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AUTHORS: Aref Abu- Rabia
ABSTRACT: This article is derived from a broader study of ethno-botany, medical anthropology and alternative medicine in Middle Eastern countries, which has been conducted during the past two decades. It presents examples of different edible and medicinal plants and their uses by different communities (urban, peasant and Bedouin) in the treatment of diseases and various medical disorders. Alongside, the article reviews current knowledge concerning plants and cancer prevention and treatment. The article shows that people of these countries use various parts of the plant in a host of manners-fresh and soft, cooked or dried, as both food and medicine. These plants—part of the natural fauna of the Middle Eastern countries—grow in the wild and are cultivated. The author found that the most significant plants used were in the following families: Compositae, Gramineae, Labiatae, Lamiaceae, Liliaceae, Malvaceae, Oleaceae, Ranunculaceae, Umbelliferae, and Urticaceae.