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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 333-347

Medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Sangurur, Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya


1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Moi University School of Medicine, Eldoret, Kenya
2 Department of Forestry, University of Eldoret, Eldoret, Kenya
3 Department of Wildlife Management, University of Eldoret, Eldoret, Kenya
4 Department of Nursing, Tambach Sub-County Hospital, Iten, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Gabriel Kigen
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Moi University School of Medicine, P. O. Box: 4606, Eldoret
Kenya
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/pr.pr_42_17

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Background: Although herbal medical products are still widely used in Kenya, many of the medicinal plants used by traditional medical practitioners (TMPs) have not been documented, despite several challenges that are now threatening the sustainability of the practice. Objective: To document the medicinal plants and healing methods used by TMPs in a region of Kenya with several recognized herbalists for potential research. Materials and Methods: Semi-structured interviews, group discussions, and direct observations were used to collect ethnopharmacological information. The participant's bio-data, clinical conditions treated, methods of treatment, medicinal plants used, methods of preparation and administration, and dosage forms were recorded. Results: A total of 99 medicinal plants and 12 complementary preparations employed in the treatment of 64 medical conditions were identified. The most widely used plant was Rotala tenella which was used to treat nine medicinal conditions; seven each for Aloe tweediae and Dovyalis abyssinica; and six each for Basella alba and Euclea divinorum. The plants belonged to 55 families with Fabaceae family being the most frequently used (10), followed by Apocynaceae and Solanaceae, each with six species, respectively. We identified plants used to determine the sex of an unborn baby and those used to treat several conditions including anthrax and cerebral malaria and herbs used to detoxify meat from an animal that has died from anthrax. Of special interest was R. tenella which is used to prevent muscle injury. Conclusions: We have documented several plants with potential therapeutic effects. Further research may be conducted to determine their efficacy. Abbreviations Used: Fic: Informant consensus factor, Nur: Number of use reports in each category, Ns: Number of reported species, TMPs: Traditional medical practitioners.


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