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Journal of Entomology
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 104 - 112

Survey for the Usage of Arthropods in Traditional Medicine in Southwestern Nigeria

O.A. Lawal and A.D. Banjo    

Abstract: A survey of arthropods used in traditional medicine was carried out among the people of southwestern Nigeria to examine the importance of arthropods and their by products in life and economy of the people and to provide a compendium of the traditional use of arthropods and their byproducts for future references. Open ended structured questionnaires were administered to elicit information from the rural based herbalists, farmers and those traders in animals for traditional purposes. Seventeen different species of insecta, two species of Myriapoda, one species of Crustacea, one species of Arachinda and three species of Mollusca used in the curing of ailments such as eye defects, various sickness in children, libido in men, arthritis, dizziness, thunderbolt, bedwetting, wounds, mental illness, child delivery, yellow fever, healing of bone fractures etc. Nine species of insects, two species of arachinda, one species of myriapoda and two species of Mollusca were used for rituals such as for defense, coronation, chieftaincy, wedding and naming ceremonies, good fortune, to fight against enemy and favour, forceful command and blessing and detection of thunderbolt (Magun) and for finding, husband and wife, appealing to gods and witches, soothsaying (Afose), to invoke mental development on people and money rituals, appealing to witches for spiritual protection and prosperity, used to confer immunity on man against infectious disease. Few species of insects in particular has some taboo associated with the use in traditional medicine. The results suggest that more research should be done in this area to bring back the ethnozoological knowledge of vanishing culture.

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