Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants for treatment of diabetes and hypertension used in communities near Fathala Forest, Senegal
Keywords:Medicinal plants, diabetes, high blood pressure, Fathala forest, Fatick, Senegal.
Background: Diabetes and hypertension are serious health issues, and both are predicted to increase, particularly in Africa. The objectives of this study are to (1) identify plants used to treat diabetes and hypertension and (2) characterize their therapeutic uses based on ethnobotanical information.
Methods: Semi-structured individual and group interviews were conducted with traditional healers, patients, nurses and other actors near Fathala Classified Forest in western Senegal. Data were processed using content analysis. Citation frequency (CF) was used to determine importance of each species.
Results: A total of 38 species were used to treat diabetes and hypertension. These belong to 34 genera and 21 families. Eighteen species were used to treat both diabetes and hypertension, 12 were used to treat hypertension and eight to treat diabetes. The most used plant parts were leaves (56%) bark (10%) and roots (10%). Preparation of the medicine mainly consisted of decoction (45%), infusion (17%) and maceration (15%) and most medicines were taken as a drink (76%). The most used species in the treatment of diabetes are Terminalia avicennioides (FC= 69%), Sclerocarya birrea (FC=23 %) and Cocos nucifera (FC=15%). Moringa oleifera (FC=46,15%), Oxytenanthera abyssinica (FC=30,76%) and Detarium microcarpum (FC=23,07%) are mainly used against hypertension. Combretaceae (28,57%), Fabaceae (28,57%) and Anacardiaceae (19,05%), are most represented families.
Conclusion: A diversity of native plants were used as antidiabetic and antihypertensive medicine. Ethnobotanical knowledge could constitute a foundation for identifying new active ingredients for developing new or improved medicine.
Key words: Africa, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, medicinal plants, traditional knowledge.
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