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An Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants Used by the Maasai People of Many Ara- Arusha, Tanzania

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dc.contributor.advisor Asfaw, Zemede (PhD)
dc.contributor.author A. Njau, Efrem
dc.date.accessioned 2018-07-18T07:05:46Z
dc.date.available 2018-07-18T07:05:46Z
dc.date.issued 2001-06
dc.identifier.uri http://localhost:80/xmlui/handle/123456789/9139
dc.description.abstract An ethnobotanical study was carried out to document infonnation on the use of medicinal plants by the Maasai people living at the vicinity of Lake Manyara National Park', Monduli District in Arusha, Tanzania. Six villages or study sites were chosen randomly: Mto wa Mhu, Moyamayoka, Losirwa, Silale, Selela and Ngo'goro. It was assumed that indigenous knowledge related to biodiversity conservation and use of medicinal plants of this cultural group of people was getting lost or not well documented. The main method of study was based on semi-structured interviews and discussion with selected infonnants (Maasai elders and healers). A vegetation survey was conducted to investigate the habitat status of the reported medicinal plants between the protected area inside Lake Manyara National Park and outside the park for conservation and monitoring purposes. A total of 54 plant species belonging to 33 families and 44 genera were cited as being used by the Maasai of Manyara for their medicinal value. Of these medicinal plants, 49 plant species or 90% were trees and shrubs. Very few grasses and climbers are used. The result from Kruskall-Wallis and Friedman's test shows that there is high significant difference (**P< 0.0001, KW=63.036 and Fr=52.746) between trees and herbs/grasses for the medicinal plants used by the Maasai. Further analysis shows that plant species belonging to the families FABACEAE and EUPHORBIACEAE are the most used in Maasai remedial systems. Family Fabaceae account for 22% of the total medicinal plant species and Euphorbiaceae contributes 13% of the total medicinal cited. Out of these 54 plant species, 25 species are used for h'eatment of Inunan aihnents and 29 species are used for treahnent of animal diseases. Adansonia digi/a/a, Albizia an/heIll1in/ica and Warburgia ugandensis are used for the treahnent of both humans' and veterinary diseases. Barks and roots form the major component of plant parts collected accounting for 61 % of the recorded medicinal plants. Most of the remedies are prepared in the fonn of decoction from single plant or as concoctions involving more than one plant. Seventy six percent of the reported medicinal plants are taken orally. Some additives such as meat and bone soup are added to improve palatability. With the exception of Azadirachta indica (mwarobaini), all other medicinal plants (about 98%) are harvested from the wild, which may indicate that Maasai have little practice of bringing medicinal plants under cultivation. Twenty seven percent of reported medicinal plants that were used to be forest-inhabited species are currently reported to have been rarely enco\lIltered in the area. Lel/cas martinicensis, Allium ampe/oprasllm and Pappea capensis are among the threatened species in the area. Seventy one percent of the recorded medicinal plants that are mostly trees and shmbs are commonly or occasionally enco\lIltered. Habitat degradation and intense deforestation have been the leading cause for depletion of medicinal plants. From tile vegetation data it is confirmed that Lake Manyara National Park (LMNP) is very rich in terms of medicinal plants especially those derived from Fabaceae. 11l\1s, a greater emphasis should be given to conserve the park not only for its fauna as it is tile case now but also its flora. Maasai are very rich in terms of the ethnoveterinary knowledge; this calls for a further study of their remedial system to taste for phannaceutical efficacy of their medicines. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Addis Ababa Universty en_US
dc.subject Ethnobotanical en_US
dc.title An Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants Used by the Maasai People of Many Ara- Arusha, Tanzania en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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