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Ethnopharmacological Assessment of Medicinal Plants Used in the Management of Livestock Ailments by Resource-Limited Farmers in the Eastern Cape Province

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2023.136009, PP. 96-109

Keywords: Ethnopharmacology, Medicinal Plants, Livestock Ailments, Farmers, Eastern Cape

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Abstract:

Medicinal plants play a major role in meeting people’s medical and health needs, especially in developing countries. However, due to a lack of access to modern veterinary facilities, poor visibility of animal health personnel, and high prices of orthodox medicines, most farmers rely on traditional healers and the administration of medicinal plants to treat livestock ailments. The present study was conducted to document Ethnopharmacological knowledge of medicinal plants used to manage livestock ailments in three rural communities of the Eastern Cape. This study was carried out in three rural communities between July 2009 and February 2010. Data were collected by administering pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires and participative field observations. For the interviews, a sample of 48 knowledgeable respondents was purposively selected. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, determination of information consensus factor, and fidelity level. A total of 12 medicinal plants belonging to 9 families were used by local people to cure different ailments. A high number of medicinal plants were claimed by males compared to females. Roots and barks were the major plant parts used, and the least were leaves (27.3%). Six plants were used to treat diarrhea and fertility, five plants to treat wounds, and two plants to treat scabs. This study has shown that Eastern Cape flora is rich with various plants which could be used to replace orthodox drugs. Further studies are needed to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations, biological activities, and toxicities and characterize the plant’s chemical compounds.

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