Ethnobotanical research of the medicinal plants in Balchik Municipality (Bulgaria).
Studies of medicinal plants have been conducted in many municipalities and regions in Bulgaria, but only species diversity has been studied. Data from ethnobotanical studies in Bulgaria are scarce. The conducted ethno-botanical study of medicinal plants on the territory of Balchik municipality is performed for the first time. As a result, we found that the population of the municipality uses a small part of the medicinal plants: 89 species out of a total of 845 medicinal plants in Bulgaria. Medicinal plants are used mainly for side applications (71%) and to a lesser extent for medicinal purposes (29%). Urban and rural populations use almost the same number of medicinal plants. There are significant differences in the number of plants used by different ethnic groups, age groups and groups with different levels of education. Women use more medicinal plants in human medicine, and in applications for other purposes, more plants are used by men. Most medicinal plants are used by people of active age. The people of Balchik Municipality use for various purposes mostly cultivated medicinal plants, rather than wild and mostly alien species, than native ones. The majority of respondents (78%) do not use medicinal plant substitutes. Most of the people (92.5%) are not aware of the shortcomings of the medicinal plants or the possible side effects of their use.