Medicinal Plants in Oyam district, Northern Uganda


Kamatenesi MM, Acipa A, Oryem-Origa H. Medicinal plants of Otwal and Ngai Sub Counties in Oyam district, Northern Uganda. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2011 Jan 17;7:7. PubMed PMID: 21241484; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3029220.
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Investigators at Makerere University undertook an ethnobotanical study in four parishes in Oyam district, Northern Uganda, where insurgency has been prevalent for the past 20 years.

They report 71 plant species used in the treatment of various diseases, with Asteraceae being the most represented.

From the Conclusion:

“The use of medicinal plant species in primary health care is still a common practice in Ngai and Otwal Sub-County. The inadequate health services and abject poverty still make these people dependent on herbal medicine for their day to day health needs. The generation gap caused by the over 20 years of insurgency in the area has brought about knowledge gap between the young and the old with regard to medicinal plant species.”

Importantly, the authors include recommendations:

  • There is need for ex-situ conservation of the useful medicinal plant species.
  • There is need for community awareness and education concerning the values of medicinal plant species of the area especially among the young people.
  • Further studies should be done on the medicinal plant species to determine their pharmacological potentials.
  • Government should develop policy to integrate use of medicinal plant species in health care at national level.

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