Habitats and utilizations of Lippia multiflora moldenke : Local perception of four ethnic groups from Benin (West Africa)
The purpose of this study is to assess the local knowledge on the habitats and uses of Lippia multiflora in Benin. A total of 180 households distributed in four ethnic groups in the Sudano-Guinean (Mahi, Bariba and Peulh) and the Sudanian zones (Boo and Peulh) in Benin were surveyed. The perception of the local population on the habitats and use of the species was assessed. Pearson Chi-square Test was used to test the independency of the use of the species according to the ethnic groups. Correspondence Analysis was used to assess the relationship between the organs used and the ethnic groups. Results revealed that L. multiflora was mentioned abundant in fallow and savanna. The use value of the species was 0.65 for food, 0.50 for medicine versus 0.03 for handicraft. Mahi ethnic group used mainly the leaves of the plant species for health care, while Boo and Peulh used mainly the inflorescences as food (sauce, soup and tea). Bariba ethnic group used the stems for handicraft. Diseases treated by the species were stomach ache, fever, malaria, toothache, high blood pressure, wound, physical weakness of baby, itch, reduced lactation activity after birth and diverse attacks. Valorization programs can then be based on those utilizations according to ethnic groups in Benin.
Key words : Lippia multiflora, local knowledge, food and medicinal uses, biogeographic zones in Benin, ethnic groups.