Ethnobotanical Study of Traditional Medicinal Plants

Published on International Journal of Biology, Physics & Matematics
ISSN: 2721-3757, Volume 1, Issue 1, page 1 – 10
Date: 9 September 2018
© Copyright International Journal of Zambrut

Mekonen Wolditsadik Beyi
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Collage of Natural and Computational Science, Haramaya University
Dugda District, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia

Abstract
Ethiopia has rich flora with different plant species having medical importance in health care system based on local indigenous knowledge. Ethnobotanical data were gathered using semi-structured interviews, field observations and group discussions with local traditional medicine practitioners. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Moreover, informant consensus factor, fidelity level, preference ranking were computed following standard procedures. Ethnomedicinal use of 88 plant species distributed in 81 genera and 47 families was documented. Highest number of species (6) was under family Fabaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae and Solanaceae. Habit wise, 38.2% were herbs followed by shrubs (32.5%) tree species (22.8%) and climbers (3.3%). Plants were used mostly in fresh for remedy preparation. The most widely used method of preparation were pounding (44.1%),crushing (26.4%) and cooking/boiling (19.5%), were the major remedy preparation methods reported. Route of administration mainly oral followed by dermal. Malaria and headache, intestinal parasite, diarrhea, amoebiasis, and stomach ache and common cold and cough had the highest ICF value > 90. Indigenous people of the study area have their own ways of managing health problems of human and livestock as they are endowed with specific culture, tradition and ethical norms. Biochemical profiles of plant species used for diseases categories of high ICF should be investigated for screening of the active principles

Keywords; Ethnobotany, Indigenous Knowledge, Informant Consensus Factor, Traditional Medicine.

1. Introduction
Ethnobotany is the study of how people of a particular culture and religion make use of indigenous plants. It accounts for the study of the relationship between people and plants for their use as medicines, food, shelter, clothing, fuel, fodder and other household purposes (Samar, R, 2015). In Africa, up to 80% of the population uses traditional medicine to help meet their health care needs [28]. Traditional medicines of plant origin are less costly than modern medication (Mekonen, 1990 and Tesema, 2003). The current account of medicinal plants use of Ethiopia shows that about 887 plant species are reported to be utilized in the traditional medicine (Ermias, Ensermu, Temrat and Haile, 2013). Among these, about 26 species are endemic and they are becoming increasingly rare and rare at the verge of extinction.
From the beginning of humanity, indigenous people have developed their own local specific knowledge on plant use, management and conservation (Mekonen, 2013). In most cases, this traditional knowledge on medicinal plants passes down from generation to generation verbally and prone to loss if not documented (Jansen, 1981). Moreover, due to ecological shifts and environmental perturbations, plant resources are dwindling at an alarming rate, suggesting the rapid loss of medicinal plants and their associated indigenous knowledge. Indigenous knowledge develops as a result of human interaction with their environment. Traditional medical system is, therefore, shaped by ……..

2. Research Methodology
2.1. Description of the Study Area
Geographically Dugda district is located in between 8º01’ N to 8°10’ N latitude and 38°31’ E to 38°57’E longitude. Dugda district is located in the East Shoa zone of Oromia Regional State that has a total area of 959.45 km2. Overall, the district has 36 rural Peasant Administrations and four urban villages. The main capital of the district is Meki town which is situated 134 km to the southeast of the capital Addis Ababa. Meki has 3 urban villages and has a population of 58,490. The boundaries of Dugda district are Arsi zone in the east, Gurage zone in the west, Bora district from north and northwest and Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha district in the south.

2.2. Study Site Selection
Reconnaissance survey was conducted from July 27 to 30 to select three potential kebeles which included; Cirri, Wayo Gabriel and Xepho for ethnobotanical data collections.

2.3. Informant’s Selection
Ethnobotanical information was collected from 60 informants. Among the 60 informants, 16 key informants (traditional healers) were selected with the assistance of community leaders, elderly people and members of the local community. As pointed out by Purposive sampling technique was used for selecting key informants, while random sampling was employed to select the other 44 informants. The key informant’s interviews were very important as they were considered to be experts on local medicinal plants. Generally, the informants were grouped into three age groups, young, adult and elderly (above 50) to see how the knowledge varies with age groups as described in.

2.4. Ethnobotanical Data Collection
Prior to Ethnobotanical data collection, respondents were selected from the selected kebeles. Totally, 60 respondents, 16 key informants (traditional healers) were participated in this study. Ethnobotanical data were collected between August, 2017 and October, 2017 on two field trips made to the sites. Data collection methods were through semi-structured questionnaires and interviews, group discussions and guided field walks with key informants (traditional healers) for field observations. Key informants were first interviewed individually to mention about the local names of the plants they use to treat diseases, diseases treated, part(s) of plants used, methods of gathering, methods of preparation of remedies, route of administration of remedies, application of the remedies, dosage, side effects of the treatment, use of the plants other than medicine, types of threat and conservation problems. Thereafter, group discussions were made with them based on the checklist of questions and asked for field walk for onsite observation of the plants. Similar procedure was also applied with randomly selected non-practitioners of traditional medicine. Voucher specimens were collected, pressed, and dried for identification. For some species, preliminary identification was done in the field using keys and illustrations……..

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