Medicinal plants used to treat Snake bite by Fulani Herdsmen in Taraba State, Nigeria
Snake bite remains a public health hazard in tropical countries. Taraba State with a high Fulani population has one of the highest incidences in the country. The Fulani herdsmen are more at risk because of their agropastoralist lifestyle. Their village settlement positions make it more difficult for them to assess antiserum, the only source of treatment available for snake bite, Therefore the only option left for them is the use of village surrounding medicinal plants for the treatment of the snake bite. Recent efforts on ethnopharmacology revealed several of these medicinal plants with potential to treat snake bite. This work was designed to document medicinal plants used by Fulani herdsmen in Taraba State, Nigeria, for the treatment of snake bites. Information provided will enable further study on the efficacy of the medicinal plants so identified. Eight out of the total sixteen Local government areas (LGAs) of Taraba State, Nigeria were selected for the survey. Sixty four (64) herdsmen with good ethnomedical knowledge were interviewed. The results showed that 19 plants species belonging to 15 plant families were used as remedies for the treatment of snake bite by 42.20% of the Fulani herdsmen interviewed. Annona senegalensis was the most frequently used plant. The proposed mechanisms of action of these plants with regards to venom enzymes inhibition or neutralization were discussed. Further studies on the efficacy and toxicity of these plants are suggested.