Ethno-Medicinal Plants used to Cure Jaundice by Traditional Healers of Mashhad, Iran

Document Type: Research article


1 Department of Biology, Payame Noor University, PO BOX 19395-3697 Tehran, Iran.

2 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, I. R. Iran

3 Department of Plant Sciences, Eram Biotechnology Research Center, Technical and Vocational Training Organization, Mashad, I. R. Iran


Jaundice is the commonest ailments affecting the citizens of both developed and poor Asians countries including Iran. An ethnobotanical survey of plants used by the traditional healers for the treatment of jaundice was conducted in the Mashhad city, Northeastern Iran. A total of 37 plants belonging to 32 genera and 26 families have been documented for their therapeutic use against jaundice. The plant families which contained the most commonly used species for their effects are: Fabaceae (5 species), Polygonaceae (4 sp.), Asteraceae (3 sp.), Plantaginaceae (2 sp.) and Salicaceae (2 sp.). The plants were arranged with correct nomenclature along with their common name, family, the part used and their medicinal value. The use of decoction is the most preferred method of herbal preparation. In all cases, the treatment involved oral administration of the extracts 2 to 3 times daily from a week to month till the problem disappears. Cichorium intybus, Salix alba, Cotoneaster nummularius, Descurainia sophia, Malva sylvestris, Berberis integrrima, Rumex acetosella, Phyllanthus emblica and Alhagi maurorum were repeatedly mentioned by the traditional healers as the most widely used for the treatment of jaundice in the study area. The study indicates that the local inhabitants rely on medicinal plants for treatment. This paper suggested that further clinical experimentation is needed to scientifically evaluate these widely used herbal remedies for possible bioactive effects.