Native plants of Fars Province in spring:
Each year with coming of spring, several types of plants grow in different regions of Iran. Among them, Fars Province is one of the most desirable geographic locations and three kinds of climates that include mountainous, temperate and warm, rich in rare and beneficial plants. Here are some examples:
1. Succory (Kaasni):
Succory is a plant that is originated in Central Europe, central, western parts of Asia and North Africa. In Iran, this useful plant has a large dispersal in Eghlid, Fars Province. This plant is a liver and kidney cleanser, heat and thirst reliever and it heals blood pressure and bile, also reduces the blood sugar of diabetic patients and its poultice use for eye pain. Another use of succory, especially in Shiraz, is the distillation of this plant as a beverage that is called “Araq”. This delicious drink can also be drunk by adding sweeteners.
2. Acanthus (Kangar):
It is one of the wild plants and is consumed as a vegetable that helps the digestive system and anorexia and its antioxidant protects the skin against cancer. In Iran, Kangar is used to prepare a delicious stew that is eaten with rice. Also the combination of yogurt with Kangar is a dessert, called “Kangarmaast”.
3. Truffle (Donbalan):
Donbalan is a kind of mushrooms that is mostly used in the preparation of various types of foods and sauces and aromatic oils as well as pharmaceutical applications. This mushroom is found in many temperate regions of Fars Province such as Shiraz, Mamasani and Arsanjan, by trained dogs or pigs.
4. Allium Jesdianum (Bonsorkh):
This is a native and wild plant of Iran and is very effective in treating diseases such as kidney stones and colds. Iranians use it as a seasoning and flavor to their food.
5. Mountain Celery (Karafs):
It is a wild plant that grows in mountainous climate of Iran, such as Fars Province. Karafs is a pain reliever. The “Khoreshte Karafs”, which is a stew, made by Karafs, is a traditional and tasty food of Iranian.
Iran is home to spring during March, April and May. But beside the freshness and picturesque natural sceneries, one will be delighted by mouth-watering herbal drinks or araqĩyāt everywhere. As a traveler you might want to enjoy such herbal drinks.
Although they are called araq (generally used for alcoholic drinks, well-known in Arabic countries), they are cold pleasant non-alcoholic drinks naturally rich with medical properties including anti-stress and anti-insomnia to name a few. There are rose-water, orange-blossom water, chicory water, etc. usually sweetened and sometimes added by London rocket or chia seeds.
Since spring is the season when Iranians distill herbal plants, it is the best time to taste this fresh delicious drink in the coffee shops or take-away cafes in all the cities specifically Shiraz and Kashan as the origin to herbal drinks.