Use, knowledge, and health effects of medicinal plant biodiversity in rural and urban areas in Germany
Due to their importance for human health, medicinal plants are increasingly being recognized as a valuable component of biodiversity. However, scientific knowledge about the exact effects of medicinal plants is still incomplete. The MediPlanB project aims to better understand the effects of improved biodiversity on the physical and mental well-being of adults and especially socially disadvantaged people. The focus is on the local population’s knowledge of medicinal plants and their use in private and community gardens. To this end, a comparative study of the city of Frankfurt am Main and the UNESCO Rhön Biosphere Reserve is being carried out.
The project pursues a transdisciplinary approach that combines scientific findings with the practical knowledge of social actors. The research design combines qualitative and quantitative methods. These include interviews and focus groups with gardeners, general practitioners, and pharmacy employees. Participant observations and standardized surveys are also used. The social added value of the project results from the various stakeholder groups that have been involved in the project from the outset and can contribute their knowledge, overview of problems, and interests. The research results will be used to derive recommendations for dealing with knowledge about and the use of medicinal plants in the areas of health, nature conservation, and urban and landscape planning.