Open Access

Health seeking behavior and use of medicinal plants among the Hamer ethnic group, South Omo zone, southwestern Ethiopia

  • Biniam Paulos1,
  • Teferi Gedif Fenta2,
  • Daniel Bisrat3 and
  • Kaleab Asres3Email author
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine201612:44

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-016-0107-x

Received: 26 March 2016

Accepted: 24 August 2016

Published: 6 October 2016

Abstract

Background

Health seeking behavior of people around the globe is affected by different socio-cultural and economic factors. In Ethiopia, people living in rural areas in particular, are noted for their use of medicinal plants as a major component of their health care option. This study was conducted to document ethnopharmacological information of the Hamer semi-pastoralists ethnic group in southwestern Ethiopia.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out whereby information on demographic characteristics, prevalence of perceived illnesses, factors associated with preference of health care seeking options, medicinal plants used and hoarded as well as some healers’ socio-economic characteristics were collected using two sets of semi-structured questionnaires – one for household (HH) heads and the other for traditional healers supplemented by focus group discussions (FGDs). Households were selected using a cluster sampling followed by systematic sampling techniques; whereas healers and FGD participants were purposively selected with the assistance of local leaders and elders from the community.

Results

The study revealed that the use of traditional medicine among the Hamer ethnic group is very high. Females preferred traditional medicine more than males. The main reasons for this preference include effectiveness, low cost and ease of availability. Malaria (gebeze) was the most frequently occurring illness in the area identified by all FGD participants. A total of 60 different medicinal plants were reported [34 by HH respondents, 14 by traditional healers and 12 by both]. Fifty-one medicinal plants were fully identified, 3 at generic level and 6 have not yet been identified.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that traditional medical practices, particularly herbal aspect, is widely used by the Hamer ethnic group, although health seeking behavior of the community is affected by different socio-economic and cultural factors.

Keywords

Ethnopharmacological informationCross-sectional studyFocus group discussionsSemi-structured questionnairesHamer ethnic groupSouthwestern Ethiopia

Background

The use of natural products as medicinal agents dates back to prehistoric period [1]. Traditional medicine (TM) refers to health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral-based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination, to treat, diagnose, prevent illnesses or maintain well-being [2].

In Ethiopia, medicinal plants have been used to treat different diseases for many centuries, and religious and secular pharmacopoeias had been compiled since the 15th century, resulting in medical pluralism [3, 4]. The studies of the tribal indigenous knowledge of plants and their local use is often linked to purpose-specific characteristics of plants, mainly, their efficacy to correct harmful symptoms or eliminate causal factors associated with particular conditions constituting an important but preliminary aspect of ethnopharmacological research [5].

Comparing the existence of the variety of cultures and diversity of climatic conditions, the documentation of ethnomedical use of plants is limited in Ethiopia [6]. Furthermore, most of the sources for these documentations focused only on the herbalists and the Ethiopian medico-religious manuscripts without giving due attention to the rich traditional knowledge and practices of ordinary people [6]. This trend might hinder access to the traditional knowledge preserved by grassroots; affecting the scope and quality of the documentation and the research on medicinal plants [7]. This is particularly true among pastoralist communities of Ethiopia where access to biomedical practitioners is limited. Thus, the purpose of this study is to assess and document traditional medicinal plants knowledge and uses among the Hamer ethnic group in South Omo zone, Southwestern Ethiopia.

Methods

Study area and socio-economic settings

Hamer woreda is one of the nine woredas (second from lowest administrative units in government structure) in South Omo Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), with an estimated area of 731,565 hectares. It is located at 770 km to the southwest of Addis Ababa or 540 km from Hawassa, the capital of SNNPR. It is bordered by Bena-Tsemay to the north, Kenya-Kuraz-Borena of Oromia to the south, by Bena-Tsemay and of Borena of Oromia to the east and Kuraz woreda to the west [8]. Dimeka is the capital of Hamer woreda. The total population of the woreda is 59,160 (29,466 female and 29,694 male). Eighty percent of the population belongs to the Hamer ethnic group; 11.2 % to the Erbore ethnic group; and 2.47 % to the Kara ethnic group. A total of 3210 people live in Dimeka and the neighboring Turmi towns and the remaining 55,950 live in rural areas [8]. At the time of this survey, the woreda had three health centers and eight health posts. Harmful traditional practices and low coverage of health services resulted in low health status of the population in the woreda [8, 9].

Sampling, data collection and analysis

Ethical approval was secured from the Institutional Ethics Review Board of the School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, prior to starting of the study. Information on demographic characteristics, prevalence of perceived illnesses, factors associated with preference of health care seeking options, medicinal plants used and hoarded as well as some healers’ socio-economic characteristics were collected using two sets of semi-structured questionnaires – one for household (HH) heads and the other for traditional healers (Additional file 1) .

Hamer woreda has 35 kebeles (lowest administrative unit) (Fig. 1). Eight kebeles were selected by simple random sampling. To select the final sampling unit, first cluster of HHs were selected randomly followed by systematically selecting specific HHs. A total of 1600 respondents, 200 HHs from each kebele, were included in the study. Since HHs were final sampling units for the HH survey, the respondents included the head of the house (husband) or the wife or in the absence of both, any members of the family who were above 18 years of age.
Fig. 1

Map of Hamer Woreda (* Kebele has been moved to the adjacent Bena Tsenai woreda; ** Kebele has been merged with the neighbouring four kebeles)

Eight key informant traditional healers were selected purposively based on their healing experiences as testified by community leaders, kebele administrators and community elders (Additional file 1). Focus group discussions (FGDs) were held in each selected kebele whereby each FGD group consisted of seven members selected from elders of the community whose ages ranged from 40 to 70 years.

Data collectors, who were high school students with good knowledge of the local and English languages, were given training for two days on the data collection instruments. Oral consent was obtained from each respondent before conducting the interview. Moreover, participants of the study have consented to their photograph being taken for publication, if necessary. Variables like socio-demographic characteristics of HH respondents, HH size, existence of illness during the 2 weeks preceding interview date, choice of treatment options, names and parts of plants used, etc. were entered in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and analyzed. The qualitative data was analyzed thematically.

Results

Summary of FGDs

The FGDs were held in the following eight kebeles of the woreda: Ariya Kayusa, Achi Musa, Besheda, Shanko Kelema, Gediback, Asele, Lala and Degakeja Algan. Age of the participants ranged from 40 to 70 years (27 females and 29 males). The results of the FGDs were summarized by giving the local names of illnesses in italics. Major signs and symptoms or closer meanings of the illnesses are shown in Additional file 1.

Malaria (gebeze) was the most frequently occurring illness in the area identified by all FGD participants. In addition, eye diseases (afo burka), diarrhoea (zen), tinea infections (berdate), common cold (gulfadhana), evil eye (chaqi), jaundice (ara), skin disorders (bishi/shelofecha), snake bite (guni) and hypertension (lognagena) were identified as common illnesses that threaten the community.

All participants underscored that the prevalence of most of these illnesses was high during the months of December, January, February and March where drought and shortage of water become the main challenges. The majority of the participants indicated that large number of community members go to traditional healers when they are sick. The participants underlined that traditional healers are capable of treating diseases with minimum cost and high reliability. In addition, FGD participants (Fig. 2) said that geographical accessibility and cultural acceptability have made traditional healers to be the most favored health care options.
Fig. 2

Focus group discussions

In contrast, five participants from three different kebeles argued that modern medicine is their first choice if and when they seek medical care. They stated that health institutions deliver health care service following proper and evidence-based diagnosis better than traditional healers. Two participants from Lala kebele suggested that homemade remedies should be tried and their effectiveness proven before using them for medication.

According to the majority of FGD participants, plants are the major sources of TM among the Hamer ethnic group. Even though they were not keen to give details of these medicinal plants, they reported that they use a large number of plants to treat a variety of diseases. They underlined that the names and other details of these medicinal plants should only be disclosed to “special” persons. However, one of the participants explained that collecting medicinal plants on the basis of their colour was a very common pattern. For instance, plants such as fulante (Dichrostachys cinerea (L.) Wight & Arn.) and guci (Lagenaria siceraria (Monila) Standl.), which have pale yellow flowers are used for the treatment of jaundice (ara). It was observed that no special attention is given to plants with medicinal values and that they are treated just like any other plant. According to the participants, the main reason for this may be associated with the fact that pastoralists are usually on the move and are, therefore, unable to grow or cultivate plants on a regular basis. The majority of medicinal plants are collected from the wild. In addition to plants, animals and minerals are also used as a source of medicine for TM. Examples of such animal products include goat meat (Qoli), fats, milk and blood of goat and cow, and bone of goat.

The majority of the FGD participants claimed that knowledge of traditional medicines, particularly herbal medicine, is handed down from elders to younger generation through word of mouth. Among the Hamer ethnic group, traditional knowledge is transmitted only to the eldest son or a male member from close relatives. Otherwise, knowledge and skill of healing are held always in secret. Although the participants were aware of the menace of this type of transferring traditional knowledge and practice, they still believe that it should continue to preserve the dignity of their ancestors. In the case of knowledge transfer of Merankal, which is associated with divine power, the practitioners carry out rituals where their spirits tell them as to who should be their successor and ask their spirit to transfer their spiritual power to their successor. There were two FGD participants from Lala kebele with different views. According to them, healers are selected by nature and god (Burjo) to keep the well-being of their community.

Nearly all participants from Ariya Kayusa, Achi Musa, Besheda and Shanko Kelema kebeles expressed that young members of their community have much less interest in traditional medicine. Improved physical access to modern health institutions, the effect of modernization that comes through expansion of modern education and the Christian religion were mentioned by participants as the main reasons for such decline in interest by the younger generation.

Key informants

A total of 8 respondents (seven males and one female) who belong to members of traditional healers of the community were interviewed. Five of the healers were nonliterate, and only three of the healers had received formal education.

Illnesses treated, methods of diagnosis and sources of medicine

The categories of illnesses claimed to be treated by traditional medical practitioners varied from common infections to complicated conditions. The most frequently treated illnesses by traditional healers were zen, ara, bishi burka, lognagena, gebez, chaki and guni (Table 1). According to the traditional healers, visual observation and history taking were the two main methods of diagnosis. Spiritualism could also be employed whenever the patient condition is suspected to be due to spiritual afflictions, which could not be diagnosed by physical assessment and history taking.
Table 1

Illnesses and symptoms reported to be treated by traditional healers of the Hamer ethnic group, South Omo Zone (January–February 2010)

Category

Illness/symptoms

Infectious

Silito (tuberculosis), gebez (malaria), zen (diarrhoea), fever, tinea, ara (jaundice), berdate (intestinal worms), astiajim (toothache), gulfadhana (common cold), dysentery, sal (cough), wounds, tonsillitis

Non-infectious

Lognagena (blood pressure), chaki (evil eye), guni (snake bite), asthma, male sexual impotence, muscle pain, pain associated with menstrual cycle, meta ajim (migraine), nature spirits, curses, fractures

Those written in italics are local name of the disease

Mode of service delivery

The present survey indicated that all of the healers provide their medical services on part-time basis. The majority of these practitioners had healing experience of less than 20 years. While delivering their services, nearly all of the traditional healers reported that they had a single assistant except for one practitioner who said that he had three assistants. Assistants are mostly healers’ own sons or male close relatives. None of the interviewed healers set costs for their service. They charge their customers after assessing their livelihood, and also on the basis of their relationship to the healer.

Household survey

Perceived illnesses and action taken during the 2 weeks recall period

At the time of the survey, a total of 8523 individuals were living in the studied HHs, and during the 2 weeks recall period, 912 illness episodes were reported to have occurred; making prevalence rate of 10.7 %. Age distribution of individuals with reported illnesses shows that 458 (50.2 %) were ≤ 15 years old (Table 2). The survey indicated that 861 (94.4 %) of those who reported illness took action. Of these, 486 (53.3 %) went to healthcare facilities, 255 (27.9 %) went to traditional healers and 120 (13.2 %) used homemade remedies. Fifty-one persons with reported illness (5.6 %) did not take any action in response to their perceived illness symptoms (Table 2). The percentage of females who did not take action in response to the perceived illnesses during the 2 week recall period was slightly higher than males, 6.2 and 5.1 %, respectively.
Table 2

Actions taken against perceived illnesses during a 2 week recall period among the Hamer ethnic group, South Omo Zone (January-February 2010)

Demographic characteristics

Action taken N (%)

Went to health institutions

Went to traditional healers

Took homemade remedies

Took no action

Total

Sex

 Male

276 (58.2)

120 (25.3)

54 (11.4)

24 (5.1)

474 (52.0)

 Female

210 (49.0)

135 (30.8)

66 (15.1)

27 (6.2)

438 (48.0)

Age

  ≤ 5

168 (55.9)

34 (25.9)

35 (14.2)

10 (4.1)

247 (27.1)

 5–15

146 (61.3)

23 (10.9)

4 (1.9)

38 (18.0)

211 (23.1)

 15–65

171 (37.9)

196 (43.5)

81 (18.0)

3 (0.7)

451 (49.5)

≥65

1 (33.3)

2 (66.7)

-

-

3 (0.3)

Income status

 Low

279 (61.1)

125 (49.0)

74 (61.7)

37 (72.5)

533 (58.4)

 Medium

123 (25.3)

87 (43.1)

39 (32.5)

9 (17.6)

258 (28.3)

 High

66 (13.6)

43 (16.0)

7 (5.8)

5 (9.8)

121 (13.3)

Total

486 (53.3)

255 (28.0)

120 (13.2)

51 (5.6)

912 (100)

Low income: less than five cattle, no goats and hives; Middle income: five to ten cattle, goats and hives; High income: more than ten cattle, goats and hives

Factors influencing actions taken and preferred health care options

The demographic and socio-economic status of the respondents with respect to choice of health care options, as well as actions taken against perceived illnesses are shown in Tables 2 and 3. It can be seen that, the percentage of those who took no action decreased from 72.5 to 9.8 % from low to high income groups, respectively (Table 2), indicating that economic status of HHs in the study group has significant effect on the actions taken against perceived illnesses (χ 2 = 11.988, df = 4, P < 0.05). The results also show that the majority of males had taken action. Thus, effect of sex on action taken in response to the symptoms of perceived illnesses during the 2 week recall period was found to be statistically significant (χ 2 = 9.677, df = 2, P < 0.05).
Table 3

Choices of healthcare options with respect to socio-demographic characteristics of household (HH) respondents among members of the Hamer ethnic group, South Omo Zone (January–February 2010)

Variable

Choice of health care N (%)

Total

Health institution

Traditional healers

Homemade remedies

Sex

 Male

380 (38.8)

434 (44.3)

165 (16.9)

979 (100)

 Female

193 (31.1)

140 (22.5)

288 (46.4)

621 (100)

Age

≤20

91 (35.5)

148 (57.8)

17 (6.7)

256 (100)

 21–30

245 (45.0)

213 (39.2)

86 (15.8)

544 (100)

 31–40

174 (35.1)

209 (42.1)

113 (22.8)

496 (100)

 41–50

96 (40.0)

103 (42.9)

41 (17.1)

240 (100)

 51–60

9 (19.1)

22 (46.8)

16 (34.1)

47 (100)

≥61

1 (5.9)

7 (41.2)

9 (52.9)

17 (100)

Educational status

Nonliterate

480 (34.9)

505 (65.1)

391 (28.4)

1376 (100)

 1–4 Grade

74 (38.5)

61 (31.8)

57 (29.7)

192 (100)

 5–8 Grade

19 (59.4)

8 (25.0)

5 (15.6)

32 (100)

Family size

 1-3

190 (41)

198 (42.7)

76 (16.4)

464 (100)

 4–6

207 (32.3)

243 (38.0)

190 (29.7)

640 (100)

 7–9

133 (39.6)

76 (22.6)

127 (37.8)

336 (100)

≥10

43 (26.9)

57 (35.6)

60 (37.5)

160 (100)

Monthly income

 Low

295 (31.6)

402 (42.9)

238 (25.5)

935 (100)

 Middle

162 (35.8)

101 (22.3)

190 (41.9)

453 (100)

 High

116 (54.7)

71 (33.5)

25 (11.8)

212 (100)

Total

573 (35.8)

574 (35.9)

453 (28.3)

1600 (100)

Nonliterate: member of the community who can read but not write; Low income: less than five cattle, no goats and hives; Middle income: five to ten cattle, goats and hives; High income: more than ten cattle, goats and hives

The effect of age on action taken against perceived illnesses during the 2 weeks recall period was found to be significant (χ 2 = 170.485, df = 2, P < 0.0.05). Accordingly, the proportion of children for whom action was taken against perceived illnesses during the 2 weeks recall period was higher as compared to those with age above 15 years.

In terms of preference to choice of health care options, the percentage of those HH respondents who favored biomedical care in case of illness increased from 31.5 to 54.7 % with low and high income respondents, respectively. Likewise, those who chose TM as a first line option declined from 68.4 to 45.3 % in these groups. The effect of economic status on the choice of health care options of HH respondents was found to be statistically significant (χ 2 = 40.347, df = 2, P < 0.05). The influence of education on choice of treatment options of HH respondents was also statistically significant (χ 2 = 7.210, df = 1, P < 0.05). In this regard, literates (41.5 %) prefer biomedical care to TM as a choice of health care more than nonliterates (34.9 %) (Table 3).

Plants reported to be in use

A total of 60 different medicinal plants were reported [34 by HH respondent, 14 by traditional healers and 12 by both]. Fifty-one (85 %) medicinal plants were fully identified, 3 (5 %) were identified at generic level and 6 (10 %) have not yet been identified.

Of the collected medicinal plants, the majority (85.2 %) are used for treating human diseases, 6.6 % for veterinary diseases and 8.2 % for both human and veterinary diseases (Table 4).
Table 4

Commonly treated illnesses with herbal remedies in household (HH) and by traditional healers among the Hamer ethnic group (January–February 2010)

Category

Indications

Frequency

Skin/dermatological problems

Skin allergies (143), wounds (154), snake/scorpion bites (419), dandruffs (85), eczema (73), burns (112), tumors of skin/abscess (98), fungal skin infection (44), tinea capitis (162), skin rash (itching) (41)

1087

Abdominal and GIT problems

Diarrhoea (178), abdominal colic (267), abdominal discomfort (141)

586

Liver diseases

Jaundice (426)

426

Respiratory tract problems

Common cold (218), dry cough (123)

341

Parasitic infections

Malaria (518), intestinal helminths (432)

950

ENT (Eye, nose and throat)

Eye diseases (274), toothache (463), tonsillitis (116)

853

Cardiovascular problems

Hypertension (27)

27

Others

Evil eye (303), muscle and joint pain (121), headache (118), loss of appetite (1), dysmenorrhoea (1), irregular menses (1)

545

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of respondents claimed to use the medicinal plants for that specific illness

The identified plants belonged to 27 families. Among the families, Fabaceae is the most commonly reported family which comprised seven species followed by Solanaceae (six), Combertaceae and Capparidaceae (each three) (Tables 5, 6 and 7). The most common morphological parts used for the preparation of herbal remedies are leaves (38.0 %), roots (26.6 %) and barks (13.9 %) (Fig. 3).
Table 5

Medicinal plants reported by household (HH) respondents of the Hamer ethnic group, South Omo Zone (January–February 2010)

Vernacular name

Scientific name (Collection number)

Family

Part(s) used

Medicinal indication(s)

Method of preparation and use

Chaki Dhesha

Barleria eranthemoides R. Br. ex C. B. Clarke (H022)

Acanthaceae

Leaf

Evil eye

Pounded, boiled with water, filtered and drunk

Kufuri

Rhus natalensis KraussN (H040)

Anacardiaceae

Fruit

Various disease of stomach

Macerated in water, filtered, mixed with honey, and drunk

Stem

Malodor of mouth

Gently chewed for about an hour

Mordhe

Launaea intybacea (Jacq.) Beauv.N (H046)

Asteraceae

Root

Abscess

Ground, macerated in water, and the filtrate applied on the affected area

Dhumuko

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del.N (H025)

Balanitaceae

Bark

Hypertension

Inside part of the bark peeled off, boiled with water, filtered and drunk

Alela

Boswellia neglecta S. MooreN (H044)

Burseraceae

Exudate

Evil eye

Dried, burned and the smoke inhaled

Beles

Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller (H059)

Cactaceae

Leaf

Hair loss

Sliced and rubbed against the affected part of the scalp

Zegurma

Combretum aculeatum VentN (H034)

Combertaceae

Leaf

Abdominal colic

Fresh leaves chewed, and juice swallowed

Ara

Treminalia brownii Fresen.N (H038)

Combretaceae

Bark

Jaundice for both human and animals

Inner bark peeled, chopped, macerated in water, filtered and drunk

Wefenkur

Commelina benghalensis L. (H054)

Commelinaceae

Exudate

Skin problem

Applied on the affected area

Gusi

Lagenaria siceraria (Monila) Standl. (H060)

Cucurbitaceae

Fruit

Jaundice

Fruit dissected and patient’s face covered with the inside part of the dissected fruit

Busente

Cyperus alternifolius LN (H055)

Cyperaceae

Root

Abdominal colic

Chopped, chewed, and juice swallowed

Alko/Algi

Sansevieria ehrenbergii Schweinf. ex Baker N (H018)

Dracaenaceae

Leaf

Wound healing

Fresh leaves pounded, and juice applied on wound

Root

Muscle pain

Fresh root chopped, boiled in water, filtered and drunk

Atmin Dhesha

Sansevieria forskaoliana (Schult.f.) Hepper & Wood (H020)

Dracaenaceae

Leaf

Blister after burning

Fresh leaves smashed, juice applied on the site of burning

Kera

Euphorbia sp. (H027)

Euphorbiaceae

Bark

Hypertension

Fresh bark chopped, macerated in water, filtered, mixed with honey and drunk

Sewute

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne (H043)

Fabaceae

Leaf

Goat intestinal parasite

Fresh leaves fed to goats

Dhita

Albizia anthelmintica (A.Rich.) Brogn. (H009)

Fabaceae

Bark

Intestinal parasite

Inside part of the fresh bark cut, boiled with water, filtered, mixed with sorghum powder and eaten

Chaqidhesha

Indigofera sp. (H036)

Fabaceae

Root

Evil eye

Chewed and juice swallowed

Moshke

Ormocarpum trichocarpum (Taub.) Engl. (H031)

Fabaceae

Leaf

Abscess

Chopped, macerated in water and applied on swollen skin

Armacha

Senna italica Mill.N (H017)

Fabaceae

Leaf

Allergy on skin

Fresh leaves crushed, stood in cold water and filtrate drunk

Bishidhesha

Ocimum lamiifolium Hochst. ex Benth.N (H050)

Lamiaceae

Leaf

Skin diseases

Crashed and rubbed on affected area

Gudemburkanane

Plectaranthus sp. (H037)

Lamiaceae

Leaf/Root

Abdominal colic

Leaves or roots chopped, boiled with water and decoction drunk

Chursha

Sida rhombifolia L.N (H048)

Malvaceae

Aerial part

Bone strength

Fresh aerial part ground, macerated in water, and filtrate drunk

Dhare/Fire

Cissampelos pariera L. (H023)

Menispermaceae

Leaf

Wound healing

Fresh leaves squeezed on wound

Kelewa

Rhamnus prinoides L’Herit N (H058)

Rhamnaceae

Fruit

Skin diseases

Macerated in water and the swollen fruit rubbed against the affected skin

Medhel

Canthium pseudosetiflorum Bridson (H032)

Rubiaceae

Leaf

Malaria

Ground, macerated with water, filtered and drunk

Kena

Vepris glomerata (F. Hoffm.) Engl.N (H029)

Rutaceae

Bark/Leaf

Malaria, abdominal colic

Fresh leaves or mixed with bark cut into pieces, stood in water, filtered and drunk

Gedeqa

Zanthoxylum chalybeum Engl. N (H026)

Rutaceae

Fruit

Abdominal discomfort

Dried fruits roasted, chewed and swallowed

Kerja

Salvadora persica L.N (H028)

Salvadoraceae

Root/Stem

Gum bleeding

Root or stem chewed, and juice kept in the mouth

Meta dhesha

Datura stramonium L. (H042)

Solanaceae

Leaf

Tinea

Fresh leaves chopped, squashed, and juice applied on scalp

Gerante

Solanum dasyphyllum Schumach.N (H049)

Solanaceae

Root

Abdominal colic

Chopped, chewed, and swallowed

Butambero

Withania somnifera (L) Dunal N (H021)

Solanaceae

Root

Common cold, tonsillitis

Fresh roots chewed and juice swallowed

Gergesho

Grewia villosa WilldN (H039)

Tialiaceae

Fruit

Intestinal parasite

Chewed and swallowed

N: Native to Ethiopia

Table 6

Medicinal plants reported by traditional healers among the Hamer ethnic group (January–February 2010)

Vernacular name

Scientific name

Family

Part(s) used

Medicinal use(s)

Method(s) of preparation

Busente

Hypoestes forskaolii (Vahl) R.Br. (H052)

Acanthaceae

Root

Evil eye

Fresh roots ground, macerated in water, filtered and drunk

Zen dhesha

Amaranthus hybridus L. (H053)

Amaranthaceae

Seed

Diarrhoea

Powdered, cooked in water and drunk with honey

Ekumangenta

Amaranthus spinosus L. (H045)

Amaranthaceae

Root

Toothache

Crushed, and pressed on tooth

Dhela

Cadaba farinosa Forssk.N (H024)

Capparidaceae

Root

Hypertension

Chopped, boiled with meat soup and drunk

Malaria

Chopped, boiled with meat soup and drunk

-

Maerua triphylla A. Rich (H011)

Capparidaceae

Root

Irregular menstruation, loss of appetite

Crushed, stood in water, filtered, and drunk

Bote

Cucurbita pepo L (H035)

Cucurbitaceae

Seed

Intestinal parasite

Dried, roasted, chewed and swallowed

Dhenqesho

Zehneria pallidinervia (Harms) C. Jeffery (H014)

Cucurbitaceae

Leaf

Cattle eye disease

Fresh leaves crushed, and juice instilled into the affected eye

Gebezdhesha

Cyperus distans L.f. (H004)

Cyperaceae

Bark/Root

Malaria

Roots or mixed with inner bark, chopped, macerated in water, mixed with milk and drunk

Fulante

Dichrostachys cinerea (L.) Wight &Arn.N (H010)

Fabaceae

Bark

Jaundice

Inner part peeled off, chopped, boiled with water smoke is inhaled

Lalombe aka

Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) De Wit (H013)

Fabaceae

Stem

Hypertension, intestinal parasite, irregular menstruation, loss of appetite

Chopped, macerated, filtered, mixed with honey and milk, and drunk

Choq

Chasmanthera dependens Hoscht. (H041)

Menispermaceae

Leaf

Toothache

Fresh leaves chopped, smashed, and pressed on tooth

Butambero

(H006)

-

Leaf/Root

Shello/Bishifechi

Chopped, macerated in water, filtered and drunk

Buri

(H008)

-

Root

Abdominal colic

Crushed, infusion prepared, filtered, mixed with milk and drunk

Evil eye

Burnt, and smoke inhaled

Adema

(H019)

-

Bark

Ara

Chopped, boiled in water and vapor inhaled

Onoko

(H057)

-

Leaf

Koliberdate

Fed to goats

N: Native to Ethiopia

Table 7

Medicinal plants reported by traditional healers and HH respondents of the Hamer ethnic group, South Omo Zone (January–February 2010)

Vernacular name

Scientific name (Collection number)

Family

Part(s) used

Medicinal use(s)

Method (s) of preparation

Welqante

Aloe otallensis BakerN (H002)

Aloaceae

Exudate

Malaria

Mixed with honey and milk, and drunk

Wound healing

Applied on wound

Salbana

Ozoroa insignis Del. (H005)

Anacardiaceae

Bark

Malaria

Inner part peeled off, chopped, macerated in water, filtered and drunk

Gebez Dhesha

Adenium obesum (Forssk.) Roem. & Schult.N (H003)

Apocynaceae

Root

Abdominal colic

Chopped, chewed and juice swallowed

Evil eye

Chopped, boiled in water, cooled and drunk

Akemba

Carissa spinarum L (H016)

Apocynaceae

Root

Malaria

Crushed, infusion prepared in water, filtered, and drunk

Feto

Lepidium sativum L. (H056)

Brassicaceae

Seed

Allergic reaction on skin, ulcer in mouth and throat

Ground, mixed with butter, applied on the skin, mouth and throat

Menzo

Cadaba mirabilis Gilg. (H030)

Capparidaceae

Leaf

Cattle disease

Crushed and juice instilled into the affected eye

Aradhesha

Maytenus senegalensis (Lam.) Excell (H047)

Celasteraceae

Leaf

Jaundice

Chopped, boiled in water and vapor inhaled

Tuzi

Euphorbia tirucalli L.N (H033)

Euphorbiaceae

Leaf/Stem

Wound healing

Fresh juice applied on wound

Kelanqi

Moringa stenopetala (Bak. f) Cuf.N (H051)

Moringaceae

Leaf

Hypertension/Abdominal colic

Fresh leaves boiled, allowed to cool, and the filtrate drunk

Leaf/Root

Malaria

Fresh leaves or roots or both boiled, allowed to cool, filtered, mixed with honey and drunk

Guni Dhesha

Datura metel L. (H007)

Solanaceae

Leaf

Snake bite

Fresh leaves squashed and juice applied on the affected area

Gerante

Solanum incanum L.N (H001)

Solanaceae

Fruit

Wound healing

Ripen fruit squeezed on wounds

Root

Toothache

Chewed and juice swallowed

Gurdo/Ardo

(H015)

-

Leaf

Snake bite

Fresh leaves chopped, squashed, and juice applied on the affected area

N: Native to Ethiopia

Fig. 3

Plant parts used in the preparation of herbal remedies among the Hamer ethnic group, January - February, 2010

Among the collected plants, 68.9 % were from forests or wild sources and 13.1 % were cultivated or garden plants, and 18 % were obtained from both forests and gardens. The most widely used preparation methods include maceration, decoction and infusion. The majority of the preparations are simple recipes (using only one plant as ingredient), while one of the preparations contained mixture of plants.

The vast majority of the recipes were taken orally (54.9 %), followed by topical (29.6 %), inhalation (11.3 %) and instillation into the eye (4.2 %) (Fig. 4). According to the current survey, most of the preparations were single dose preparations but the dosages were poorly established. Respondents of both HHs’ survey and traditional healers reported that vomiting, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal colic and irritation are the most common side effects of herbal preparations mentioned by the respondents and healers.
Fig. 4

Routes of administration of herbal remedies among the Hamer ethnic group, January - February, 2010

Discussion

The findings of this study indicated that the majority of the healers are males. Although the number of key informants in this survey was small, similar trends were found in previous surveys [1014]. This higher number of male traditional healers than females in traditional healing practice might be due to the tradition of the healing practice that does not encourage women to be involved in. The majority of the plants used to treat diseases are collected from the wild. Thus, considering the time and effort required to collect these materials together with other socio-cultural factors such as transfer of knowledge from elders to male members of the family in secret, discourage women to be actively involved in the practice of traditional medicine [10, 13].

According to the traditional healers, visual observation and history taking were the two main methods of diagnosis. Spiritualism could also be employed whenever the patient condition is non-natural causes which could not be diagnosed by physical assessment and history taking. The sources for healing constitute different components of traditional medical practices. The results of the present survey indicated that the majority of healers used plant and animal products to treat illnesses, while two of them used animal products combined with spiritual power, and only one used spiritual power to treat illnesses. In addition to these, some traditional healers perform minor surgeries.

In agreement with the present study, other similar studies indicated that many traditional healers practice on a part-time basis but that they have a long experience in the profession [10, 11, 15]. It has been observed that long experience is needed for traditional medicine practitioners (TMPs) to be effective [15].

Similar to the results obtained from elsewhere [14], traditional healers in the Hamer ethnic group reported that they use their sons or male close relatives as an assistant. In most cases the responsibilities of the assistants were limited to preparing equipment and materials required for treatment of patients. In addition, they help weak clients who are unable to take care of themselves. In some cases when the healer is too old, they carry out his duties as per his instructions and under his supervision.

None of the interviewed healers had fixed payment rate for their services. The rate is determined on the basis of customer’s economic condition and relation to healers. A previous survey carried out in other parts of Ethiopia also documented a similar finding [10].

Concurrent with the report generated from other studies [16, 17], the present study indicates that a high proportion (64.2 %) of HH respondents reported to have sought help from TMPs. The Hamer ethnic group largely tended to seek help from TMPs for the following reasons; firstly, they are nomads/pastoralists and therefore move from one place to another following the track of their cattle. Secondly, the majority of community members live in poverty and poor infrastructure. Thirdly, the cost of traditional medicine is very low compared to modern drugs and this is compounded with the cultural beliefs of the community that only traditional medicine is effective in combating certain types of illnesses such as evil eye (chaki), snake bite (guni) and hypertension (lognagena). In addition, factors such as lack of information and community members’ desire for health services that are readily available, affordable and socially and culturally acceptable, play a decisive role for their choice [18]. Hence, TM remains the mainstay in narrowing the gap of their health care needs [17, 19, 20]. These results obtained from HH respondents concur with the findings of FGDs.

Patterns of health service utilization and health care seeking were found to be influenced by socio-economic status, level of education, cultural beliefs and perceptions of the causes of diseases and scope for treating different conditions [18, 19, 21]. In this study females (69 %) sought more help from TMPs than males (61.1 %) for their health care. These results are in agreement with a previous study carried out in Ethiopia [2] but different from surveys conducted in other countries [19, 22, 23]. This might be due to the enormous burden on females in the Hamer ethnic group to look after the family; long distances form health institutions and poor infrastructure, low income status and the cultural beliefs of the community [18, 24, 25].

The influence of education on choice of treatment options of HH respondents was statistically significant (χ 2 = 7.210, df = 1, P < 0.05). For that reason, literates (41.5 %) prefer health care facilities to TM as a choice of health care more than nonliterates (34.9 %). Thus, the present survey clearly showed that income status and educational status of HH respondents could influence the choice and quality of health care needs and actions taken against perceived illnesses. Respondents with higher economic status and literates sought modern health care services more than those with lower economic status and nonliterates (P < 0.05). Similar trends have been demonstrated in previous studies [17, 19, 26]. The findings appear to indicate that people with lower socio-economic status might have problems of access to modern health care facilities as they may not afford the cost [21], and/or lack of education could also impinge on the awareness of the community members about the ailments and seeking help for health care [18, 19].

In terms of preference to choice of health care options, the percentage of those HH respondents who favored health institutions in seeking medical care when a family member gets sick rose from 31.5 to 54.7 % from low income respondents to high income respondents. Likewise, those who chose TM as a first line declined from 68.4 to 45.3 % in these groups. The effect of economic status on the choice of health care options of HH respondents was found to be statistically significant (χ 2 = 40.347, df = 2, P < 0.05).

Of the collected and identified medicinal plants, Fabaceae is the most commonly reported family, which is in agreement with other surveys carried out in different parts of the country [27]. This is not surprising as Fabaceae is the second largest family in the country behind Asteraceae, in addition to being among the most common families found in dry forests [27]. In this study, a large number of medicinal plants are collected from the wild, a finding similar with surveys conducted in other parts of Ethiopia [26, 28], Kenya [29], Ghana [15], Brazil [30], Serbia [31], and Malaysia [32]. However, at least in one survey conducted in Northern Ethiopia [33], the majority of medicinal plants are collected from gardens. In general, collection of medicinal plants from forests indicates that there is little practice of preserving medicinal plants in cultivated areas or home gardens. In the context of the current survey, the reason could be associated with the life style of the community, who are by and large pastoralists. This, together with poor protection of wild medicinal plants due to the ongoing mass destruction of wild vegetation for different purposes by the community and overgrazing are endangering medicinal plants and discourage the practice of traditional health care in the study area [15, 20, 28].

The main reasons for the most common use of leaves and roots could be due to the fact that they act as reservoirs for exudates/secretions which are believed to contain toxins, some of which may have medicinal value, and also due to the relative ease of finding these plant parts [34, 35]. The popularity of roots as a source of herbal drugs has serious consequences from both ecological point of view and the survival of the medicinal plant species [36]. Therefore, due attention must be given to this problem before the situation gets worse.

The majority of the preparations are simple recipes (using only one plant as ingredient), while one of the preparations contained a mixture of plants. The use of simple recipes has been reported in other parts of the world [30, 37]. The combination of more than one plant in herbal preparations could increase the potency mainly due to synergistic or additive effect. Whilst the majority of the remedies were prepared form freshly collected plant parts, dried parts are also used to prepare very few plant drugs, a finding that was consistent with other works conducted in Ethiopia [20, 38], India [37] and Brazil [30]. The possible justification for the use of fresh plant material could be due to the simplicity of the method which does not require sophisticated equipments.

Conclusion

The present study revealed that health seeking behavior of the Hamer ethnic group is affected by different socio-economic and cultural factors. There is also a strong indication for traditional medical practices and use of plant materials to treat various ailments and health problems among the study population. Selection of medicinal plants by the Hamer ethnic group appears to have sound basis as most community members claim to have benefited from the use of herbal drugs. The study also showed that the majority of medicinal plants are collected from the wild; with leaves and roots being the most widely used plant parts. Collection of leaves from wild may not pose a serious danger to the survival of a plant. However, collection of roots may contribute to the destruction of the plant species causing high risk of loss of biodiversity. The use of medicinal plants in particular, and traditional medicine in general, among the study population is facing danger of survival as the means of transferring knowledge form one generation to another is mainly by word of mouth, and the younger generation appears to have no interest in acquiring such knowledge. Therefore, it is important that the government creates awareness among community members about the significance of preserving traditional knowledge and also conserving medicinal plants before they disappear. Furthermore, additional surveys on other minority ethnic groups of the woreda should be conducted in order to collect, identify and document medicinal plants and other traditional medical practices.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

Our appreciation goes to the people and traditional healers of Hamer Woreda for their participation in the study. One of the authors (B.P.) would like to acknowledge the Graduate Studies and Research Office of Addis Ababa University for sponsoring this research work which is part of an M. Sc. study. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Melaku Wondafrash, the National Herbarium, Department of Biology, Addis Ababa University for identification of plant material.

Funding

BP is grateful to the Graduate Studies and Research Office of Addis Ababa University for sponsoring his MSc study.

Availability of data and material

The dataset supporting the conclusions of this article is included in Tables 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 and Figs. 3 & 4. Additional data are also provided in Additional file 1.

Authors’ contributions

BP coordinated data collection; performed data entry and analysis and wrote the draft manuscript. TGF, KA and DB initiated the idea, involved in the design of the study, developed data collection instruments and corrected the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Consent for publication

Oral consent was obtained from each respondent before conducting the interview. Moreover, participants of the study have consented to their photograph being taken for publication, if necessary.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Ethical approval was secured from the Institutional Ethics Review Board of the School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, prior to starting of the study.

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Pharmacy, Wollega University
(2)
Department of Pharmaceutics and Social Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University
(3)
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University

References

  1. Karou D, Wendyame M, Nadembega C, Ouattara L, Ilboudo DP, Canini A, Nikiéma JB, Simpore J, Colizzi V, Traore AS. African ethnopharmacology and new drug discovery. Med Aromat Plant Sci Biotechol. 2007;1:1–9.Google Scholar
  2. WHO. Legal Status of Traditional Medicine and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: A Worldwide Review. Geneva: 2001;1–2.Google Scholar
  3. Pankhurst R. An historical examination of traditional Ethiopian medicine and surgery. Ethiop Med J. 1965;3:157–72.Google Scholar
  4. Kibebew F. The status and availability of oral and written knowledge on traditional health care on traditional health care in Ethiopia. In Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants in Ethiopia, Proceedings of the National workshop, 28 April – 01 May 1998. Edited by: Zewdu M. and Demissie A: Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research; 2001:107–119.Google Scholar
  5. Byg A, Vormisto J, Balslev H. Using the useful: Characteristics of used palms in South-Eastern Ecuador. Environ Dev Sustain. 2006;8:495–506.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  6. Abebe D, Ayehu A. Medicinal Plants and Enigmatic Health Practices of Northern Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: B.S.P.E; 1993.Google Scholar
  7. Teklehaymanot T. Ethnobotanical study of knowledge and medicinal plants use by people in Dek Island in Ethiopia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;124:69–78.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Central Statistical Agency: The 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Statistical Report for Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region; Part I: Population Size and Characteristics. July 2010.Google Scholar
  9. Licht MF. Hamer Woreda’s children basic education service need situation analysis the challenges and the possibilities as observed by the fact finding team, 2005. http://www.africanchildinfo.net/documents/BS%20PDF3.pdf. Accessed on 20 Oct 2010.
  10. Gedif T, Hahn HJ. Herbalist in Addis Ababa and Butajira, Central Ethiopia: Mode of service delivery and traditional pharmaceutical practice. Ethiop J Health Dev. 2002;16:191–7.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  11. Tabuti JRS, Dhillion SS, Lye KA. Traditional medicine in Bulamogi County, Uganda: Its practitioners, users and viability. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;85:119–29.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Ragunathan M, Solomon M. The study of spiritual remedies in orthodox rural churches and traditional medicinal practice in Gondar Zuria district, Northwestern Ethiopia. Pharmacognosy J. 2009;1:178–83.Google Scholar
  13. Olatokun WM, Ajagbe E. Analyzing traditional medical practitioners’ information-seeking behavior using Taylor’s information-use environment model. J Libr Inf Sci. 2010;42:122–35.Google Scholar
  14. Kavi E, Abanga RA, Kudolo PA, Morna E. Survey on the practice of traditional medicine in the operational area of eight ACDEP-Member primary health care programmes in the Upper East and Northern Regions of Ghana. Ghana: Health Unit, Association of Church Based Development NGOs (ACDEP); 2008.Google Scholar
  15. Agyare C, Asase A, Lechtenberg M, Niehues M, Deters A, Hensel A. An ethnopharmacological survey and in vitro confirmation of ethnopharmacological use of medicinal plants used for wound healing in Bosomtwi-Atwima-Kwanwoma area, Ghana. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;125:393–403.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Teklehaymanot T, Giday M. Quantitative ethnobotany of medicinal plants used by Kara and Kwego semi-pastoralist people in lower Omo River Valley, Debub Omo Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;130:76–84.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Ouahidi ML, Khalidi A, Lemhadri A, El-Hessni A, El Bouhali B, Issad N, Ahami T, Eddouks M. Medicinal plants used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in North-Western region of Morocco (Gharb): An ethnopharmacological approach. Advances in Phytotherapy Research. Research Signpost. 2009;129–38.Google Scholar
  18. Zwi AB, Blignault I, Glazebrook D, Correia V, Bateman Steel CR, Ferreira E, Pinto BM. Timor-Leste health care seeking behaviour study. Sydney: The University of New South Wales; 2009.Google Scholar
  19. Peng Y, Chang W, Zhou H, Hu H, Liang W. Factors associated with health-seeking behavior among migrant workers in Beijing, China. BMC Health Serv Res. 2010;10:69.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Yineger H, Yewhalaw D. Traditional medicinal plant knowledge and use by local healers in Sekoru district, Jimma zone, Southwestern Ethiopia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2007;3:24.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Adegoke TG. Socio-cultural factors influencing the use of spiritual healing churches in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria. Anthropologist. 2007;9:225–32.Google Scholar
  22. Sudharsanam MB, Rotti SB. Factors determining treatment seeking behaviors for sick children in a fishermen community in Pondicherry. Indian J Community Med. 2007;32:71–2.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  23. Bourne PA. Socio-demographic determinants of health care-seeking behaviour, self-reported illness and self-evaluated health status in Jamaica. Int J Collab Res Intern Med Public Health. 2009;1:101–30.Google Scholar
  24. Abouzahr C. Improving access to quality maternal health services. Plan Parent Chall. 1998;1:6–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Rani M, Bonu S. Rural Indian women’s care seeking behaviour and choice of provider for gynecological symptoms. Stud Fam Plann. 2003;34:173–85.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Flatie T, Gedif T, Asres K, Gebre-Mariam T. . Ethnomedical survey of Bertha Ethnic Group Assosa Zone, BenShangul-Gumuz regional state, Mid-West Ethiopia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2009;5:14.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Awas T, Asfaw Z, Nordal I, Demissew S. Ethnobotany of Bertha and Gumuz people in western Ethiopia. Biodiversity. 2010;11(3–4):45–53.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  28. Wondimu T, Asfaw Z, Kelbessa E. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants around Dheeraa town, Arsi zone, Ethiopia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;112:152–61.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Nanyingi MO, Mbaria JM, Lanyasunya AL, Wagate CG, Koros KB, Kaburia HF, Munenge RW, Ogara WO. Ethnopharmacological survey of Samburu District, Kenya. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2008;4:14.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Coelho-Ferreira M. Medicinal knowledge and plant utilization in an Amazonian Coastal community of Marudá, Pará State (Brazil). J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;126:159–75.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Jarić S, Popovic Z, Macukanoviae-Jocic M, Djurdjevic L, Mijatoviae M, Karadžic B, Mitrovic M, Pavlovic P. An ethnobotanical study on the usage of wild medicinal herbs from Kopaonik Mountain (Central Serbia). J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;111:160–75.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Samuel AJ, Kalusalingam A, Chellappan DK, Gopinath R, Radhamani S, Husain HA, Muruganandham V, Promwichit P. Ethnomedical survey of plants used by the Orang Asli in Kampung Bawong, Perak, West Malaysia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2010;6:5.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Yirga G. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in and around Alamata, Southern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Curr Res J Biol Sci. 2010;5:338–44.Google Scholar
  34. Giday M, Asfaw Z, Elmqvist T, Woldu Z. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants by the Zay people in Ethiopia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;85:43–52.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Giday M, Asfaw Z, Woldu Z, Teklehaymanot T. Medicinal plant knowledge of the Bench Ethnic Group of Ethiopia: An ethnobotanical investigation. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2009;5:34.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Mesfin F, Demissew S, Teklehaymanot T. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in Wonago Woreda, SNNPR, Ethiopia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2009;5:28.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Namsa ND, Tag H, Mandal M, Kalita P, Das AK. An ethnobotanical study of traditional anti-inflammatory plants used by the Lohit community of Arunachal Pradesh. Indian J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;125:234–45.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  38. Karunamoorthi K, Ilango K, Endale A. Ethnobotanical survey of knowledge and usage custom of traditional insect/mosquito repellent plants among the Ethiopian Oromo ethnic group. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;125:224–9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© The Author(s). 2016

Advertisement