An Ethnobotanical Study of Plants Used in Traditional Medicine and As Wild Foods an and Around Tara Gedam and Amba Remnant Forests in Libo Kemkem Wereda, South Gonder Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This study documents plant species used as medicinal and wild food along with the traditional knowledge on utilization plant resources by local people in and around Tara Gedam and Amba Forests in Libo Kemkem Wereda, South Gondar Zone, Ethiopia. The field study was conducted between November, and Juanuary 2010. A total of 106 informants were sampled from 13 study sites preferencially selected in and around the forests studied and a variety of ethnobotanical methods were applied including semi-structured interviews, field observations, preference ranking, direct matrix ranking, paired comparisons and informant consensus with traditional healers and elderly people of the user groups. A total of 175 plant species have been identified in and around the forests. Among these, 163 species are medicinal plants belonging to 145 genera and 67 families. Of these, 115 (70.6%) species are used to treat only human ailments, 14 (8.6%) species are used for livestock ailments only and 34 (20.9%) species are reported for both human and livestok ailments. These medicinal plants are used to treat about 60 types of human ailments, nine types of animal ailments and 10 types of both animals and human ailments. The family Asteraceae was represented by highest number of 14 (8.6%) of medicinal plants, followed by the Fabaceae with 13 (8%) and Solanaceae 10 (6.1%) species. Most of them have medicinal properties in their leaf, bark, root, stem, flower, seed and fruits. Medicine from these plant parts is prepared as fresh, dried and both fresh and dried state in the form of crushed, crushed and powdered, boiled, chewed and chopped plants material. Meanwhile, a total of 33 plant species distributed in 30 genera and 25 families were recorded as wild foods in the study area. Of these, 21 (63.6%) species serve the local community both as sources of food and traditional medicine (nutraceutical plants). Fruit is found to be the most edible plant part and mostly taken as raw. Elderly people and traditional healers of the areas possess vast knowledge on wild food plants and ethnomedicinal practices along with the ecological distribution of plants in comparison with the young generation. The knowledge transfer system is quite restricted within the family. Users were found less aware of conservation of medicinal and wild food plants and those of uses, plants which have multiple use value. Therefore, plants found in and around Tara Gedam and Amba forests are very important as medicinal wild foods for curing ailments as well as sources of food during normal times and when there is shortage of food. It is not only essential to conserve such a wealth of information hidden among the local people, but also to apply them to modern knowledge of science and technology to meet the ever increasing requirements of humankind. Keywords/Phrases: Ethnobotany, Tara Gedam and Amba Forests, Traditional Medicine, Wild Food plants



Ethnobotany, Tara Gedam and Amba Forests, Traditional Medicine, Wild Food plants