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International Journal of Botany
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 176 - 185

Survey of Analgesic Plants Used by Tradipractitioners in Congo Brazzaville

J.T. Banzouzi, M.C. Makambila Koubemba, A. Prost, B. Mbatchi and A.A. Abena    

Abstract: A series of semi-structured interviews with traditional practitioners from the South of Congo Brazzaville allowed us to gather the names of 200 plants entering traditional preparations against pain. Some were already well studied for their analgesic and/or psychotropic properties but others were very little documented. We selected 51 plants, belonging to 32 families, which seemed promising but had not yet been studied in laboratory. For each plant, we collected the following data: used plant parts, modes of preparation and administration, as well as indications relating to the treatment when they were available. Around 150 traditional recipes were thus recorded. In analgesic as well as in psychotropic preparations, leaves are the most used part (43 and 40% of citations, respectively), followed by roots or root bark (17-13%), aerial part (11-6%), stem and trunk bark (20-11%). Decoction is the major mode of preparation and in most cases the preparation is drunk or applied locally (friction, massage). As a rule, plants used, dosage and length of the treatment shall vary depending to age, sex and general health condition of the patient. Self-medication can thus be very dangerous, all the more because some of the plants we studied are easily bought in the market places of Brazzaville or Pointe Noire.

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