asteraceae species through the potent dual inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 and 5-lipoxygenase. Planta Med., 81: 1296-1307.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  27. de Souza, P., S. Crestani, R. de Cássia Vilhena da Silva, F. Gasparotto, C.A.L. Kassuya, J.E. da Silva-Santos and A.G. Junior, 2013. Involvement of bradykinin and prostaglandins in the diuretic effects of Achillea millefolium L. (Asteraceae). J. Ethnopharmacol., 149: 157-161.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  28. Bahar, E., M.S. Siddika, B. Nath and H. Yoon, 2016. Evaluation of In vitro Antioxidant and In vivo Antihyperlipidemic Activities of Methanol Extract of Aerial Part of Crassocephalum crepidioides (Asteraceae) Benth S Moore. Trop. J. Pharm. Res., 15: 481-488.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  29. Bhadane, B.S., M.P. Patil, V.L. Maheshwari and R.H. Patil, 2018. Ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biotechnological advances of family Apocynaceae: A review. Phytother. Res., 32: 1181-1210.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  30. Islam, M.S. and R.A. Lucky, 2019. A study on different plants of Apocyanaceae family and their medicinal uses”. Univ. J. Pharm. Res., Vol. 4.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  31. Lefèvre, G. and C. Rivière, 2019. Amaranthaceae halophytes from the french flanders coast of the North Sea: A review of their phytochemistry and biological activities. Phytochem. Rev., 19: 1263-1302.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  32. Sarker, U. and S. Oba, 2019. Nutraceuticals, antioxidant pigments, and phytochemicals in the leaves of Amaranthus spinosus and Amaranthus viridis weedy species. Sci. Rep., Vol. 9.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  33. Wen, S., Y. Chen, Y. Lu, Y. Wang, L. Ding and M. Jiang, 2016. Cardenolides from the apocynaceae family and their anticancer activity. Fitoterapia, 112: 74-84.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  34. Brinkmann, K., A. Patzelt, U. Dickhoefer, E. Schlecht and A. Buerkert, 2009. Vegetation patterns and diversity along an altitudinal and a grazing gradient in the Jabal al Akhdar mountain range of northern Oman. J. Arid Environ., 73: 1035-1045.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  35. Belgrano, T.M., L.W. Diamond, Y. Vogt, A.R. Biedermann, S.A. Gilgen and K. Al-Tobi, 2019. A revised map of volcanic units in the Oman ophiolite: Insights into the architecture of an oceanic proto-arc volcanic sequence. Solid Earth, 10: 1181-1217.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  36. Hansman, R.J., U. Ring, S.N. Thomson, B. den Brok and K. Stübner, 2017. Late Eocene uplift of the Al hajar mountains, Oman, supported by stratigraphy and low‐temperature thermochronology. Tectonics, 36: 3081-3109.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  37. MacLaren, C.A., 2016. Climate change drives decline of Juniperus seravschanica in Oman. J. Arid Environ., 128: 91-100.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  38. Carranza, S., M. Simó-Riudalbas, S. Jayasinghe, T. Wilms and J. Els, 2016. Microendemicity in the northern Hajar mountains of Oman and the United Arab Emirates with the description of two new species of geckos of the genus Asaccus (Squamata: Phyllodactylidae). Peer J., Vol. 4.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  39. Sharma, A., B. Shahzad, V. Kumar, S.K. Kohli and G.P.S. Sidhu et al., 2019. Phytohormones regulate accumulation of osmolytes under abiotic stress. Biomolecules,
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  40. Abdul-Wahab, S.A., 2003. Analysis of thermal inversions in the Khareef Salalah region in the Sultanate of Oman. J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 108.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  41. Shammas, M.I., 2007. Impact of the Al-Qara mountain fogwater forest on groundwater recharge in the Salalah coastal aquifer, Sultanate of Oman. Ecohydrol. Hydrobiol., 7: 37-49.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  42. Zerboni, A., A. Perego, G.S. Mariani, F. Brandolini and M.A. Kindi et al., 2020. Geomorphology of the Jebel Qara and coastal plain of Salalah (Dhofar, southern Sultanate of Oman). J. Maps, 16: 187-198.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  43. El-Sheikh, M.A., 2013. Weed vegetation ecology of arable land in Salalah, Southern Oman. Saudi J. Biol. Sci., 20: 291-304.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  44. Vahalík, P., Z. Patočka, K. Drápela, H. Habrová and L. Ehrenbergerová et al., 2020. The conservation status and population mapping of the endangered Dracaena serrulata in the Dhofar Mountains, Oman. Forests, Vol. 11.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  45. Rollinson, H., 2017. Masirah-the other Oman ophiolite: A better analogue for mid-ocean ridge processes? Geosci. Front., 8: 1253-1262.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  46. Pei, J., W. Yang, Y. Cai, Y. Yi and X. Li, 2018. Relationship between vegetation and environment in an arid-hot valley in Southwestern China. Sustainability, Vol. 10.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  47. Moraetis, D., A. Scharf, F. Mattern, K. Pavlopoulos and S. Forman, 2020. Quaternary thrusting in the central Oman mountains-novel observations and causes: Insights from optical stimulate luminescence dating and kinematic fault analyses. Geosciences, Vol. 10.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  48. Massolo, A., A. Spalton and F. Al‐Lamki, 2008. Notes on the status and conservation of the reem gazelle Gazella subgutturosa marica in the Sultanate of Oman. Ital. J. Zool., 75: 305-309.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  49. Borrell, J.S., G.A. Issaey, D.A. Lupton, T. Starnes and A.A. Hinai et al., 2019. Islands in the desert: Environmental distribution modelling of endemic flora reveals the extent of Pleistocene tropical relict vegetation in southern Arabia. Ann. Bot., 124: 411-422.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  50. Schulz, S., M. Horovitz, R. Rausch, N. Michelsen and U. Mallast et al., 2015. Groundwater evaporation from salt pans: Examples from the eastern Arabian Peninsula. J. Hydrol., 531: 792-801.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  51. Feagin, R.A., M. Furman, K. Salgado, M.L. Martinez and R.A. Innocenti et al., 2019. The role of beach and sand dune vegetation in mediating wave run up erosion. Estuarine Coastal Shelf Sci., 219: 97-106.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  52. Roux, D., O. Alnaser, E. Garayev, B. Baghdikian and R. Elias et al., 2017. Ecophysiological and phytochemical characterization of wild populations of Inula montana L. (Asteraceae) in Southeastern France. Flora, 236-237: 67-75.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  53. Bellard, C., C. Bertelsmeier, P. Leadley, W. Thuiller and F. Courchamp, 2012. Impacts of climate change on the future of biodiversity. Ecol. Lett., 15: 365-377.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  54. Ceballos, G., P.R. Ehrlich and R. Dirzo, 2017. Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 114: E6089-E6096.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


  55. Wang, X.M., J. Li, G.R. Dong and D.S. Xia, 2008. Responses of desertification to variations in wind activity over the past five decades in arid and semiarid areas in China. Chin. Sci. Bull., 53: 426-433.
    CrossRef  |  Direct Link  |  


©  2022 Science Alert. All Rights Reserved