An ethnobotanical study of plants used for the treatment of diabetes in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

  • P Erasto
  • PO Adebola
  • DS Grierson
  • AJ Afolayan
Keywords: Medicinal plants, traditional medicine, diabetes mellitus


Diabetes mellitus is one of the commonest diseases affecting the citizens of both developed and poor countries. In South Africa, the number of people suffering from diabetes is believed to be rising steadily. An ethnobotanical study of plants used by the traditional healers, herbalists and rural dwellers
for the treatment of diabetes mellitus was conducted in the Eastern Cape Province. The study revealed 14 plant species belonging to six families namely; Asteraceae, Hypoxidaceae, Apocynaceae, Asphodelaceae, Apiaceae and Buddlejaceae. The use of infusions from plant leaves and roots was the
commonest method of herbal preparation. In all cases, the treatment involved drinking the extracts for a long period of time. There was a general belief on the efficacy of the prepared extracts.

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eISSN: 1684-5315