Utilization of medicinal plants by Waluguru people in East Uluguru mountains Tanzania
AbstractA study was done to assess utilization of medicinal plants in Nyachilo village situated in eastern Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered and informal discussions conducted to traditional healers and midwives. The respondents were selected from Changa, Mselelo, Tanana, Mitamba, Kimeza, Mandani and Kibundi subvillages. Within the subvillages random sampling was used to determine the number of respondents to be interviewed. The study found that plant medicines utilized in the area can be categorized into groups for treating convulsion, pain killers, rituals and casting evil spirits, treating diseases, relieving respiratory complications, and treating skin eruptions. Many medicinal plants are collected from the forests (37.3%) and farms (37.3%). However, 16.4 % of the medicinal plants are not easily accessible. The community perceives modern medical system far advanced in comparison with traditional healing system. Both systems however, are useful in their sights. The study also revealed that in most medicinal plants, leaves are used as medicines (31.7%), followed by roots (29.6%), then barks (20.7%). The community proposed that in order to sustain conservation of medicinal plants, the traditional healers should be trained on appropriate harvesting and utilization techniques of the medicines. It is recommended that appropriate agronomic techniques that will ensure cultivation of medicinal plants should be taught to the community so as to guarantee sustainable utilization in future.
African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines Vol. 3(4) 2006: 121-134
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