Medicinal plant species used in the treatment of skin diseases in Katabi Subcounty, Wakiso District, Uganda

Patience Tugume, Cissy Nambejja, Clement Nyakoojo, Maud Kamatenesi-Mugisha


Background: The use of medicinal plants in primary healthcare is central among rural communities in Uganda given the expensive and often inaccessible conventional healthcare. Skin diseases pose a serious health risk given the challenge of HIV-AIDS whose opportunist infections manifest as skin complications.The study identified and documented plant species used to manage skin infections, plant parts used, methods of preparation and administration of herbal remedies.

Methods: An ethnobotanical survey of plant species used to treat skin diseases was conducted in Katabi Sub-County, Wakiso District in Uganda using semi structured interviews. Twenty villages were surveyed with at least three respondents from each village interviewed. A questionnaire, checklist, and personal observation were the research instruments used. Descriptive statistics were used to present the data. 

Results: A total of 52 plants belonging to 33 families were documented. The highest proportion of species (25%) was used against fungal infections. Other proportions of plants against their respective diseases were; 24%, 20%, 16% and 16% for allergies, wounds, skin rash and warts respectively. The commonly used species were Iboza multiflora, Psorospermum febrifugum, Albizia coriaria, Hoslundia opposita, Justicia betonica, and Euphorbia tirucalli. Herbs (55%) were the main growth habit followed by trees (25%), shrubs (17%) and vines (and grasses) (3%). Leaves (54%) and flowers (11%) were the most commonly used plant parts while topical administration to affected parts was the major method of administration.

Conclusion: Plant species used against skin diseases in Katabi Sub-County provides basic data for further studies focused on their  pharmacological activity and conservation.

Full Text:


Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
All articles are copyrighted by the author(s) and are published online by a license from the author(s).