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Ethnoveterinary Medicine: The prospects of integrating medicinal plant products in Veterinary Medicine in Kenya
Animal diseases are a major constraint to livestock production, drought animal power and the acceptability of companion animals. These diseases also impact negatively to the food security in our country. The use of synthetic drugs for disease management is always a challenge because of the unavailability of these drugs especially in rural areas, shortage of foreign exchange to import them, lack of finance to purchase them, drug resistance, misuse due to paucity of knowledge and environmental pollution. Medicinal plants products are part of the natural products that have been in use in traditional medicine and also a source of novel drugs. Therefore, the use of medicinal plant products would be a rational alternative to synthetic drugs. Ethnobotanical surveys carried out in many parts of Kenya have revealed a lot of plants being used in animal disease management. Specific plant extracts have been identified and screened by many researchers for their antimicrobial, anthelmintic, acaricidal, antiprotozoal activity and also their toxicity. There is therefore the need to look for ways on how these plants products will be available in the market and be integrated in the overall veterinary medicine practice in Kenya.