Saadet Tuğrul Ay¹,*, Asaf Özalp¹, Ladin Ay2
1Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, Department of Agricultural Services, Yüksekalan Mahallesi Adnan Menderes Bulvarı No. 20, Muratpaşa, Antalya 07310, Türkiye
2Ondokuz Mayıs University Faculty of Medicine, Kurupelit Campus, 55139 Atakum / SAMSUN, Türkiye
*Corresponding Author: Saadet Tuğrul Ay, Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, Department of Agricultural Services, Türkiye; Email: [email protected]
Received Date: October 18, 2023
Publication Date: November 1, 2023
Citation: Tuğrul Ay S, et al. (2023). Edible Medicinal Plants of Mediterranean Region and Consumer Behavior. Traditional Medicine. 4(3):18.
Copyright Tuğrul Ay S, et al. © (2023).
Bioavailability has an important place in human nutrition by creating healthy nutrition options, food assurance, and positive effects on human health. Plants that grow by themselves in nature have great importance on our nutritional culture. Also because the availability of edible plants in the wild is not related to the economic status of the person, they are very important for the nutrition of our society.Turkey, with its rich flora, is endowed with the greatest number of medicinal and aromatic plants in Europe, which are mostly found growing in the wild. Due to industrialization and urbanization, and the migration of Turkish people to cities from rural areas, traditional knowledge on these wild plants has started to vanish. This knowledge, which derives from the historical use of natural resources, is still being used by many food and drug industries. However, risks arising from the improper use of species that have not been medically studied and approved should not be overlooked. For this reason, multidisciplinary studies must be undertaken to document the medicinal benefits of these traditional plants.
The Biodiversity for Nutrition and Food (BFN) Project, carried out from 2012-2019, documented important information on the use of regional plants and wild species in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Aegean regions of Turkey. In the Mediterranean Region, which this paper will focus on, of the 20 documented species, 17 were reported as being used both as medicinal and food plants while the remaining 2 species were only used for medicinal purposes. Consumers of these species use the plants for common health problems such as diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, flu, kidney stones, cough, oral and dental diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. The scope of this study includes the evaluation of the traditional use and medicinal application of wild edible plants (WEP) of the Mediterranean region compared to the same plant species from different studies that have been conducted. The scope of this study also includes the present medicinal benefits of edible medicinal plants and determining factors that affect the consumption and consumption habits of these plants.
According to results that have been obtained, the most commonly known plants out of the 20 plants that have been detected as edible medicinal species are Syrian Juniper (40%) and Elm Leaved Sumach (35%). Plants with the most commonly known medicinal benefits are also found to be Syrian Juniper and Elm Leaved Sumach and although they are not overall commonly known, when their benefits were known they were observed to be more likely to be consumed by the consumers. 6 factors are affecting the consumption of edible medicinal plants by consumers according to the factor analysis that has been done in the research. These are 1. Information and Availability, 2. Marketing, 3. Healthy Eating, 4. Taste and Benefit, 5. Brand and Awareness, 6. Cultivation Technique.
Keywords: Traditional knowledge, wild edibles plants, medicinal values, consumption habbits, factor analysis