Plan on to list local medicinal plants

Muscat, Sept 2 – The Oman Animal & Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC) plans to draw up a list of local species of plants and reveal their medicinal/ traditional uses. This comes in the wake of a study conducted by Madhu C Divakar, which says that information on traditional medicinal practices is not transferred from generation to generation in written form, but verbally inherited from elder members of the family. According to the study, titled ‘The Practice of Ethnomedicine in the Northern and Southern Provinces of Oman’, published in the latest issue of Oman Medical Journal, elders or trained healers have the right to administer traditional medicines in society.

The Sultanate’s native plants have been used in the treatment of ailments for generations. A total of 120 drugs derived from locally grown plants have been used around the world, OAPGRC has said. Traditional medicine is still widely used to treat minor illnesses such as cold, fever, stomach problems and headache despite the availability of primary and secondary healthcare. Aloe Vera, which has several local names, including Saqil, Sabbar, Sabir, Taif, Saqil Sabri, is one such species that grows in the country’s rocky valleys/ slopes and mountains and has multiple medical usages.

Research has shown aloe vera can help protect fruits and vegetables from the growth of harmful bacteria and keep them fresh naturally, said OAPGRC. While it could help treat Type 2 diabetes, it also has the potential to fight breast cancer.

Mai al Abria