Indigenous plant-derived medicine used by ordinary community members other than traditional health practitioners for preventive health care in Mohlaletsi community in Limpopo province, South Africa
Background: Research on medical ethnobotany shows that ordinary community members in the rural areas have knowledge of self preventive care which is accomplished through administration of plant medicine to prevent the onset of disease and create a sense of well being. Several medicinal plants and traditional medicines derived from them have been used to enhance resistance to several disease agents. The present study documented the indigenous plant-derived medicines used by Mohlaletsi community members to minimize the chances of contracting disease thus promoting good health and well-being.
Materials and Methods: Structured interviews were used to collect data among 80 respondents purposely sampled to share knowledge about the use of indigenous plant-derived medicine for preventive health care.
Results: The results of the study revealed six indigenous plant species belonging to six families identified as sources of medicine administered for preventive care of primary health care. Preventive medicine is prepared from the mixture of plant parts administered to limit susceptibility to disease and improve the general well-being. The medicine is repeatedly reported to promote good health and well-being of the children by limiting the children’s vulnerability to disease and promote their welfare.
Conclusion: Ordinary community members use plant-derived medicine to prevent attack by disease in an effort to promote good health and well-being. This type of preventive care may form the basis for community participation towards the achievement of primary health care needs in the rural areas.
Keywords: Preventive health care, health promotion, preventive medicine, well-being, Limpopo Province
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