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Open Access Research

Traditional Tar Production from the Anatolian Black Pine [Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. pallasiana (Lamb.) Holmboe var. pallasiana] and its usages in Afyonkarahisar, Central Western Turkey

Süleyman Arı1, Mustafa Kargıoğlu1, Mehmet Temel1 and Muhsin Konuk2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Literatures, Afyon Kocatepe University, 03200 Afyonkarahisar, Turkey

2 Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, üsküdar University, 34662 Istanbul, Turkey

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Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2014, 10:29  doi:10.1186/1746-4269-10-29

Published: 27 March 2014



Tar is one example of a plant product used in folk medicine and it is obtained from Pinus nigra Arn. subsp. pallasiana (Lamb.) Holmboe, which is very common in the West Anatolian Region. Old trees that are good for kindling and have thick trucks are preferred to obtain tar. Tar is used not only as traditional medicine but also for protection against both endoparasites and ectoparasites. The objective of this study was to record the traditional method of obtaining tar and its usages in Afyonkarahisar which is located in the Western Anatolian Region of Turkey.


In order to record the traditional methods of obtaining tar, we visited the villages of Doğlat, Kürtyurdu and Çatağıl in Afyonkarahisar (Turkey) June-July, 2012. Ethnobotanical data about the method of collection and traditional usages of tar were obtained through informal interviews with 26 participants (16 men and 10 women). Data concerning the method of tar collection and its traditional usages were recorded and photographed.


The traditional method for obtaining tar from Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana by local people was recorded and the local usages (curing ear pain in children, osteomyelitis, wounds, ulcers, eczema, acne, alopecia, fungus, foot-and-mouth disease in animals, mouth sores in sheep and goats, protection against endo- and ectoparasites, repellent for snakes, mice, flies (Tabanus bovinus) and ticks, and the prevention of water leakage from roofs) of tar are described.


In this study, the traditional method for obtaining tar and the traditional usages of tar are explained. Documentation of the method of obtaining tar and its traditional usages may contribute to scientific research on the benefits and usages of tar in medicine, veterinary medicine, as well as other fields.

Tar; Black pine; Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana; Afyonkarahisar; Turkey