Traditional Medicinal Plants in Two Urban Areas in Kenya (Thika and Nairobi): Diversity of traded species and conservation concerns
Keywords:medicinal species, trade, conservation, sustainable supplies
In Kenya there is a paucity of data on diversity, level of demand and conservation concerns of commercialized traditional medicinal plant species. A market study was undertaken in two urban areas of Central Kenya to identify species considered to be particularly important in trade as well as those thought to be scarce. The most commonly traded species include: Aloe secundiflora Engl, Urtica massaica Mildbr., Prunus africana (Hook.f.) Kalkm, Melia volkensii Gürke and Strychnos henningsii Gilg. Aloe secundiflora, P. africana and Strychnos henningsii were found to be species in the markets but in short supply. The supply chain in this area also includes plant species already known to be rare such as Carissa edulis (Forssk.) Vahl and Warburgia ugandensis Sprague. Most of the suppliers are rural herbalists (who harvest from the wild), while only a small proportion of the raw materials come from domesticated species. Key challenges facing the herbal industry in the region were identified and presented.
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