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Ethnobotany of plants used as insecticides, repellents and antimalarial agents in Jabitehnan district, West Gojjam

Abiyot Berhan
Zemede Asfaw
Ensermu Kelbessa


An ethnobotanical study on plants used for the prevention and treatment of malaria was conducted to document the indigenous knowledge particularly associated with the use and conservation of anti-malarial, insecticide and insect repellent medicinal plants. In this study, five sampling sites were selected based on the prevalence of malaria and availability of practitioners. Twenty five key informants were selected based on the comments from indigenous peoples, religious leaders and authorities. Moreover, 45 other informants were selected randomly by tossing a coin in their house or in working fields. Eight medicinal plants were found to be used as insecticides and insect repellents and 11 species as anti-malarial. Informants' consensus showed that 65.7 percent of the informants used Lepidium sativum for medicinal purposes followed by Croton macrostachyus (61.4 percent). The paired comparison showed that Allium sativum ranked first followed by Calpurnia aurea, C. macrostachyus, L. sativum and Phytolaca dodecandra for the treatment of malaria. On the other hand, the direct matrix ranking revealed that C. aurea ranked first followed by Dodonea angustifolia, C. macrostachyus, P. dodecandra and Gnidia involucrata. The study indicated that medicinal plants are at conservation risk because of suspected overuse and deforestation for settlement, agriculture and construction purposes. The introduction of proper management system in the society and encouraging practitioners to use medicinal plants sustainably can serve as a tool for the conservation of medicinal plants.

SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol. 29(1) 2006: 87–92

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eISSN: 2520-7997
print ISSN: 0379-2897