The women of Boğatepe, which is a village located 2,780 meters (9,121 feet) above sea level in Kars, have founded a plant drying atelier with the aim of evaluating the plant diversity in the region.
Located 40 kilometers away from the Kars city center, Boğatepe village now has a plant drying facility serving under the Boğatepe Association of Environment and Life.
Informed by the experts about the plants, the women dry about 35 plant species used in the medicine sector.
Vice president of the Boğatepe Association of Environment and Life, Zümran Ömür, spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA) and said that they conduct studies on medicinal plants.
Ömür explained that they founded the association in 2007 and it has 60 members, 45 of whom are women.
"There are 650 different plant species, 35 of which are medicinal plants, in our village. To learn about a fine drying and processing of the medicinal plants, we got an education from experts. They informed us about how to pick and dry the plants and which plant is used for which disease. Here, we founded ateliers for the processing. We make the medicinal plants dry under shadow conditions between the hours prescribed by the experts. Now, we can prepare pomade and extract oil from these plants. They are a kind of cure for all kind of diseases, we hope," said Ömür.
Stating that they start to pick the plants in the last week of May, Ömür said: "We pick the plants up in June, July and August and leave their roots until autumn. In autumn, we multiply the seeds so that we can get more plants and preserve them for the following generations."
Reiterating that village women work in more than one area, Ömür said, "In addition to serving the atelier, our women also work on the farms and make cheese. Here, we work together as women and men of the village."
Explaining that they founded two different ateliers for sunny and rainy days, Ömür said, "Rainy days are of high importance for us. In such days, we use the drying atelier which is equipped with an oven-like system heated with turf and nutshells."
"Yarrow is among the plants appreciated by women. We use it in curing gynecological diseases. We use yellow gallium in curing goiter, for lung and bone loss, pennyroyal as a natural antibiotic and in preparing a cold soup called 'Ayran Aşı' and extract oil of gentian which has a sedative effect on the human body. We have nettle, which is a cure-all, and thyme, which is from Caucasus endemics. We also prepare pomades for relieving joint pains by using Caucasus comfrey."
Implying that they will sustain their studies as village women, Ömür said: "The aim of our association is socializing women living in rural areas so that they have a voice as a family member who takes decisions together with their husbands rather than waiting for their decisions. As village women, we want to sustain our studies on medicinal plants to offer a healthy future for the following generations thanks to these plants nature offers."