Medicinal plants potential and use by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Erer Valley of Babile Wereda, Eastern EthiopiaBelayneh A, Asfaw Z, Demissew S, Bussa NF
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed
2012 Oct 22;8:42
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3549935
Researchers at Haramaya University and Addis Ababa University undertook an ethnobotanical study centered around the potential and use of traditional medicinal plants by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in the Babile Wereda district of eastern Ethiopia, with a goal of setting up of conservation priorities, and preservation of local biocultural knowledge with sustainable use and development of the resource.
Working with traditional herbalists, the authors identified 51 medicinal plant species used for 54 human ailments, in addition to some used in vector control. Aloe pirottae, Azadirachta indica and Hydnora johannis were the most cited and preferred species.
A high percentage (71%) of the preparations are made for the most common human health problems of the area, including internal parasites, diarrhea, malaria, pneumonia, abdominal pain, dermal infections, eye diseases, and infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissues.
The authors note that many of the region’s ethnomedicinal plants, and the associated knowledge about them, are endangered:
“…like else where in the country, nowadays the natural stands of the Erer Valley are becoming negatively impacted as a result of agricultural expansion, livestock population pressure and human settlement. Medicinal plant species of the woodland (for example Hydnora johannis) are highly threatened and that might be related to the decline in the population of host trees such as Acacia nilotica and Acacia tortilis. Visual inspection shows that woodland trees including Balanites eagyptiaca and B. glabra are locally threatened due to selective cutting of the mother trees for charcoal making. The riverine tree species, Acacia robusta and Tamarindus indica, are locally threatened due to selective cutting for charcoal making and house construction given the increasing population in the Erer Valley. Along with the loss of the natural vegetation of the valley we are bound to loose the huge potential of the medicinal plants and the associated knowledge. Therefore, the study area calls for urgent measures to be taken to rehabilitate and conserve the remaining vegetation with special regard to the key medicinal plants and preserve the indigenous knowledge.”
Read the complete article at PubMed Central.
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