Medicinal Plant Species Used in the Management of Hernia by Traditional Medicine Practitioners in Central Uganda
Keywords:Hernia, medicinal plants, traditional healers, snowball technique, Mpigi
AbstractHernia is a common neglected disease that occurs when a portion of tissue or a body organ bulges through a weakened muscle area. This study was carried out to document traditional concepts of hernia and the medicinal plant species used in its treatment among Prometra Traditional Medical Practitioners (TMP) in Mpigi District, central Uganda. Such specialized knowledge is held by a few members of the community, particularly TMPs. Since it is not documented, it is at risk of being forever lost, despite its potential to contribute towards improved healthcare delivery. Data were collected through snowballing and focus group discussions using semi-structured interviews. Thirty TMPs were interviewed. Fifty-one plant species belonging to 28 families were documented. Trees (49%) were the most commonly used life form. Roots (32%) and bark (30%) were the most commonly used plant parts. All the medicines were freshly prepared and administered orally. Most medicines (96%) were prepared as decoctions. Hernia was diagnosed through physical examination, and treatment varied between 1–4 months. In conclusion, the TMPs believe a monotonous starchy diet can cause hernia by straining the intestinal walls. Hernia is treated using various locally available medicinal plant species.
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