Kastamonu Üniversitesi Orman Fakültesi Dergisi, vol.21, no.3, pp.196-207, 2021 (ESCI)
Aim of study: This study aimed to determine the medicinal plant use preferences of herbalists’ customers against the COVID-19 symptoms during pandemic period.
Area of study: The study was carried out in nine provinces located in the Central and Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey and the herbalists selling medicinal plants.
Material and methods: Data on 35 plants from 373 customers and 49 herbalists were collected between April 2020 and December 2020. Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) and Fidelity Level (FL) quantitative indices were used to measure the use, cultural significance, and specificity of plants.
Main results: The highest RFC was found for Thymus spp. (0.59). It was followed by Ceratonia siliqua L. (0.56), Zingiber officinale Roscoe (0.56), and Mentha pulegium L. (0.50), respectively. The plants in the study area with a high FL were Zingiber officinale (84.83%) for cough, Thymus spp. (80.95%) for fever, Mentha pulegium (76.47%) for nausea-vomiting. Sambucus nigra L., Echinacea angustifolia DC., and Thymus spp. were the plants whose sales/demand increased the most during the pandemic period.
Highlights: It was understood that there was a significant increase in the sales of species such as Sambucus nigra, Echinacea angustifolia, and Thymus spp., during the pandemic period. This situation showed that there was a consensus among the public that these plants were effective against COVID-19 symptoms.