Fagonia arabica – the desert’s thorny herb and camel’s food of choice


Series about the desert flora and ecology with the livestock connection

Livestock or the whole group of herbivores are the primary users of the foliage. The humans domesticated the animals for food and agriculture keeping some specific goals in consideration, the most important were breeding in captivity followed by the thriftiness on the grasses/foliage. My main thematic idea is to document the flora of the drylands, especially the desert with a special connection with livestock consumption. The herbal value of the flora is another attraction to me and I document the traditional knowledge regarding the flora in the dry ecosystems. I hereby introduce a small herb with high nutritional and herbal value and the camels and goats like it the most. https://arkbiodiv.com/2020/01/06/the-desert-ecotherapy/amp/

Fagonia arabica commonly known as camel thorn/Dhamas
Fagonia arabica is commonly known as camel thorn/Dhamas.

Fagonia arabica (Dhamasa, Dhamana, Sachi booti and Shoka’a) and Khar Oshtur in Balochi/Farsi and Shinazghi in Pashtu

Grow near the irrigated strips, browse by camel, goats, sheep, gazals, and Oryx. Fagonia is highly liked by the camels and therefore I call it camel icecream species. I have compiled some of my desert flora documentation work under the category of camel icream species. https://arkbiodiv.com/2017/12/21/part-2-ice-cream-species-of-plants-for-the-camel-and-goat/amp/

Herbal value

Fagonia has very high herbal values and is used by traditional healers for the treatment of parasitic and infectious diseases. One can find many references about the chemical composition and claims as a remedy for certain health complexes. https://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=rjmp.2011.531.546. Fagonia arabica plant has been reported to have a wide range of traditional uses in sore mouth, smallpox, hematological, neurological, endocrinological, inflammatory, cooling agent in stomatitis, vertigo, and endothermic reaction in the body. Several bioactive constituents including glycosides, flavonoids, terpenoids, saponins, alkaloids, and trace elements were recorded from the Fagonia arabica plant. The isolation and identification of two flavonoid glycosides (kaempferol-7-O-rhamnoside and acacetin-7-O-rhamnoside) were also reported. Fagonia arabica has been studied for its wide range of biological activities, which include antioxidant, antimicrobial, cardioprotective, and anticoagulant. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34554901/

Magnet leaf to attract sand and fibers to hide from animals and slower transportation

Fagonia arabica has unique leaves, beautiful and shiny but works as a magnet for sands and fibrous material. This way, they hide from the animals and make it unpalatable for the animals. It is a magnet and has adapted very unique strategy to conserve its race from extinction.

Zygophyllaceae is an important desert flora family, many species fall in this family, i.e. Zygophyllum qatarenses, Tribulus, Fagonia, and some others. https://jhr.pensoft.net/lib/ajax_srv/article_elements_srv.php?action=zoom_figure&instance_id=117&article_id=10034

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s