Ethnomedical utilization of alchornea laxiflora (benth) Pax & K Hoffm in Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti state, southwest, Nigeria
Ethnomedical utilization of Alchornea laxiflora in Irepodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Southwest, Nigeria was surveyed using structured questionnaire and personal interviews. Out of fourteen communities in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area, eight communities were randomly selected for data collection. A set of questionnaire were administered to adults who are either plant collectors, herbalists or herb sellers. In-depth interviews with members of the community who are knowledgeable about the plant were conducted. Herbalists were also interviewed on part of plant used and disease treated. Results showed that 55.8% of the respondents were males while 44.2% were females. Age range of respondents was 41-50 years (50.0%), 31-40 years (23.3%) and 51-60 years (13.9%). About 44.2 %, 39.5% and 16.3% of the respondents were herb sellers, herbalists and herb collectors respectively. All plants of A. laxiflora is used for medicinal purpose (24.4% of respondents), while use of leaves, root and bark had values of 44.2%, 23.3 and 8.11% of respondents respectively. The plant is mostly sourced from forest (74.6% of respondents) during rainy season (86.1% of respondents) Alchornea laxiflora is used for treating many diseases such as pile (38.4% of respondents), Dysentery (10.5% of respondents), Malaria (9.3% of respondents), Eczema (9.3% of respondents), Cough (8.1% of respondents) and High fever (6.9% of respondents). The plant is abundant in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Southwest, Nigeria. However, it could be threatened by use pressure as attempts have not been made to domesticate it.
Keywords: Medicinal Plant, Indigenous Knowledge, Alchornea laxiflora, Local utilization