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Community perception and utilization of <i>Moringa oleifera</i> in Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Southeastern Nigeria

Angus Ejidikeme Onyido
Nwanneka Victoria Elosiuba
Nkiruka Oluebube Anyikwa
Joy Ifeyinwa Chikwendu
Roseline Ekene Ikeh
Pauline Ukamaka Umeanaeto
Cyril Ali Imakwu


Moringa oleifera is one of nature’s amazing plants that is nutritionally and medicinally beneficial to man. This study was aimed at determining the people’s knowledge, utilization and distribution of Moringa in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Three towns were selected from the LGA, 450 respondents participated in the study. House visits were used to reach the people. Interviewer administered and structured questionnaires were used to gather information from the participants. Distribution of M. oleifera plants was estimated by counting the plant stands in the compounds visited. Utilization of M. oleifera was subdivided into nutrition, agriculture, medicine and cultural uses. The knowledge of M. oleifera by the people varied among the sexes. More females 108(65.06 %) than the males 58(34.94 %) had knowledge of M. oleifera plant. Knowledge of the plant decreased with increased educational status. It varied with different occupational groups being highest among farmers and least among the drivers. M. oleifera were found growing luxuriantly in the three clans but sparsely distributed due to felled Moringa trees. The plant population ranged from 7 to 11 stands in the study communities. Uses of M. oleifera include: human nutrition, animal shed, fodder and in treating various ailments. Ailments commonly treated with M. oleifera include; toothache, constipation, catarrh, sore throat, helminthiasis and rheumatism. Following the dearth in knowledge of the plant among youths and its sparse distribution, there is need for planting of M. oleifera in the community for better knowledge and utilization by the people.

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eISSN: 1597-3115