Although there are many plants that have been brought into Egypt from other locations, several Egyptian plants are native. These native plants grow in environments ranging from the fertile river areas to the arid mountains. Some of Egypt's native species are used for medicinal purposes.
Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is well known for treating burns, sunburn and other skin ailments. This member of the lily family grows with thick, spike-shaped leaves that contain a gel. It is the gel that is used topically. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, the lining of the leaves is also used as a laxative. The plant typically blooms in the winter.
Golden Wickweed (Phlomis aurea) grows on the South Sinai mountains. The plant has large yellow flowers in the summer and silver-green leaves. It is also called Sinai Jerusalem Sage. This plant grows in stony wadis, or dry stream beds filled with stones. It is locally known as A'warwr, and the Bedouins use it to treat fresh wounds. The Golden Wickweed is very rare.
Sinai Catmint (Nepeta septemcrenata) is named due to a fragrance that attracts cats. This plant has small purple flowers and is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). The Bedouin name for this plant is ghameeSa. Sinai Catmint lives in the Sinai mountains at high elevations. It is a rare plant that is pollinated by bees. According to the International Journal of Natural Products and Medicinal Plant Research, scientists in Egypt are researching anti-viral, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties of the plant.