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What is Flora Palaestina?
Flora Palaestina is a botanical term, first used by the botanist Linnaeus in
1756, to describe plants native to the Holy Land,
today comprising Israel, The Palestinian Authority (West Bank & Gaza) and
For thousands of years many of these plants have played a vital role in the culture, traditions & economy of this region as food, medicines, cosmetics, spices, perfumes, dyes, raw materials, agriculture and for ceremonial and religious practice.
Passed down through generations of Jewish and Arab communities, information on the use of these plants provides a unique insight into the multi-cultural and historical traditions surrounding Flora Palaestina. FLORAPALE, Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany is the first English language web site to describe the ethnobotanical uses of some of these plants.
A joint undertaking by Israeli and Palestinian researchers, FLORAPALE is based on information collected over the last 80 years, documenting how selected species from this region were historically and traditionally used.
The Israeli contribution is by The Natural Medicine Research Center (NMRC), a research center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem specializing in traditional knowledge, ancient medical systems, healing and the scientific evaluation, development & conservation of local medicinal plants.
NMRC`s contribution is based on the “Zaitschek collection”, an ethnobotanical archive compiled by the late Prof David Zaitschek, of the School of Pharmacy, Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine, who over a period of many years (1935-1971) collected information on the use of plants by the local population. (See ABOUT 4A) The Palestinian contribution is by The Biodiversity and Environmental Research Centre, (BERC) at Til, Nablus, a Palestinian resource & research facility specializing in plant & fungal diversity and related biotechnology knowledge.
BERC`s contribution is based on ethnobotanical surveys carried out by its staff between 1996 and 2016 in the West Bank and Gaza on how local medicinal plants are used in Traditional Arabic Palestinian Herbal Medicine (TAPHM). (See ABOUT 4A) Work on FLORAPALE began in 2016 with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Middle East Regional Cooperation Program (MERC) (Award No: SIS70015GR36010). Additional funding was generously provided by Ms. Gigi Gartner (in honor of Louise Gartner) and the Henkind Foundation. FLORAPALE is as an educational and research tool, helping to preserve the valuable knowledge of plant use in this region for future generations while also contributing to the long term conservation of its flora.
The FLORAPALE web site however is not a recommendation for the practical use of these plants. (See DISCLAIMER) We would like to thank all contributors to the FLORAPALE web site:
Dr Sarah Sallon, Director, Natural Medicine Research Centre (NMRC) Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) Jerusalem.
Prof. Dr. Mohammed Saleem Ali-Shtayeh, Director, Biodiversity and Environmental Research Centre, (BERC), Til, Nablus.
Dr. Rana Jamous, Biodiversity and Environmental Research Centre, (BERC), Til, Nablus.
Dr Helen Paavilinain, (NMRC), Ethnobotanist and linguist.
Dr Ori Fragman, Chief scientist, Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, Jerusalem Botanical Gardens (JBG).
Mr David Myers, (NMRC) web site design. We would also like to thank for their contribution: Ms Debbie Eisner (NMRC) Dr Elaine Solowey , Arava Institute of Environmental Science (AIES) & Dr Leslie Prais. Photographs for the web site were provided by:
BERC ©, Dr. Ori Fragman © (JBG), Mr Guy Eisner ©
& Dr Sarah Sallon © (NMRC)
(Copyright according to authors names on each photograph)
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