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      Medicinal plants in Baskoure, Kourittenga Province, Burkina Faso: an ethnobotanical study.

      Journal of Ethnopharmacology
      Burkina Faso, Ethnobotany, Ethnopharmacology, Humans, Medicine, African Traditional, Medicine, Traditional, Phytotherapy, Plant Extracts, administration & dosage, therapeutic use, Plants, Medicinal, Rural Population

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          The majority of people living in Kourittenga Province, Burkina Faso, are highly dependent on medicinal plants for their daily health care. Knowledge on the use of medicinal plants by traditional healers is being seriously threatened, due to the fact that it is commonly transferred from one generation to another only verbally. Moreover, recent environmental changes, deforestation, and unsustainable rates of exploitation, represent a serious risk for plant species diversity. Thus, there is a need to record and document indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants in this country. The aim of this study was to report on the use of medicinal plants by traditional healers to treat human diseases in a rural area located in the East-Centre Region of Burkina Faso (Baskoure Area), which has not yet been studied from an ethnobotanical point of view. The research was carried out over a period of 8 months, by means of open-ended and semi-structured interviews. A total of 41 traditional healers were interviewed, and group meetings were organised with family members and other local inhabitants having knowledge of traditional medicine. A total of 190 plant species were recorded. Most medicinal plants used to prepare concoctions were herbs, and leaves were the most frequently used parts. A high percentage of plants were used against gastrointestinal diseases and malaria, which are the prevalent diseases in the study area. The major source of remedies came from wild plants, indicating that cultivation of medicinal plants is not a common practice. Our study represents an inventory on medicinal plants used in a rural area of Burkina Faso, and confirms that wild plants are widely utilised as health remedies in this area. The collected data may help to avoid the loss of traditional knowledge on the use of medicinal plants detained by traditional healers, and represent the preliminary information required in view of a future phytochemical investigation on the most used plants. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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