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Table 3 Plants and plant groups used by the Wakhi and Kyrgyz

From: Comparative ethnobotany of the Wakhi agropastoralist and the Kyrgyz nomads of Afghanistan

Names JS# Wakhi use Kyrgyz use Notes
Fungi Basidiomycetae Voucher: Agaricus sp. W: Lehwund/ le'vund / لیقوند K: At Tepik/ ат тепик NMM   Veterinary: Spores applied to infected animal wounds 'to dry them out'. Not eaten anywhere in Wakhan. By the Kyrgyz considered 'unclean'. Large fruiting bodies are not common in the dry climate of Wakhan. Etymology: At Tepik (K) means 'horse-penis'.
Lichen Teloschistaceae Voucher: Xanthoria elegans (Link) Th.Fr. W: Rabooch/ɾa’bɔtʃ / رباچ K: Engelchek/ энгелчек NMM Veterinary: Ground and applied to infected wound of both human and animal. Veterinary: Ground and applied to animal wounds. Veterinary: Ground, mixed in butter, fed to animals with diarrhoea, esp. yak-calves. Lichens are common everywhere in Wakhan. No species or colour is preferred in use. Etymology: Ra-booch (W) means 'stone-dirt'.
Moss Bryaceae. Voucher: Bryum sp. W: Khor-döb/ rrəɾ’ðʊp/ خردپ K: Balohr/ балэр 285 Veterinary: Inner bandage on animal wounds Medicine: Eye-bandage. Veterinary: Inner bandage on animal wounds.  
Allium spp. Amaryllidaceae W1: Lönntörk/ لنترک W2: Shög-shög/ شږشږ K1: (Sasyk) Dana/(сасык) дана K2: Köbürgön/ көбүргүн 28; 101; 224 Vegetable: Vegetable and flavour, often dried for later use. Medicine: Used in food for feverish patients. Generally eating Allium is considered good for health. Medicine: Lönntörk (W) is boiled, water discarded, and the remaining plant parts mixed with flour and eaten for diarrhoea. Vegetable: Vegetable and flavour, often dried for later use. Medicine: Used in food for feverish patients. Generally eating Allium is considered good for health. Medicine:Dana and Sasyk-Dana is boiled and the decoction applied to itching rashes. There is quite a diversity of onions and their uses. There is a tendency for the finer, drooping ones to be known as Shög-shög (W)/Köbürgön(K), and the sturdier, upright ones as Lönntörk (W)/Dana(K). Most medicinal uses were associated with the sturdier ones. Etymology: Sasyk (K) means 'bitter'.
Carum carvi L. Apiaceae W: Nurtök/ nur’tʊk/ نرتک 17 Vegetable: Seeds as spice. Vegetable: Herb eaten fresh when young. Vegetable: Seeds eaten fresh and dried. Medicine: In food for feverish patients. Medicine: Decoction of fresh or dry seeds for throat-pain.   C. carvi is naturalised around Wakhi irrigation-canals and not used by Kyrgyz. It is likely that the appearance of C. carvi is similar to the plant known to Kyrgyz as tiken kai'sar.
Anaphalis virgata Thoms. Asteraceae W: Yipén /’jipən/ هیپن K: Aq Rasul/ ак расул 135 Medicine: Decoction drunk for fever and breathing trouble (will cause sweating). Miscellaneous: Put with wrapped bread for the bread to keep fresh Incense: Incense. Fuel. Medicine: A 'double decoction' of the herb is drunk for high blood pressure and heart-pains. This is one of the few medicinal plants the Kyrgyz admitted to bring from Wakhi territory. Etymology: aq rasul (K) means 'white prophet' or 'white messenger'.
Artemisia spp. Asteraceae W: Tebesk/ tə’bəsk/ تبسک K: Suak/ суак n/a Fuel: Firewood and kindling. Wakhi distinguish mai-(sheep), seuv-(black), rochun-(white) and trök-tebesk. Construction: Used as insulating and/or ventilating layer in roof-construction. Fuel: Firewood and kindling. Kyrgyz distinguish koi-(sheep), kara-(black), sary-(yellow, aq-(white) and kok-(wool)-suack. Artemisia-shrubs are only collected for fuel, and not fodder. However, few herders told about their animals' preferences in fresh Artemisia-shrubs.
Artemisia dracunculus L. Asteraceae W: Sars/ saɾs/ شرث 146 Medicine: Leaves, flowers or flower buds toasted lightly and applied to swollen body parts. Fodder.   
Artemisia persica Boiss. Asteraceae W: Rahweet/ ɾa’vet/ رفید
K: Ermin/ эрмин
154 Medicine: Herb boiled, mixed with butter and applied to chest for common cold. Medicine: Leaves and flowers toasted, applied to swollen body parts. Medicine: Decoction drunk for stomach trouble and/or headache. Medicine: Juice from pressed herb applied to face to shun coldness. Dye: Clothes or wool boiled with herb for yellow dye. Tea-substitute. Medicine: Rashes washed in decoction from herb. Medicine: Decoction drunk with milk for headache. The fresh herb has a camphoric smell.
Artemisia sieversiana Willd. Asteraceae W: Setwörk/sət’wəɾk/ ستوورگ 152 Medicine: Dry herb crushed, applied to burns. Miscellaneous: Fresh herb placed with stored rugs, wool or yarn to keep off moths. Veterinary: Dry herb applied to maggot-infested animal wounds.   
Berberis heterobotrys Wolf. Berberidaceae W1: Zolg/ zɔlg/ زلگ W2: Karakot/ kara’qɔt/ قره قات (the fruit). W3:Zar-ruhl/ zər’rrul/ زرغول (the root) 172 Medicine: For heart problems and high blood pressure. Dried fruits placed in water for few minutes, then squeezed by hand. The cold-extract is filtered, mixed with sugar and bottled for regular use. Medicine: Decoction drunk, or dry pulverized root eaten, for parasites and stomach problems. Veterinary: Decoction of the yellow root given to weak oxen and horses in spring. Medicine: Dried fruits decocted, drunk for fever (rare use). Etymology: zar-ruhl is taken from Dari (Persian) and may be translated 'bitter-fool'.
Betula chitralica Browich Betulaceae W: Förs / fərs/ فرز K: Kaii'ing/ каийиң 36 Medicine: Lightly toasted bark as wrapping for broken finger, toes, etc. Medicine: Bark crushed on burns. Medicine: Prayers written on bark by a Mullah, subsequently a decoction is made and drunk for various diseases. Construction: General construction. Construction: Branches used as brooms. Miscellaneous: Bark traditionally used like paper. Construction: Construction of the tündök, the crown piece of the yurt.  
Arnebia guttata Bge. Borraginaceae W: Pusch/ pʊʐk/ پشک K: Endik/ эндик 145 Medicine: Root chopped finely and fried in oil, strained and applied to children's ear ache, with or without visible inflammation. Cosmetic: Fried root-oil used for dry hair and dandruff. Dye: Intense red or purple. Dye: Root collected for red dye. Cosmetic: Dye used in women's cosmetic.  
Myosotis asiatica Schisck. & Serg Borraginaceae W1: Kohl-wus/ qəl’wʊɛ/ قال وښ. W2: Sawsan-sprech/ Saʊsan sprəʊɟ/ سوسن سپږ 118 Cosmetic: Flowers used fresh, cold or warmed, or dried and later soaked, as skin cream by mainly women.   Etymology: kohl (W) means cream. Note: sawsan-sprech also refers to Primula pamirica, and the uses are similar.
Brassica napus L. Brassicaceae W: Cheror/ tʃə’rɔrr/ چراغ 14 Vegetable: Leaves collected for food throughout spring. Cosmetic/Miscellaneous: Seeds toasted and ground to a paste, a moisturizing and heat preserving skin cream used in cold weather. Veterinary: Seeds ground and fed to calves with constipation.   Traditionally, seeds were the sole source of oil for lighting.
Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb & Berth Brassicaceae W: Kehskritsch/ kəɛ’kɾitʃ/ کشکریچ 151 Medicine: Seeds ground, mixed with water to paste, applied to blisters, rashes and swellings. Sometimes drunk additionally. Medicine: Seeds ground to powder, blown with pipe into throat of a person suffering from throat pain. Medicine: Decoction of seeds drunk with or without milk for constipation.   
Lonicera asperilifolia (Decne) Hook, f & Thomas Caprifoliaceae W1: Chöpar-push/ tʃə’parpʊɛ/ چپر پوش W2: Speen/ ʃpin/ سپین K: Schilvi / шилви 138 Construction: Valued wood used for dowels, spindles, and other tools. Cosmetic: Fruit used fresh (or kept) as moisturising skin cream. Fuel. Construction: Wood to construct wool-spindles and whips. Construction: Nose-wood for camels and yak. Miscellaneous: Bark used as sponge in cleaning. Chörpar-push and speen (W) are intermittently used for this spiny Lonicera. The non-spiny L. pamirica is only called speen.
Lonicera pamirica Pojark. Caprifoliaceae Cfr. L. microphylla Willd. W: Speen/ ʃpin/ سپین 139 Construction: Valued wood used for dowels, spindles, and other tools. Cosmetic: Fruit used fresh (or kept) as moisturising skin cream. Fuel. Construction: Valued wood used for dowels, spindles, and other tools. Cosmetic: Fruit used fresh (or kept) as moisturising skin cream. Fuel. This is the over-all preferred skin moisturizer among the Wakhi. Everyone is familiar with it, but it is generally only used by women.
Silene conoidea L. Caryophyllaceae W: Peetpetak/ pit pə’tak/ پیټ پی ټک 153 Vegetable: Seeds eaten enthusiastically by Wakhi children.   
Vaccaria grandiflora (Fisch. ex DC) Jaub & Spach. Caryophyllaceae W: Serah/ ɛər’rra/ څیرغه 149 Miscellaneous: Soap, fresh, rubbed with clothes. Miscellaneous: Mixed in grain before milling to produce whiter flour.   
Chenopodium album L. Chenopodiaceae W: Schlit/ ʃlit/ ثیلټ K: Shakar/ шакар 15 Vegetable: Collected as vegetable throughout spring and early summer. Fodder: Collected for fodder. The same use apply to C. glaucum and C. pamiricum.
Chenopodium botrys L. Chenopodiaceae W: Ziuck/ si’ʊk/ سیوگ (K: Surak/ сурак) 150 Vegetable: Used as vegetable, but boiled first and water discarded, to prevent bitterness. Tea: Tea-substitute.   Surak (K) was only named few times by Kyrgyz; it might be a misidentification of this aromatic plant mainly found in Wakhi villages.
Unidentified Chenopodiaceae (W: Schlit/ ʃlit/ ثیلټ) K: Shakar/ шакар 211 (Vegetable: It is uncertain whether this plant is collected, but it resembles schlit (Chenopodium album) which is. Miscellaneous: Ashes of herb ground finely, boiled with water and oil or fat to produce soap. This is the only apparently anthropogenic plants in the high Pamirs. It is only found on heavily fertilized Kyrgyz winter camp grounds.
Krascheninnikovia ceratoides (L.) Gueldenst. Chenopodiaceae Syn: Eurotia ceratoides (L.) C.A.Mey.W: Schitten/ ’ʃitən/ شیتن W2: Tishkan/ tis’kən/ تیشکن K: Tersken/ терскен 6 Fuel: Important firewood. Miscellaneous: Ashes used as an ingredient in snuff (naswar), but only when E. intermedia is not available. Fuel: Important firewood. Miscellaneous: Ashes used as an ingredient in snuff (naswai). Schitten and tishkan is the Wakhi name for the same plant in Wakhan or Pamir respectively. It is often less compact and less 'woolly' in Wakhan. The Kyrgyz call particularly dense-haired specimens kok(wool)-tersken.
Rhodiola heterodonta (Hook. f. & Thoms.) A. Boriss. Crassulaceae W: Ströj-rölöy/ ستر یغلای 50 Medicine: Decoction of herb, fresh or dried, for stomach ache. Medicine: Herb in food against 'blood-accumulation'.   Etymology: ströj (W) means female or she.
Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb. Cupressaceae W: Yarz/ jarz/ یرز K: Archa/ арча 133 Medicine/Incense: Soothing incense for the sick. Medicine: Decoction of leaves drunk against 'liver-worms'. Miscellaneous: Ashes of branches used as lice-disinfectant. Veterinary: Coal of wood ground and applied to animals' eyes when gone blind from eating kumut (W), Tetrataenum olgae. Construction: General construction. Construction: Construction of instruments. Miscellaneous: Branches carried when visiting neighbours and relatives during Nauroz (New Year). Incense: Soothing incense for the sick. Construction: Construction of tools.  
Carex sp. Cyperaceae W1: Shuber-wus/ ’ʃəbeɾwʊɛ/ شبر وش W2: Botch goez/ بج گاز K1: Tertri bash / тетри баш K2: Suerh/ шуубер 207 Fodder: Collected as winter-fodder for animals. Fodder: Collected as winter-fodder for animals.  
Hippophaë rhamnoides L. Elaeganaceae W1: Zach/ zaç/ زڅ W2: Khos-gök/çoɛ’gʊk/خوڅ گگ (the fruit) K: Checher Kana/ чечер кана 157 Medicine: Fruits decocted, filtered and bottled. Drunk in mornings for joint pains. Medicine: Decoction of fruits drunk for jaundice. Cosmetic: A sun-protection skin cream is made from berries. Construction: General construction. Fuel: Firewood.   Khos-gök (W) is the name of the orange, sour berries. Abundant in the Wakhan river valley.
Ephedra intermedia Schrenk & Mey. Ephedraceae W: Ihmück/ ’imək/ ایمک K: Chekender/ чекендер K2: Chechender/ чечендер 163 Miscellaneous: Ashes of shrub mixed with tobacco to produce snuff (naswar). Medicine: Dislocated joints re-set while submerged in bath of decoction. Medicine: Steam-bath or footbath for aching feet/legs. Medicine: Mouth-wash for tooth-ache. Miscellaneous: Yogurt-starter. Miscellaneous: Ashes of shrub mixed with tobacco to produce snuff (naswai). Medicine: Green parts ground and applied to swollen stomach or aching shoulder/back. Medicine: A paste made from green parts rubbed on chest of people with 'fear' (anxiety or other psychological disorder).  
Ephedra regeliana Florin Ephedraceae W: Ihmon-ihmück/ i’mɔn ’imək/ ایمان ایمک K1: Chekender/ чекендер K2: Chechender/ чечендер 140 Vegetable: Berries eaten. Vegetable: Berries eaten.  
Cicer microphyllum Benth. Fabaceae W: Pisch-wus/ ’piʃwʊɛ/ پیش وش W2: Yuks-shack/ jʊkɛ-ɛaç/یوک شڅ. K: Tash Kurut/ таш курут 35 Vegetable: Flowers and seeds eaten. Construction: An alternative material in Wakhi layered roof building. Miscellaneous: Yogurt-starter. Vegetable: Flowers and seeds eaten. Medicine: Flowers eaten for altitude sickness. Fodder: Collected for animals as fodder. Etymology: pisch-wus and yuks-shack (W) is used intermittently. They mean 'cat-herb' and 'ibex-pea' respectively. The pod curls to resemble ibex-horns when dry.
Glychyrrhiza uraliensis L. Fabaceae W: Matk/ matk/ متک K: Scherin-buya (Dari origin) 156 Dye: Boiled with yarn or wool to produce yellow colour. Miscellaneous: Root chewed for the pleasant taste. Construction: Component in Wakhi layered roof building. Veterinary: Decoction given to nursing cows to improve milk quality. Fodder.   Some Kyrgyz know this plant by its Dari (Persian) name. It does not grow in the high Pamir.
Astragalus sp. Fabaceae W: Purk-zach/ pʊrk-zaç/ پرک زښ 32 Miscellaneous: Rinsed root is used for tooth-cleansing in the manner of a toothbrush.   Etymology: purk-zach either means 'mouse-pea' or 'mouse-thorn'. It has long, flexible thorns and is used by Wakhi to seal mouse-holes.
Unidentified Fabaceae K: Tör-kuiruk 200   Construction: Broom material. Fuel: Firewood. Etymology. tör-kuiruk (K) means 'camel-tail', which the dug-up plant indeed resembles.
Unidentified Fabaceae W: Chekör-dop/ tɛəkər’ðɔp/ څکر قاپ K: Nokhetek/ нохетек 199 Fodder. Fodder. There is no consensus among Kyrgyz or Wakhi herders whether this plant is poisonous when wet, when dry, when the animals are weak in the spring, in too large quantities etc., but all agree that under wrong circumstances it may be poisonous.
Ribes villosum WaU. Grossulariaceae W: Chöllasm/ tɛə’laʐəm/څلږم K: Qaragat/ карагат 3 Vegetable: Berries eaten. Fuel: Firewood. Vegetable: Berries eaten. Supposedly, another variety of Ribes with aromatic leaves also occurs.
Dragocephalum paulsenii Briq. Lamiaceae W1: Choi-wus/ tʃɔi-wʊɛ/ چای وش W2: Wazir-choi K1: Marmuruu / мамуруу K2: Erkek Mamuruu/ эркек мамуруу 51 Tea: Tea-substitute. Medicine: Decoction for fever. Medicine: Decoction for altitude-sickness. Tea: Tea-substitute. Kyrgyz distinguish erkek (female) mamuruu and urganchy (male) marmuruu. The voucher had blue-violet flowers, but a white type was observed, however seldom, and might be the 'male'-marmuruu.
Elsholtzia densa Benth Lamiaceae W: Gudunch-wus/ gʊ’dʊnʃ- wʊɛ/ گدوندچ وش 147 Medicine: Decoction drunk +/- milk for common cold, fever, headache, stomach problems, joint ache and high blood pressure. Cosmetic: Herb crushed and put in direct sun for few minutes, pressed for juice to make a skin and facial cream by women. Tea-substitute: Tea-substitute and flavour-adder to cold water.   
Lagochilus cabulicus Rech, f & Edelb s.l. Lamiaceae W: Sjus-wus/ ɛʊɛ- wʊɛ سنوښ وش 141 Medicine: decoction given to animals with respiratory problems.   Etymology: sjus (W) means lung.
Mentha longifolia (L.) Hudson Lamiaceae W: Wadén/ ’wadən/ ودن 175 Medicine: Fried and eaten for fever. Medicine: Decoction commonly drunk for variety of diseases and maladies. Medicine: Eaten dry with sugar for various diseases. Veterinary: Fed to calves and yak with skin problems, 'sun-burns'.   Note: Some Wakhi women believe use of this plant may cause infertility.
Nepeta pamiriensis Franch. Lamiaceae W: Mai-mendritsch/ mai-mən’dritʃ / می مندریتچک K: Boznoch/ бозноч 125 Medicine: Decoction drunk +/- milk for fever, nausea and various unwellnesses. Tea-substitute. Medicine: Decoction drunk +/- milk for fever, nausea and high blood pressure. Medicine: Used in food of feverish patients. Tea: Tea-substitute.  
Ziziphora clinopoides Lam. Lamiaceae W: Jumbilack/ dʒʊmbi’lak/ جمبیلک K: Kii'ik Oto/ кийик ото 107 Medicine: Decoction +/- milk drunk for altitude-sickness, headache, respiratory problems, and heart trouble. Tea: Tea-substitute and flavour-adder to cold water. Medicine: Decoction drunk +/- milk for heart trouble and high blood pressure. Medicine: Leaves eaten fresh for heart troubles. Tea: Tea-substitute. The Kyrgyz of Big Pamir know and use this plant, but many Little Pamir Kyrgyz neither recognise or of know it, though equally common. One old Kyrgyz has observed wild animals self-medicate with it.
Epilobium latifolium L. Onagraceae W: Sorch-sotsch/sʊrχ-sɔtʃ / سرخ ساچ 136 Medicine: Applied fresh, ground or as a paste-like boiled-down decoction to swollen legs and leg-pains. Decoction may be drunk additionally. Medicine: Herb ground to paste, fresh or dry with water added, applied to blisters and abscesses, believed to 'exude pus'.   
Papaver involucratum Popov. Papaveraceae W: Göl-mervoi/ gʊlmər’wɔi/ گل مروای 288 Miscellaneous: All Wakhi light up in a smile by the mentioning of this plant and seem to enjoy both word and sight.   
Plantago spp. Plantaginaceae Voucher: Plantago gentianoides subsp. griffithii (Dechne.) Reich. W: Setbilk/ ست بلیگ / sət’bilk 16 Medicine: Fresh leaves bruised, or leaves or seeds ground to paste, applied to blisters, abscesses and wounds. Medicine: Leaves in food or fried for constipation, joint pains and 'springtime respiratory problems'.   
Acantholimon sp. Plumbaginaceae W: Altpök /alt’pək/ التپک K1: Kurtka/ куртка K2: Kyzyl Tiken/ кызыл тикен 191; 292 Fuel: High-altitude firewood. Fuel: High-altitude firewood. Schöt-altpök (W) is a smaller species, often found in sand, and less useful as fuel. Schöt (W) means sand.
Calamagrostis pseudophragmites (Hall, f. ) Koeler Poaceae W: Chörr/ tʃərr/ چغ K1: Kyak/ кыак K2: Cher/ чер 21 Construction: Material for screens, baskets, brooms. Construction: Element in layered roof building. Medicine; Stem quickly passed through fire before rubbed on various skin problems. Medicine: Mid-part of stem of ungrazed plants decocted and drunk for jaundice, bloody vomit and bloody diarrhoea. Fodder. Construction: Material for screens used for insulation and room separation in yurt. Fodder.  
Poaceae Voucher: Unidentified Poaceae W: Spöd/ ʃpɔd/ شپد K1: Gödö/ гөдө K2: Betege/ бетеге 202 Fodder. Fodder. A number of grasses are known by name, nutritional quality, etc. by Wakhi and Kyrgyz herders.
Oxyria digyna (L.) Hill. Polygonaceae W: Thresp-pop/ trəɛp-pɔp/ ترښپاپ K: Kozu Kulak/ козу кулак 55 Vegetable: Leaves eaten fresh. A valued thirst-quencher on journeys and while herding. Miscellaneous: Yogurt-starter. Vegetable: Leaves eaten fresh. Etymology: Thresp (W) means 'sour'.
Polygonum spp. Polygonaceae Voucher: P. viviparum L. W: Veengaz-goez/ wingas ’gɔz/ وینگس گاز K: Jörgömüsh/ жөргөмүш 25 Vegetable: Seeds eaten fresh. Vegetable: Root (Pud-goez/ pʊd gɔz/ پوټ گاز ) is eaten fresh. Vegetable: Seeds eaten fresh. Vegetable: Root (Mandalak/ мандалак) is eaten fresh. Vegetable: Seeds mixed in cream for flavour and texture. Etymology: veengaz (W) means 'sparrow', goez (W) refers to 'meadow'. There may be other species within the genus used similarly.
Rheum spiciforme Royle Polygonaceae W: Spod/ ʃpɔd/شپاد K: Chükürü/ чүкөрү 57 Vegetable: Lower leaf stalk eaten fresh. Miscellaneous: Thirst-quencher on journeys. Vegetable: Lower leaf stalk eaten fresh. Lower flower stalk (ushky/ ушку) are equally enjoyed. At times collected and carried over distances for refreshment and thirst-quenching. Highly praised by all Wakhi. The Spodkis-valley is named after this rhubarb.
Rumex spp. Polygonaceae Voucher: R. patienta ssp. pamiricus Rech. W: Schellkha'/ ʃəl’χa/ شلخه 161 Medicine: Used in a kind of moxibustion, in which small scrapings of stem is placed on the skin at a place of joint, skeletal or muscular pain and lit a-fire. May leave small scars. Medicine: High-fever patients are wrapped in wet leaves, which may additionally be stuffed into pillow and quilt. Medicine: Leaves in food for fever patients. Medicine: Decoction of leaf or root for fever. Medicine: Root-decoction drunk for constipation. Veterinary: Root ground and applied to animal wounds.   
Primula macrophylla Don. Primulaceae W: Benafsch/ bənafʃ/ بنفش K: Benavsh/ бенавш 114 Medicine: The white farinose powder on leaves and calyx, referred to as 'dust', gart (W), is applied directly on eyes suffering from pain and blurred vision due to years of exposure to smoke and strong sun-light. The 'dust' is beaten off and applied directly to the eyeball with a soft-stone stick, known as a punsk (W). Alternatively, the plants are steeped in water causing the 'dust' to surface. It is then skimmed off, boiled-down into a transportable lump, and applied to eyes by means of the punsk.   The use of P. macrophylla is known by all Wakhi, but mainly used by elderly. Interviews with Wakhies from communities in Pakistan and Tajikistan indicated the same or similar use there. Only few Kyrgyz know of the Wakhi use.
Primula pamirica Fedor. Primulaceae W: Sawsan-sprech/ Saʊsan sprəʊɟ/ سوسن سپږ 38 Cosmetic: Fresh flowers ground by hand and applied as a skin cream on face and hands, mainly by girls and young women. Medicine: Decoction of herb drunk for heart and respiration troubles.   
Delphinium spp. Ranunculaceae Voucher: D. brunonianum Royle W: Ambar/ am'bar/ عمبر K: Jal Byrak/ жал бырак 113 Medicine: Incense for the sick and to calm children. Cosmetic: Heat-extracted in oil or fresh as a paste against dandruff. Veterinary: Herb ground and applied on maggoty animal wounds. Veterinary: Decoction of herb boiled-down to paste, as an ointment for cuts and wounds. A few Delphinium species occur in Wakhan and Pamir. Ambar supposedly only refers to the aromatic one(s). A popular poem and song in Badakshan celebrates 'the ambar of Pamir'.
Pulsatilla campanella Fisch Ranunculus K: Kundus-kayer/ кундус каер 246   Veterinary: Herb ground and applied to infected animal wounds.  
Ranunculus spp. Ranunculus; Potentilla spp. Rosaceae Voucher: Potentilla pamiroalaica Juz. W: Sart-sprech/ zart-sprəʊɟ/ ارت سپرژ K: Ular Oto/ улар ото 127 Cosmetic: Fresh flowers pressed for juice which is applied to cracks and crevices in dry skin. This is one of the few 'cosmetic' plant uses men will admit to use. One man noted that only the smaller, delicate herbs (likely Ranunculus sp.) were the correct to use.   Both Wakhi and Kyrgyz group yellow-flowered herbs into sart-sprech (W) and ular oto (K), for which the English equivalent would be 'buttercups'.
Potentilla bifurca L. Rosaceae W1: Morsjönd W2: Choi-wus/ tʃɔi-wʊɛ/چای وش K1: Kyzyl-chai/ кызыл чай K2: Kolikae-chai/ кoликай чай K3: Tannu-chai/ танну чай 176 Tea: Tea-substitute. Tea: Tea-substitute. Kyrgyz key informants informed that all three names can be used in parallel. Kyzyl (K) means 'red'. Morsjönd (W) is prevalent in upper Wakhan, whereas choi-wus (W) is more common in lower and middle Wakhan.
Rosa webbiana Wallich Rosaceae W: Chyrir / tʃə’rer/ چریر (W: Röhloy/ rrə’lɔi/ غلای) K: Azghan/ азган (K: Eid-muruut/ эид муруут) 160 Medicine: Ashes of rose-hips, röhloy (W), is mixed with mother's milk and applied to children's ear-ache. Medicine: Decoction of rose-hips and dried apricots is drunk for stomach trouble. Vegetable: Rose-hips are mixed with barley for nutritional purposes. Veterinary: Rose-hips are fed to animals for nutritional purposes. Fuel: Fire-wood. Miscellaneous: Flowers are used for decoration and infused in warm milk for a pleasant drink. Medicine: Decoction of fruits (rose-hips) is drunk for fever, bloody cough and high blood pressure. This is one of the few medicinal plants the Kyrgyz admitted to bring from Wakhi territory.
Rubia chitralensis Ehrend. Rubiaceae W: Koh-e-rank/ koə’rang/ کوه رنگ 160 Medicine: Pieces of root are collected, carried around or kept in households for immediate chewing if inflicted with the potentially deadly bite of the tick köhna (W). See text. Some Kyrgyz know of the Wakhi use, and thank God for not having the tick in the high Pamirs. Etymology: koh-e-rank (W) is a Wakhi adaption of the Persian rank-i-kui, meaning 'colour of (the) mountain'.
Populus pamirica Komar Salicaceae W1: Reezabark/ ɾeza’baɾk/ ریزه برگ W2: Safeedor/ safe’dɔr/ سفیدار K1: Terik / терик K2: Ak tal/ ак тал 166 Construction: General construction, especially the bearing beams in houses. This tree is well known by the Kyrgyz, however, it does not grow in the high Pamirs, and they do not use it. Referring to Populus with the Dari (Persian) safeedor is very common among Wakhi.
Salix shugnanica Görz Salicaceae W: Chikor/ tʃkɔr/ چیکار K: Kyrchyn/ кырчын 271 Construction: Element in Wakhi layered roof building. Construction: Material for baskets. Fuel: Firewood. Construction: General construction. Fuel: Firewood. Medicine: Forty branches blessed by a Mullah may be hung under the yurt-ceiling for curing of various maladies. The Kyrgyz Kyrchin-valley is named after this shrub.
Salix spp. Salicaceae W: Ünük/ wənək/ ونک K: Kyrchin / кырчын K2: Tal / тал 158; 159 Construction: General construction and construction of various tools. A number of Wakhi men could easily name ten constructional purposes, e.g. the anjan (W), a two-man shovel, brooms, etc. Construction: Indispensable material in the wooden frame-work of the yurt, esp. wuuk (K), roof bearing poles, and keperé (K), the circular lattice. A type of Salix from China is regarded superior. The Wakhi seem to have a wealth of names for different species, varieties and growth forms for Salix spp.
Scrophularia scoparia Pennell Scrophulariaceae K1: Kai’ser/ каисар K2: Sary Kai’ser/ сары каисар 201   Medicine: Decoction as bath for rashes and swellings, sometimes drunk additionally. This plant is well known by Kyrgyz, but many people only recognise it by name. It is common in Wakhan, but not in Pamir.
Hyoscyamus pusillus L. Solanaceae W: Bang-e-dihwunna/ bangə-dəwɔ’na/ بنگ دیوانه 30 Medicine: Smoke of dry seeds is inhaled as a remedy for tooth ache. Small rocks are placed in a dish filled with just so much water that the stones will protrude from the surface. Glowing embers and seeds are placed on the dry rock surface. The smoke emitted is inhaled, under cloth-cover or through a stem or small pipe. Is said to quell the pain. Some informants pointed out this will expell "the worm" from the tooth.   Bang-e-dihwunna (W) is a Dari name meaning 'hashish-dizzy' or 'hashish-crazy' which, curiously, in the rest of Badakshan refers to the psychotropic Datura stramonium (Solanaceae).
Myricaria squamosa Desv. Tamaricaceae W: Tark/ tark/ ترگ K: Bölghön/ бөлхөн 272 Construction: Material for screen-door of yurts, often sold to Kyrgyz. Medicine: Branches passed quickly through fire, the oil exuded is applied to 'white skin' Medicine: The soft, white centre of branches is applied to tooth ache. Fuel: Firewood. Construction: Material for screen-door of yurts. Fuel: Firewood.  
Peganum harmala L. Zygophyllaceae W: Schpander/ ’spandər/ سپندر K: Adrashma/ адрашма 1 Incense: A soothing incense for sick, upset or frightened people. Medicine: Seeds chewed, swallowed with water, for coughing and for 'heart-burn'. Medicine: Decoction of seeds drunk for heart trouble. Medicine: Seed ground to paste and applied to blister. Medicine: Childlessness. Root boiled for approx. 8 hours. The very bitter decoction is drunk on Friday mornings 3 times a month by women having difficulty in conceiving. Miscellaneous: Ashes of burned plant mixed and boiled with goat fat to produce soap. Incense: A soothing incense for the sick, upset or frightened people. Incense: Incense for headache. Medicine: Decoction of seeds for apathy/laziness (depression). Medicine: Decoction of seeds drunk when overindulgence in meat and soup has caused discomfort. Medicine: Decoction of seeds drunk by pregnant women.  
Zygophyllum obliquum Popov. Zygophyllaceae W: Yum-wus/ ’jʊm-wʊɛ/ یوم وش K: Burma-qara / булма кара 201 Vegetable: Boiled and water discarded, to prevent bitterness, before use in vegetable dishes. Medicine: Remedy for broken bones in human and animal. Dried herb mixed with butter, eaten (or fed) weekly until healed. This herb is known by name and use by many Kyrgyz in Big and Little Pamir, but only recognized on sight by one key informant, who has successfully introduced its use recently. Etymology: yum-wus (W) means 'twin-herb'. Burma-qara (K) means 'black drill'.
  1. Vernacular names of the Wakhi (W) and Kyrgyz (K) were confirmed by at least 10 independent sources. The Wakhi names are written in western transcript, Wakhi (modified Persian alphabet) and phonetically. Kyrgyz is written in western transcript and Cyrillic. The column JS# indicates the numbers of the 72 vouchers, in herbaria C (Copenhagen) and KUFS (Kabul), or for non-spermatophyte material; NMM (Museum of Natural Medicine, Copenhagen). The stated uses were confirmed by at least three independent sources