Past and Present Medicinal Uses of Selected Native Plants of Israel

Zohara Yaniv, Li Ailian, Yona Tabib, Efraim Lev, Dan Schafferman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Six native desert plants of Israel were collected from their natural habitat: Artemisia herbaalba, Achillea fragrantissima, Peganum harmala, Plantago coronopus, Retama raetam and Anabasis articulata. All six plants have been known as medicinal plants since ancient times. A review of the literature on unknown regional medicinal records of the medieval period is documented; it confirms the importance of these plants. Extracts of the plants were assayed for their cytotoxic effects on Petunia cell lines: four leaf-extracts showed inhibitory activity; Retama was the most active, followed by Peganum, Plantago and Artemisia. Achillea and Anabasis showed no inhibitory effect. However, when Anabasis seeds were tested, both ethanol and water extracts were cytotoxic. The inhibitory effect, as demonstrated with Retama leaf-extract, was positively correlated with the concentration of the extract and the duration of the experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-23
JournalViennese Ethnomedicine Newsletter
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


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