Tag Archives: diarrhea

Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Diarrhea in Ethiopia


Medicinal Plants Used for Treatment of Diarrhoeal Related Diseases in Ethiopia

Woldeab B, Regassa R, Alemu T, Megersa M
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Mar 18;2018
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5878875

Investigators from Jimma University and Hawassa College of Teacher Education conducted an inventory of plant species used in the treatment of diarrheal diseases by indigenous people of Ethiopia.

Writing in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the authors note that the World Health Organization has initiated a diarrhea disease control program to study traditional medicine practices and prevention approaches to the condition. Diarrhea is a leading killer of children, accounting for 9 percent of all deaths among children under age of five worldwide, with Sub-Saharan Africa having one of the highest child death rates due to diarrhea.

Allopathic study of antidiarrheal properties of medicinal plants used in Ethiopian traditional medicine is in early stages:

“Although there are a range of medicinal plants with antidiarrhoeal properties that have been widely used by local communities of Ethiopia, the effectiveness of many of these antidiarrhoeal traditional medicines has not been scientifically evaluated. Recently, a few of these medicinal plants have attracted considerable attention and studies being conducted to scientifically evaluate their antidiarrhoeal activities.”

The team recorded 132 plant species used to treat diarrheal diseases in Ethiopia, based on a review of studies published between 1965 and 2017.

Citrus limon
Citrus limon [Photo: WAH]
Among the most commonly used plants were Amaranthus caudatus, Brucea antidysenterica, Calpurnia aurea, Citrus limon, Coffea arabica, Cordia africana, Indigofera spicata, Lepidium sativum, Leucas deflexa, Rumex nepalensis, Stereospermum kunthianum, Syzygium guineense, Verbascum sinaiticum, Verbena officinalis, Vernonia amygdalina, and Zehneria scabra.

Most of the remedies were prepared from fresh parts of the medicinal plants, followed by dried forms, and a smaller group prepared either from dry or fresh plant parts. Additives like honey, salt, sugar, beer, milk, and butter were used to help make the plants suitable for oral administration.

The authors note that sufficient studies have not been conducted in the Afar, Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella, and Somali regions for the inventory to be considered complete.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Plants Used for Digestive System Disorders by the Karen of Thailand


Ethnomedicinal plants used for digestive system disorders by the Karen of northern Thailand

Tangjitman K, Wongsawad C, Kamwong K, et al
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2015 Apr 9;11:27
PubMed Central: PMC4422539

Investigators at Chiang Mai University and Royal Park Rajapruek conducted an ethnobotanical study to document plants used by Karen people of Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand, to treat and prevent digestive system disorders.

The authors open the paper with an introduction of the Karen:

“The Karen originated in Tibet and had migrated to other parts of Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar. From the 18th century onwards they began to cross the Salween River and moved into Thailand, where they settled in the high mountains of Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Lamphun provinces, as well as other areas. In 2003, the Karen people constituted 48% of the total hill tribe population in the region with a population more than 430,000 Karens in Thailand. As they typically reside in the mountain areas, the Karen people have limited access to public healthcare systems. They have therefore accumulated a rich experience related to preventing and treating diseases with herbal remedies, and they have developed a distinctive knowledge of traditional medicine. This traditional knowledge has been handed down from one generation to the next by spoken word and through lifestyle. Most Karen villagers still maintain traditional knowledge of medicinal plants that are used for first aid remedies and to treat simple ailments.”

The team documented 36 plant species used by the Karen to treat digestive system disorders including diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, gastric ulcer, and jaundice.

Curcuma longa
Curcuma longa [Photo: J.M.Garg, Wikimedia Commons]
The medicinal plant species identified included Curcuma longa, Dendrocalamus strictus, Dillenia pentagyna, Engelhardtia spicata, Euphorbia heterophylla, Gymnopetalum integrifolium, Melastoma malabathricum, Musa sapientum, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum, Senna alata, Senna occidentalis, Zingiber montanum, and Zingiber ottensii.

In their conclusion, the authors recommend further research to determine the biological activities of medicinal plants:

“Digestive system disorders have a high prevalence in terms of the morbidity rate among Thai people. This is also considered to be true worldwide, particularly among ethnic people who likely have inadequate access to hygienic levels of sanitation, which may increase the transmission of digestive diseases. The study of medicinal plants among the Karen people of northern Thailand has reported that 36 species were commonly used against digestive system disorders. A literature investigation found that several surveyed plants had similar usage with other ethnic groups in different areas throughout the world. Moreover, the pharmacological studies of some of the medicinal plants could confirm that these plants are considered effective in treating digestive diseases. However, some medicinal plants, which were reported to have high UV and FL values, still require further pharmacological research for the discovery of new compounds and biological activities of these potential medicinal plants. There were certain toxic effects that were found to have been associated with some of these plants. Therefore, herbal remedies should be taken carefully in order to avoid any potential side effects that may occur through utilizing these medicinal plants.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.