Ethnobotanical Study on Medicinal Plants Used by Local Communities in Debark Wereda, North Gondar Zone, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


An ethnobotanical study of the knowledge on use and management of medicinal plants by local people in Debark Wereda, North Gondar (Ethiopia), was conducted from October 2010 to May 2011. Semi-structured interviews, field observations and various ranking and comparison methods were employed and information was collected from a sample of 84 informants (36 females and 48 males). These included 24 key and 60 randomly selected informants. A total of 126 plant species, representing 114 genera and 57 families, were collected, and 122 of them were claimed to be traditional medicinal plants. The Asteraceae, which contributed 12 (9.52%) species, stood first followed by Fabaceae, Solanaceae and Euphorbiaceae with 11, 9 and 7 species respectively Most of the species (72) were collected from the wild while 50 were collected from homegardens. A total of 88 (76.03%) species were mentioned for the treatment of 62 human ailments while 10 species were used to treat 20 livestock health problems. Herbs were the most used plants, accounting for 60 (49.58%) species, followed by shrubs, trees and climbers. The most frequently used plant part was the leaves (50.27%) and fresh plant materials (54.39%). The common route medicine administration were oral (45.99%), followed by dermal and nasal. Some of the remedies are taken with additives and solvents including water (33.76), butter (16.88%) and honey (15.58%). The most widely used method of preparation was squeezing (33.33%) of the different plant parts followed by crushing (25%). The most commonly used application of medicinal plant was drinking (31.22%) followed by creamed (19.45%) and dropping (12.21%). Medicinal plants with higher informant consensus included Zehneria scabra, Verbascum sinaiticum and Rumex nepalensis while the disease category with the highest ICF value (0.870) was fibril illness. There was high preference for Plantogo lanceolata for treating wound while paired comparison showed Zehneria scabra to be the most preferred species for treatment of fibril illness by traditional healers. Cordia africana was shown to be the top multipurpose species while agricultural expansion, firewood collection and charcoal making were considered major threats to plants in general and medicinal plants in particular. Provisions for participation of the local people, awareness raising and establishment of protected forests need encouraging. Key words: Ethnobotany, Debark, traditional healers, traditional medicinal plant



Ethnobotany, Debark, traditional healers, traditional medicinal plant