Saudi Pharm J. 2021 Jan;29(1):43-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jsps.2020.12.004. Epub 2020 Dec 29.
Traditional medicine is gaining an increasing importance in diseases management. Besides, thyroid disease is one of the common endocrine disorders spreading at high frequency worldwide. The present work is an ethnopharmacological study aiming to identify, document and analyze aromatic and medicinal plants used in Algerian traditional medicines for thyroid disorders management. Semi-structured interviews with 120 herbalists and traditional practitioners and rural dwellers were realized in eleven locations in Algeria throughout field studies achieved from June 2017 to July 2019. Results reveal the use of 63 medicinal plants belonging to 59 genera and 34 families. The most represented botanical families were Lamiaceae, Fabaceae, Apiaceae, Amaranthaceae and Asteraceae. However, the most cited plant species were Atriplex halimus L., Bunium incrassatum (Boiss.) Amo, Nigella sativa L., Aquilaria malaccensis Lam. and Saussurea costus (Falc.) Lipsch. These species are taken alone or in mixtures of two or more ingredients from different origins such as honey, olive oil, and goat milk. Our findings revealed new therapeutic uses of 60 medicinal plants that have not been previously reported for the treatment of thyroid in Algeria. This is the first study documenting the traditional uses based on herbal medicine for thyroid management in Algeria. Our findings are relevant in the search for novel drug discovery. Obviously, it is the time to increase effective scientific studies on mechanisms of action of these medicinal plants in order to validate their popular usages.