Ethnobotanical knowledge and practices of traditional healers in Harar, Haramaya, Bati and Garamuleta, Eastern Ethiopia
The study was conducted to reveal and document ethnobotanical knowledge and practices of traditional healers in selected sites of Eastern Hararghie. Ethnobotanical data were collected using semi-structured interviews and field observation from 9 traditional healers in 4 study sites of Eastern Hararghie. Data were collected, quantified and summarized using graphs, tables and different ranking techniques. The study revealed 32 medicinal plants species belonging to 31 genera and 25 families. The plants were used to treat 17 major human and animal ailments, 81% used for the treatment of human disorders while the remaining 19% for both. Of the reported species 44% were herbs, and 28 % each were shrubs and trees. Leaf was the most frequently used plant part accounting 62%, followed by fruit (16%) and root (16%). Oral administration was the most commonly used route (60%), followed by topical (31%) route. The most preferred solvent added during the preparation of medicinal plants was water (50%), while 38% of the plant remedies used without any solvent. Fidelity value analysis indicated that Allium sativum L. (83.3%), Gomphocarpus integer N.E.Br (80%), Punica granatum L. (75%) and Cordia africana L. (75%) were the most preferred species used for the treatment of abdominal pain, febrile illness, evil spirit and skin lesions, respectively. Moreover, Allium sativum L. was the first ranked medicinal plant used for the treatment of abdominal pain followed by Vernonia amygdalina Del. and Cucurbita pepo L. This study suggested that traditional healers in eastern Hararghie zone have profound ethnobotanical knowledge and practices.
Keywords: Eastern Hararghie; Ethiopia; Ethnobotany; Medicinal plants; Traditional healers