Ethnomedicinal Flora of Otuo People of Edo State, Nigeria
The study reports oral information on the ethnomedicinal
uses of plant remedies in traditional health-care among Otuo tribe of
Edo State, Nigeria. Records of 51 plant species belonging to 47 genera
of 34 families are presented with their local names, parts used, preparations,
modes of administration, dosage and uses.
The sampling area, Otuo, is inhabited by a clan in Owan East Local Government
Area of Edo State, Nigeria. It is located between 712` N. and
555` W (Fig. 1). It is surrounded by a mountainous terrain;
the climate is comparable with that of a rainforest zone, promoting the
growth and development of a rich biodiversity. The natives are mainly
involved in agriculture, weaving, pottery and blacksmithing.
||Location map of Owan east local government area
They are plagued with several diseases not uncommon among developing
tropical regions. However, the near absence of modern health care facilities
and personnel in the locality makes folk medicine practice the primary
source of health care among the locals. Although some of the practices
are beclouded with rituals and superstition, most of the remedies are
based on rather simple preparation and application of certain plants,
or plant parts commonly found around their immediate vicinity. However,
the insight to such medicinal recipe is jealously guarded and controlled
by a few individuals, predominantly in the class of the elderly who are
often revered for their perceived `special powers`. They are referred
to by various names such as herbalist, native doctor or witch doctor and
they are popular among the natives.
Earlier records attest to the curative and ethnomedicinal practices of
some tribes of the world (Ayensu, 1978; Keay, 1989; Gill, 1992; Sofowora,
1993; Kumar and Jain, 1998; Idu and Olorunfemi, 2000; Idu and Omoruyi,
2003; Idu et al., 2006). This report focuses on the medicinal folk
use of some plant species among the Otuos of Edo State, Nigeria.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Ethno-medicinal data collection was based on oral interview, aided by
structured questionnaire. Fifty local informants, mostly herbal practitioners
and a few aged persons, both male and female, they were interviewed individually,
under relaxed atmosphere. Their selection was geographically widespread
to accommodate a good sample of the entire population. Any information
provided was considered credible whenever there is correlation with another
independent report. However, attempts to obtain more precise quantification
for preparations and dose did not enjoy much coherence as the healers
do not employ the use of standard measuring vessel or scale. For such,
information were recorded in approximate terms such as one handful, two
pieces of root, one cup three times a day etc. (Table 1).
The assistance of a colleague who is a native of the clan, coupled with
the offer of cash incentive greatly facilitated the relative ease with
which the informants divulged their ethno-medicinal knowledge. Fresh samples
of the reported plants were collected from the field for proper identification
by using standard texts (Olorode,1984; Keay, 1989; Akobundu and Agyakwa,
1998). The study was carried out between December 2006 and March 2007.
The Voucher copies of plants collected were deposited in Botany Department
Herbarium, University of Benin.
||Enumeration of plants used by the Otuos
|* I = Internal, E = External, + = in use, - = not in
1984; Keay, 1989; Akobundu and Agyakwa, 1998). The study was carried
out between December 2006 and March 2007. The Voucher copies of plants
collected were deposited in Botany Department Herbarium, University of
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Plants have been used as a source of medicine since ancient times (Farnsworth
and Bingel, 1997; Yesilada, 2005). TM is the source of primary health
care to 80% of world`s population (Alves and Rosa, 2005). The present
survey accounts for 51 plant species in 47 genera belonging to 34 families
which are commonly used among the Otuos in traditional health care for
a variety of disease conditions such as hypertension, renal problem, women`s
reproductive health, visual defect, cough, etc. The popularity of these
plant remedies among the natives attests to their efficacy. Trees, herbs
and weed plant species were well represented in their choice of remedies,
this contrast earlier report about the predominance of tree species in
Bachama ethno-medicine (Idu et al., 2006). Most of the remedies
were prepared from single plant source, whereas a few others had to be
in combination with other common plants.
Many pharmaceutical products of modern time can be traced to insight
derived from indigenous knowledge (Robbers et al., 1996). This
study further substantiate the key place traditional medicine occupies
in the adequate and sustainable delivery of health care services to the
peoples of the world, especially those inhabiting the developing, rural
Agyakwa, C.W. and I.O. Akobundu, 1998.
A Handbook of West African Weeds. 2nd Edn., International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria, ISBN: 9781311290, Pages: 564
Alves, R.R.N. and I.L. Rosa, 2005.
Why study the use of animal products in traditional medicines. J. Ethnobiol. Ethnomed., 1: 1-5.CrossRef | PubMed | Direct Link |
Ayensu, E.S., 1978.
Medicinal Plants of West Africa. Reference Publication Inc., USA., pp: 36-39
Farnsworth, N.R. and A.S. Bingel, 1997.
Problems and Prospects of Discovering New Drugs from Higher Plants by Pharmacological Screening. In: New Natural Products and Plant Drugs With Pharmacological, Biological or Therapeutic Activity, Wagner, H. and P. Wolff (Eds.). Springer, Berlin, pp: 1-22
Gill, L.S., 1992.
Ethnomedicinal Uses of Plants in Nigeria. 1st Edn., University of Benin Press Benin-City, Nigeria, Pages: 276
Idu, M. and D.I. Olorunfemi, 2000.
Plants used for medicinal purposes by the Koma people of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Indigenous Knowledge Monitor, 8: 18-18.
Idu, M. and O.M. Omoruyi, 2003.
. Some ethnomedicinal plants of Higgi tribe from Adamawa State, Nigeria. Ethnobotany, 15: 48-50.Direct Link |
Idu, M., L.S. Gill, C.A. Omonhinmin and A. Ejale, 2006.
Ethnomedicinal uses of trees among Bachama tribe of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Indian J. Trad. Knowledge, 5: 273-278.Direct Link |
Keay, R.W.J., 1989.
Trees of Nigeria. 1st Edn., Clarendon Press, Oxford, ISBN: 978-0198545606, pp: 288-298
Kumar, V. and S.K. Jain, 1998.
A contribution to ethnobotany of Surguja district in Madhya Pradesh, India. Ethnobotany, 10: 89-96.Direct Link |
Olorode, O., 1984.
Taxonomy of West African Flowering Plants. Longman Group Ltd., pp: 158.
Robbers, J.M., M. Speedie and Y. Tyle, 1996.
Pharmocognosy and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. William and Wiluins, Baltimai, pp: 1-14.
Sofowora, A., 1993.
Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicine in Africa. 2nd Edn., Spectrum Books Ltd., Ibadan, Nigeria, ISBN-13: 9782462195, Pages: 289
Yesilada, E., 2005.
Past and future contributions of traditional medicine in the health care system of the Middle-East. J. Ethnopharmacol., 100: 135-137.CrossRef | PubMed | Direct Link |