An ethnobotanical survey of indigenous flora for treating tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases in Niger State, Nigeria

  • A Mann
  • J O Amupitan
  • A O Oyewale
  • J I Okogun
  • K Ibrahim


An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used locally for treating tuberculosis (TB) and other respiratory diseases was conducted from November 2004 to March 2005 in Niger State-Nigeria. The survey was aimed at identifying plants used in traditional medicine for treating TB and other pulmonary ailments in Niger State. Tuberculosis, cough, asthma, hemoptysis and bronchitis were the major ailments treated in this survey. The interviews were conducted among the traditional medical practitioners and herbal traders in both urban and rural areas of the state. It was observed that the use of traditional medicine for treating respiratory diseases was predominantly widespread in Niger State among all the ethnic groups and intertwines with orthodox medication. A total of 95 medicinal plants belonging to 48 families used in 86 herbal recipes were surveyed. In many recipes, admixtures of plants were used. A total of 12 different kinds of respiratory ailments were encountered in this study. The index of performance (Ip) was calculated for each plant species. The plants with high Ip are often confirmed to possess biologically active chemical substances in the literature. A good number of plants identified in this survey for treating tuberculosis with (Ip>O) have been reported to possess significant anti-tubercular activity. Therefore, further screening of those plants with high performance indices as sources of \'lead\' for antitubercular agents is highly recommended.

Keywords: Medicinal plants; Herbal recipes; Respiratory diseases; Tuberculosis; Index performance (Ip); Antitubercular activity

JOPAT Vol. 12 2007: pp. 1-21

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eISSN: 1118-1028