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      Medicinal plants of the Meinit ethnic group of Ethiopia: An ethnobotanical study

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      Journal of Ethnopharmacology
      Elsevier BV

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          The majority of the Ethiopian people, including the Meinit ethnic group, are highly dependent on medicinal plants for their day-to-day public healthcare and veterinary needs. The existence of medicinal plants and the associated knowledge is, however, currently being threatened mainly due to deforestation, environmental degradation and acculturation. Thus, there is an urgent need to document and analyse the knowledge. The aim of this study was to record and analyse local knowledge of the Meinit people of Ethiopia on the use of plants to treat or cure diseases of humans and domestic animals. Ethnobotanical data were gathered through series of individual interviews conducted with selected informants representing different social groups within the Meinit Community. Fidelity Level (FL) values were calculated to estimate the healing potentials of claimed medicinal plants. The study revealed 51 medicinal plants, most of which were herbs. Root was the most frequently used part in remedy preparation. The majority of medicinal plants were not cultivated. Significantly higher numbers of medicinal plants were cited by men than women, by older people than younger ones and by illiterate people than literate ones. Rumex nepalensis Spreng., Leucas deflexa Hook.f. and Embelia schimperi Vatke were the medicinal plants that scored the highest FL values. Acculturation of the young generation has been found to be the major treat to the continuation of traditional medical knowledge and practice in the study area. Efforts should, therefore, be made to incorporate traditional medicine in school curricula so that younger people could appreciate its usefulness. Priority for further Pharmaco-chemical investigation should be given to plants that scored highest FL values, as such values could indicate better efficacy.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ethnopharmacology
          Journal of Ethnopharmacology
          Elsevier BV
          July 2009
          July 2009
          : 124
          : 3
          : 513-521
          © 2009




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