Ethnopharmaceutical Study of Medicinal Plants of Metekel Zone, Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State, Mid-West Ethiopia
Traditional medicine (TM) has been an important source of healthcare in Ethiopia, as in most developing countries around the world, and the TM practice is mainly based on medicinal plants. This cross-sectional, community-based survey was aimed at documenting the knowledge associated with the use of medicinal plants in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region. Six hundred households (HHs) were interviewed using semistructured questionnaires and six focused group discussions (FGDs) were conducted. Prevalence of illness episodes was 5.2%, in two weeks recall period and the overall action taken for the perceived illness was 95.7%; out of which 41.6% used TM. TM was a more frequent choice of care for females than males and for the Gumuz people than the other ethnic groups. Low cost, efficacy and geographical accessibility were the reasons for choosing TM. Fifty-one plant species belonging to 29 families were reported, each with local and scientific names, parts used, and methods of preparation and administration. Malaria and headache, and respiratory complaints have the highest informant consensus factor (ICF) values. The major proportion of plants was collected from wild sources and leaf and root parts were commonly used. The formulations were made in the form of liquids, raw herbs and pastes in order of frequency. The dominant route of administration was oral, followed by topical application. This study demonstrated that TM is still an important component of the public healthcare in the study community.
Keywords: ethnopharmacy, medicinal plants, traditional medicine, house-hold, focus group discussion