Traditional knowledge is considered as knowledge, innovations, practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional life-styles; the wisdom developed over many generations, of holistic traditional scientific utilization of lands, natural resources and environment. Traditional knowledge is valid and necessary, and due to its relevance, it currently has wide application for human benefit. Many people in Mediterranean region who consult spiritual healers, homeopaths and herbalists are utilizing traditional therapies. These are the first choice for problems such as liver diseases, inflammation, skin diseases, infertility, impotence, diabetes, obesity, epilepsy, psychosomatic troubles and many other diseases. Ferula assa-foetida L. (Apiaceae) is one of the most important among the thirty species of Ferula distributed in Iran. One part used is an oleo-gum resin, called asa-foetida or anghoze in Persian, which is obtained by incision from the roots. Ferula is one of the most important endangered medicinal plants, which is rare in nature due to poor seed germination. In this article, qualitative and participatory study on main characteristics, harvesting and economic importance of this valuable medicinal plant in south-khorasan province, East of Iran, as a major producer and exporter, is introduced.
Key words: Ferula, traditional knowledge, medical plant, rural regions, Iran.
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