Medicines Made of The Plants Growing in The Taurus Mountains

From the book “Taurus Mountains and their Precious Flowers


We think that the first medicine of the history of humanity is water. Someone who got wounded should have cleaned his wound with water… It is not difficult to guess that the human being of the old ages tried to regain consciousness drinking water when he felt dizzy and tried to resuscitate the fainted people with water massage. Furthermore, water still maintains the title of the most used medicine in modern medicine.

We also know that the human being made the first medicine he used (and he used most) out of plants, after water (perhaps together with water). If we say that water and plants being side by side in their lives in nature have supported their togetherness in their use as medicines, it will not be wrong.


Taurus Mountains

The region of the Taurus Mountains, which is one of the places where the plants live most intensively in terms of diversity and population in the World, is in the lead in ethnobotanics studies. There are things which make us think that the region has been a center of health since the ancient ages. Materia Medica, which has been considered as the oldest medicine and pharmacy book in the World, was written here. One of the first hospitals (and one of the first schools of medicine) of history believed to be founded by Hippocrates was located in this region. Lokman the Physician who was thought to find the remedy for death was mythologized for this region… It will not be wrong to think that the real reason of it is the intensity of curative plant diversity in the region.


Until the beginning of the 20th century when synthetic medicines were started to be produced, people used herbal drugs as medicines. Although modern pharmaceutical industry has developed so much, there are still plants used as medicines in the region. For example, despite it is a medicine which has not been entered in Turkish Pharmacopedia yet, people use centaury (Hypericum perforatum L.) as antiseptic and a cure for ambustions and wounds. The curative characteristic of this flower which was used steeping in olive oil and then putting the mixture obtained on the wound was known not only in the region but also in all of the World thanks to the book by Dioscrides. Mandrake is treated like a sacred plant in the region because of its miraculous effects. There is some brief information about some plants among the plants growing in the Central Taurus Mountains region which are still used as medicines like in the past below:


Yarrow (Achilea millefolium L.); It has diuretic, appetizing, carminative, menstrual and wound recovery effects (Baytop, 1999). It is used as a hemostatic and in stomach and in hemorrhoid bleedings internally and it is externally used in wounds and nose bleedings. It is used as abirritant in stomach aches, eczema, ulcer and gastritis. It is used as a gargling water in gum diseases or the residue which stays after it is filtered is used as compress in swellings, wounds and eczema. Fresh plant boiled is mixed with olive oil and used in treating the wormy wounds of the animals. The drug, which is largely used in liqueur and perfume industry, is also used in giving taste to milk (Çubukçu et al 1988).

Achilea millefolium L.

Felty Germander (Ajuga reptans L.); It is used as ointment in treating the wounds.

Alkanet (Alkanna tinctorial (L.) Tausch); It is used for the recovery of the wounds and curing diarrhea.

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis L.); It is used because if its diuretic effect.

Great Burdock (Arctium platylepis Boiss); Its root is used in making an ointment for skin diseases and the people of the region believe it cures the wounds and decreases blood glucose.

Peltandra (Arum orientale Bieb.); There are people who use it in hemorrhoid treatment.

Aquilegia (Aquilegia olympica Boiss); There are people who use it in cleaning the skin.

Bluebell (Campanula rapunculus L.); It has diuretic, anesthetic and antitussive effects (Baytop, 1999).

Caper (Capparis spinose L.); Its flowers and seeds have aphrodisiac effects.

Acanthus (Carduus marianus L.); It is used as antifebrile and appetitive and it is also believed to be good for liver diseases.

Carduus marianus L.

 Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale L.); It is used in modern pharmaceutical industry in medicines containing colchicine as active ingredient. It is a medicine containing colchicine as active ingredient. It is a medicine used in the treatment of familial Mediterranean fever and gout.

Mole Plant (Euphorbia sp.); Its milk is used for eliminating warts.

Snowdrop (Galanthus ikariae L.); It is very often used in medicine and pharmacy. It is uprooted and exported because of this reason. The plant is uprooted especially because of its galanthamin alkaloid content (Uzun, 2006). This alkaloid is propulsive and it is used in the production of Nivalin ampul preparate used in physiotherapy in polio treatment (Baytop, 1984).

Pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria L.); It cures diarrhea and wounds. It is used for piles as ointment externally (Gürhan ve ark., 2004). However, its internal use is harmful (Baytop, 1999).

Ranunculus ficaria L.

Moreover, plants such as mullein (Verbascum sp.), monstera deliciosa (Tussilago farfara L.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Tobb.), cowslip (Primula vulgaris Huds.), watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.), mallow (Malva sylvestris L.), knapweed (Centaurea cyanus L.) dead nettle (Ballota nigra L.) and dill (Anethum graveolens L.) are flowers used in folk medicine both in the Taurus Mountains and the other places they grow (Birinci, 2008).


Source: Ünal, Gülsüm, Tansu Hastürk, Ozan Gözüyeşil, and Serpil Demirci Kayıran. “Toroslar Ve Nadide çiçekleri = Taurus Mountains and Their Precious Flowers.” Toroslar Ve Nadide çiçekleri = Taurus Mountains and Their Precious Flowers. By S. Haluk Uygur. Karahan Kitabevi, 2018. 108-111. Print.

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