Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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Medicinal Plants for Healing Sores and Wounds among the Communities Surrounding Ungoye Forest, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

N S Mthethwa, H de Wet


The article is based on a study that aimed at documenting the ethno-knowledge on the usage of plants healing wounds and sores at the rural areas around uNgoye forest as well as document the methods of preparation and dosage forms of medicinal plants used by people around Ungoye forest. The survey was conducted in eighty homesteads. The information was collected through verbal communication and structured questionnaires. The focus was on the medicinal plants that grow in the Ungoye forest and around the homesteads. The survey revealed 33 plant species belonging to 27 families. The survey also revealed the one most commonly used plant for treating wounds and sores which is Hypericum aethiopicum (Unsukumbili). Out of the 33 plants species revealed 10 plant species were documented for the first time for the usage in wound and sore healing. The findings support the traditional value that the medicinal plants have in the primary healthcare system at uMgoye area, the need to put in place conservation measures to ensure the sustainable source and usage of medicinal plants and to encourage the domestication and cultivation of medicinal plants where possible.

Keywords: Traditional medicine, documentation, Ethno-survey, wounds.

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