An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used in Kilte Awulaelo District, Tigray Region of EthiopiaReportar como inadecuado

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Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine

, 9:65

First Online: 08 September 2013Received: 12 March 2013Accepted: 04 September 2013DOI: 10.1186-1746-4269-9-65

Cite this article as: Teklay, A., Abera, B. & Giday, M. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 2013 9: 65. doi:10.1186-1746-4269-9-65


BackgroundThe Ethiopian people have been dependent on traditional medicine, mainly medicinal plants, from time immemorial for control of human and animal health problems, and they still remain to be largely dependent on the practice. The purpose of the current study was to conduct ethnobotanical study to document medicinal plants used to treat diseases of human and domestic animals in Kilte Awulaelo District in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.

MethodsEthnobotanical data were collected between July and September 2011 through semi-structured interviews, ranking exercises and field observations. For the interviews, 72 knowledgeable informants were sampled using purposive sampling method. For the different ranking exercises, key informants were identified with the help of elders and local administrators from informants that were already involved in the interviews.

ResultsThe study revealed 114 medicinal plant species belonging to 100 genera and 53 families. The plants were used to treat 47 human and 19 livestock diseases. Of the species, the majority 74% were obtained from the wild. Herbs were the most utilized plants, accounting for 44% of the species, followed by shrubs 29%. Leaf was the most commonly used plant part accounting for 42.98% of the plants, followed by roots 25.73%. Preference ranking exercise on selected plants used against abdominal pain indicated the highest preference of people for Solanum marginatum. Direct matrix ranking showed Cordia africana as the most preferred multipurpose plant in the community. Preference ranking of selected scarce medicinal plants indicated Myrica salicifolia as the most scarce species, followed by Boscia salicifolia and Acokanthera schimperi. According to priority ranking, drought was identified as the most destructive factor of medicinal plants, followed by overgrazing and firewood collection.

ConclusionMedicinal plants are still playing significant role in the management of various human and livestock diseases in the study area with herbs taking the lead in the number of plants used in the preparation of remedies, which may be an indication of their relatively better abundance as compared to other life forms. Recurrent drought was reported to have seriously threatened medicinal plant resources in the District. Awareness is thus needed be raised among local people on sustainable utilization and management of plant resources. Ex situ and in situ conservation measures should be taken to protect the medicinal plants of the District from further destruction and special attention should be given to the medicinal plants that were indicated by preference ranking exercise as the most threatened ones.

KeywordsEthnobotany Medicinal plants Kilte Awulaelo District Eastern Tigray Ethiopia Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1746-4269-9-65 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Abraha Teklay - Balcha Abera - Mirutse Giday


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