An Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants in Seru Wereda, Arsi Zone of Oromia Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


An ethnobotaniacal study of medicinal plants was carried out from October 20/2009 to April 15/2010 in Seru Wereda, Arsi Zone of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. The purpose of the study was to identify and document medicinal plant taxa. Ethnobotanical information of these plant taxa was gathered through a semi-structured interview, field observation, group discussion and market survey. Eighty informants from twelve Kebeles were subjected to this study. One hundred and twenty one medicinal plant taxa belonging to 109 genera and 58 families were reported and for each taxon a local name (Afaan Oromo) was documented. Plants, parts used and methods of preparation were also documented in the current study. Out of these medicinal plants collected, 62(51.24%) were reported to treat human aliments, 14 (11.57%) livestock ailments and 45 (37.19%) both human and livestock ailments. Ninety nine (81.82 %) of the plant taxa were collected from the wild and, 22 (18.18%) from home gardens. Herbs were found to be the most widely used life forms and this accounts for 53 (43.79%). This is followed by shrubs with 37.18% (45 taxa). The most frequently used plant parts were reported to be the leaves, which is 64 taxa (41.03 %) and then the roots 25.64% (40). The most widely used method of preparation was reported to be crushing and pounding a single plant part or a mixture of plant parts of different taxa. The different use categories of medicinal plant taxa in the area included food, firewood, charcoal, construction and forage. Major conservation threats included agricultural expansion, overgrazing, fire wood collection, charcoal production, cutting down trees for construction and furniture .There was no record that indicated the severe conservation impacts of overharvesting of medicinal plants and their parts in the current study area. Noteworthy is that both cultural and spiritual beliefs positively contributed to the management and conservation of medicinal plants of the study area. In addition to the aforementioned positive attitude of the local communities to the conservation of natural resources, supplementary environmental education with regard to sustainable uses of medicinal plants could be useful. Key Word: Arsi Zone, Conservation, Ethnobotany, Indigenous knowledge, Medicinal plants, Seru Wereda



Arsi Zone, Conservation, Ethnobotany, Indigenous knowledge, Medicinal plants, Seru Wereda