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Title: Medicinal plants used for skin-related diseases among the Batswanas in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, South Africa.
Authors: Otang-Mbeng, Wilfred.
School of Biology and Environmental Sciences
Keywords: Biodiversity.;Conservation.;Dermatology.;Ethnobotanical survey.;Phytocosmetics.;Use-value.;Skin diseases.;Medicinal plants.
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Skin diseases have come under the spotlight due to the fact they are the first symptoms associated with many diseases, including AIDS. Although Western medications are available for treating skin diseases, many ethnic groups including the Batswanas in North West Province still consult traditional health practitioners (THPs) for skin diseases. This study was aimed at exploring and documenting indigenous knowledge and medicinal plants used for skin-related diseases by Batswana THPs in North West Province. Ethnobotanical information, including local name of plant, part used, methods of preparation and administration, was captured using semi-structured questionnaires. These questionnaires were administered to 30 purposively selected THPs from 10 villages. Quantitative parameters including use-value (UV), informant consensus factor (ICF) and cultural importance index (CI), were computed to determine the relative importance of plant species locally, the homogeneity of knowledge among THPs and the spread of use and versatility. In total, 80 plants belonging to 40 families and 61 genera were documented as being used in preparation of 36 recipes to treat 43 skin-related diseases grouped into 7 categories. Asparagaceae (seven plants) and Asteraceae (seven plants), Xanthorrhoeaceae (six plants) and Solanaceae (six plants) were the most representative families. The most frequently used plant parts are the roots (31%), whole plant (26%) and leaves (19%), while the most common methods of preparation include concoction (30%), maceration (23%) and decoction (19%). Hypoxis hemerocallidea (0.9) and Helichrysum paronychioides (0.8) had the highest UV, while Hypoxis hemerocallidea (0.4), Helichrysum paronychioides (0.4) and Urginea sanguinea (0.3) were the most culturally important plants. The highest ICF (0.6) was linked to miscellaneous skin diseases, with rashes (22%) being the most frequently treated in the category. The disease with the highest plant diversity for treatment is chickenpox with 22 plants, followed by yaws with 16 plants, while rashes and boils are treated using 14 plants. The study recorded 38 plants used to treat skin-related diseases for the first time in South Africa. The current findings are an indication that the Batswana traditional medicine pharmacopoeia has rich plant diversity for treatment of skin-related diseases. However, these may come under threat because the young population is not showing interest in indigenous knowledge. The current study has also opened a platform for in-depth scientific analysis to evaluate the pharmacological efficacy and safety of the identified medicinal plants.
Description: Additional financial support from the North-West University and the University of Mpumalanga.
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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