Traditional medicine in Central Sahara: pharmacopoeia of Tassili N'ajjer

Author(s): Hammiche V, Maiza K


Further to the previously reported ethnobotanical surveys of North-Sahara and Ahaggar [Maiza, K., Brac de la Perrière, R.A., Bounaga, N., Hammiche, V., 1990. Usages traditionnels des plantes spontanées d'El Goléa. Actes du Colloque de l'Association. Française pour la Conservation des Espèces Végétales, Mulhouse; Maiza, K., Hammiche, V, Bounaga, N., Brac de la Perrière, R.A., 1992. Inventaire des plantes médicinales de trois régions d'Algérie. Actes du Colloque International hommage à Jean Pernès: Complexes d'espèces, flux de gènes, ressources génétiques des plantes. Paris, pp. 631-633; Maiza, K., Brac de la Perrière, R.A., Hammiche, V., 1993a. Traditional Saharian pharmacopoeia. Acta Horticulturae, I.S.H.S. 332, 37-42; Maiza, K., Brac de la Perrière, R.A., Hammiche, V., 1993b. Récents apports à l'ethnopharmacologie du Sahara algérien: Actes du 2ème Colloque Européen d'Ethnopharmacologie & 11ème Conférence Internationale d'Ethnomédecine. Heidelberg, pp. 169-171; Maiza, K., Brac de la Perrière, R.A., Hammiche, V., 1995. Pharmacopée traditionnelle saharienne. Revue de Médecines et Pharmacopées Africaines, 9 (No. 1), 71-75; Maiza, K., Smati, D., Brac de la Perrière, R.A., et Hammiche, V., 2005. Pharmacopée traditionnelle au Sahara Central: Pharmacopée de l'Ahaggar. Retenu pour publication. Revue de Médecines et Pharmacopées Africaines.], we have now moved our investigations on Tassili N'Ajjer, another distinct region of the Southern Algerian Sahara. Ethnobotanic research has been carried out through interviews with nomad populations and the traditional pratictionners of recognised competence. To date, 80 wild indigenous medicinal plants have been identified and are currently used by the local population for various illnesses. Information on their vernacular Tamahaq and Arabic names, their flowering distribution, the parts used, the modes of preparation and routes of administration are reported and discussed in this paper. This work completes our investigation in Central Sahara.

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