Study on the current use of four important medicinal plants of Lamiaceae in Bulgaria

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In contemporary society various demographic factors lead to changes of people habits to use medicinal plants. A matter of interest is to establish how specific demographic features of people influence the use of herbs. The present survey aimed at determining the current trends regarding the use of four valuable medicinal Lamiaceae species in Bulgaria: thyme, mint, lemon balm and oregano. In the survey, 220 people were interviewed. Demographic profiles of the respondents were evaluated. Then the participants were questioned for the following item: “Do you use any of these herbs: thyme, mint, lemon balm and oregano.” In order to disclose correlations between demographic features of the participants and their answers cross-relationships were analyzed. The majority of respondents reported to use these plants. Mint and thyme were more commonly used herbs. We identified that age of respondents had sufficient influence on the answer to the questionary. Level of education and living regions had moderate impact on the use of relatively lesser utilized herbs – oregano and lemon balm. The analysis showed the persistence of traditional knowledge for these plants. At the same time, the results revealed better knowledge on medicinal plants in groups of better educated people and in urban population.

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