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      Herbal usage and informant consensus in ethnoveterinary management of cattle diseases among the Kikuyus (Central Kenya).

      Journal of Ethnopharmacology
      Anaplasmosis, drug therapy, Animals, Asteraceae, chemistry, Cattle, Cattle Diseases, economics, Consensus, Geography, Humans, Kenya, Phytotherapy, veterinary, Plant Extracts, therapeutic use, Plant Leaves, Plants, Medicinal, Questionnaires, Theileriasis, Veterinary Drugs

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          For most smallholder farmers in Kenya conventional veterinary drugs have become very expensive and therefore unaffordable, causing them to seek low cost alternatives that are rarely documented in most ethnobiological studies. This study surveyed the utilisation of traditional herbal preparations in managing cattle ailments in Central Kenya with the aim of providing a comprehensive ethnobotanical profile and the most important plant species that may warrant scientific validation for efficacy and commercial utilisation. Using semi-structured questionnaires and detailed discussions with smallholder farmers, a total of 40 plant species in 26 families were found to be useful in traditional management of various cattle ailments in this region. Two plant families were particularly frequent in usage: Asteraceae and Lamiaceae, while the most utilised plant species were found to be Synadenium compactum N.E.Br. (Euphorbiaceae), Solanecio manii (Hook.f.) C. Jeffrey (Asteraceae) and Senna didymobotrya (Fresen.) Irwin and Barneby (Caesalpinaceae). Informant consensus was particularly high in managing anaplasmosis, East coast fever and ectoparasites. Such plant species become key target in efficacy tests and for development of commercial veterinary botanicals. The usage of some of the species is unfortunately unsustainable as some of the species are rare or endangered hence the need for conservation strategies to be undertaken.

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