Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used to treat human diseases in Gura Damole District, Bale Zone, Southeast Ethiopia

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BEHAILU ASSEFA
MOA MEGERSA
TILAHUN TOLOSSA JIMA

Abstract

Abstract. Assefa B, Megersa M, Jima TT. 2021. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used to treat human diseases in Gura Damole District, Bale Zone, Southeast Ethiopia. Asian J Ethnobiol 4: 42-52. Many countries in the world including Ethiopia use medicinal plants for their primary health care system. Plants have been used as a source of medicine to treat human diseases in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to document medicinal plants used to treat various human diseases in Gura Damole District of Oromia Regional State, southeast Ethiopia. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants was carried out from August 05 to November 06, 2019. A total of 90 informants were selected to collect ethnobotanical information from 6 kebeles. Ethnobotanical data were collected using semi-structured interviews, focus group discussion with informants and field observation. Various ethnobotanical ranking indices were used to analyze the importance of some plant species. A total of 30 medicinal plants belonging to 21 families were identified. These medicinal plants comprised shrubs (36.6%), trees (26.6%), herbs (23.3%) and lianas (13.3%). The plant families with the highest medicinal plants in the study area used for various diseases treatment were Asteraceae and Solanaceae (3 species each). Leaves (46.7%) were the dominant plant part used in the preparation of remedies, followed by roots (36.7%). Powdering (50%) and oral route of administration (59%) were commonly mentioned methods of preparation and administration, respectively. Carissa spinarum was the most preferred medicinal plant to treat evil eyes and is also ranked highest as the most preferable medicinal plant for various purposes. Although the current study revealed the existence of indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants to treat human ailments, agricultural expansion became the major threat to medicinal plants. Hence, different conservation methods should be applied to conserve those mostly preferred, frequently used medicinal plants for various purposes.

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