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Ethnobotanical investigation on medicinal plants in Algoz area (South Kordofan), Sudan

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  • 1Email author
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine201814:31

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-018-0230-y

  • Received: 20 November 2017
  • Accepted: 16 April 2018
  • Published:

Abstract

Background

The inhabitants of western Sudan use traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments due to lack of medical doctors and unaffordable prices of pharmaceutical products. The present study is the first documentation of the traditional plant knowledge on medicinal uses of plants by healers in Algoz (South Kordofan), Sudan.

Method

Ethnobotanical data were collected over a period from March to November 2015 using semi-structured interviews with 30 healers (24 male and 6 female) living in the investigated area. Quantitative indices such as use categories, use value (UV) and informant consensus factor (ICF) were intended to evaluate the importance of medicinal plant species.

Results

A total of 94 medicinal plants, which belong to 45 families and 81 genera, were recorded in the study area. The most represented families are Leguminosae with 20 species followed by Combretaceae (6 species), Rubiaceae (5 species) and Asteraceae (4 species). The reported species were belonging to herbs (43%), trees (28%), shrubs (22%), climbers (4%) and parasites (3%). Root and stem (21% each) were the most plant parts used. A majority of remedies are administered orally (67%) where infusion (36%) and maceration (32%) are the most used methods. The highest ICF (0.87) was reported for poisonous animal bites followed by urinary system diseases (0.89), blood system disorders (0.88) and gynaecological diseases (0.87). Anastatica hierochuntica, Ctenolepis cerasiformis, Echinops longifolius, Cleome gynandra, Maerua pseudopetalosa, Martynia annua, Oldenlandia uniflora, Opuntia ficus-indica, Solanum dubium, Sonchus cornutus, Tribulus terrestris and Drimia maritima were reported for the first time in this study.

Conclusion

The number of medicinal plants reported in this paper reflects evidence that Algoz area had a high diversity of medicinal plants which will continue to play an important role in the healthcare system in the study area.

Keywords

  • Medicinal plants
  • Healers
  • Algoz area
  • Sudan

Background

In 2011, Sudan split into two countries with one third of the country being proclaimed a new state named “Republic of South Sudan” leaving behind the remaining area retaining the older name “the Republic of Sudan” [1]. In its former integral state, Sudan was the largest country in Africa and the tenth in the world, boasting an area of 2.5 million square kilometers which spanned diverse terrains and climatic zones [1]. This did bear directly on the wide diversity of vegetation, from those in the desert and semi-desert in the north through the equatorial in the central part to the extreme of the humid equatorial in the south. Such prevailing conditions favoured diverse vegetation consisting of 3137 documented species of flowering plants belonging to 170 families and 1280 genera, 15% of which are endemic [2]. A large number of these plants have a vital contribution to human health care needs throughout the country. Medicinal and aromatic plants and their derivatives represent an integral part of life in Sudan. Communities in different regions of Sudan use traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments due to lack of medical doctors and unaffordable prices of pharmaceutical products beside their faith on the medicinal values of traditional medicine [3]. It has been estimated that only 11% of the population has access to formal health care [1].

The geographical position of Sudan represents a multicultural melting pot of diverse traditional knowledge over large distances and facilitated the exchange of knowledge about medicinal plants with other countries from Africa to Middle East and Asia [4].

Despite the varied flora and socio-cultural diversity in Sudan, there is a far-reaching lack of written information on the traditional use of medicinal plants [4]. So, documentation of plants used as traditional medicines in Sudan is warranted. The aim of this study was to investigate the traditional plant knowledge on medicinal uses of plants by local healers in Algoz area (South Kordofan), Sudan.

Methods

Study area

Algoz area is situated in the northern part of South Kordofan state, and its borders are Northern Kordofan state from the north and northeast, West Kordofan state from the northwest, Dellang locality from the south and Habella locality from the southeast direction (Fig. 1). It is located between latitudes 12°–12° 30 N and longitudes 29° 48–300 E and 622 m above sea level, with a total area of 35,000 km2. Short grass and short scattered trees prevail. The area is associated with exposed rocks crossing the central Sudan forming a surface water divide. The White Nile which is the main tributary of the River Nile bounds the hydrologic system to the east, while the highlands of Kordofan Plateau and the Nuba Mountains bound it to the west and the south respectively. Khor Abu Habil is a major seasonal wadi that crosses the study area and flows from the west to the east. The wadi disappears into the sand dunes a few kilometers before reaching the White Nile. The climate in the area is semi-arid with long hot summers (March–September) and short mild winters (December–February). Seasonal rainfall occurs only during summer (June–September) and varies between 200 mm/year in the north and 450 mm/year in the south [5].
Fig. 1
Fig. 1

a Sudan map showing the South Kordofan State (red) and b Algoz locality (red)

Algoz area has a multi-population with tribes as Dar Shungool, Gaboosh, Dar Bati, Albargo, Albarno, Flata and some Arabic nomads. They are working mainly in agriculture, animal grazing and trade [6].

Data collection and plant identification

Ethnobotanical data were collected from March to November 2015. Information about the medicinal use of plants was collected by carrying out semi-structured interviews with 30 healers (24 male and 6 female) living in the investigated area. The questionnaire was designed to collect data on (i) local names of the plants, (ii) ailments treated by the plant, (iii) plant parts used, (iv) condition of the plant material (dried or fresh) and (v) modes of preparation and administration. Some social factors like the name, age, occupation and education level of the interviewed person were also recorded. Also, the geographic locality and date of the interview were recorded. Plant specimens were collected for taxonomic identification using keys of written floras such as Broun and Massey [7], Andrews [811], Ross [12], Hutchinson and Dalziel [13], Maydell [14] and Elamin [15]. Voucher specimens were deposited at the Herbarium of Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, National Centre for Research, Sudan (MAPTMR-H). The botanical names and plant families are given according to the standards of the plant list (www.ipni.org/).

Ethnobotanical data analysis

Data analysis was carried out by using both the classical ethnobotanical systematic investigation and a numerical quantitative approach in order to evaluate the importance of the mentioned plant species in the investigated area. The quantitative study was carried out by calculating the following ethnobotanical indices:

Use categories

The medicinal plant uses were classified into categories following the standard developed by Cook [16]. Each time a plant was mentioned as “used” was considered as one “use report”. If one informant used a plant to treat more than one disease in the same category, it was considered as a single use report [17].

Use value (UV)

The relative importance was calculated employing the use value [18], a quantitative measure for the relative importance of species known locally:
$$ \mathrm{UV}=\frac{\sum U}{n} $$

where Ui is the number of use reports cited by each informant for a given species and n refers to the total number of informants.

Use values are high when there are many use reports for a plant, implying that the plant is important, and approach zero (0) when there are few reports related to its use. The use value, however, does not distinguish whether a plant is used for single or multiple purposes.

Informant consensus factor

To test homogeneity of knowledge, the informant consensus factor was used [19]:
$$ \mathrm{ICF}=\frac{N_{\mathrm{ur}}-{N}_{\mathrm{t}}}{\left({N}_{\mathrm{ur}}-1\right)} $$

where Nur refers to the number of use reports for a particular use category and Nt refers to the number of taxa used for a particular use category by all informants. Informant consensus factor (ICF) values are low (near 0) if plants are chosen randomly or if there is no exchange of information about their use among informants and approach one (1) when there is a well-defined selection criterion in the community and/or if information is exchanged between informants [20].

Results

Medicinal plant diversity

A total of 94 medicinal plants, which belong to 45 families and 81 genera, were recorded in the study area. Results provide the following information for each species: scientific name, botanical family, local common name, plant habitat, plant part used, disease treated, route of administration and use value (Table 1). The most represented families are Leguminosae with 20 species followed by Combretaceae (6 species), Rubiaceae (5 species), Asteraceae (4 species), Lamiaceae, Poaceae, Tiliaceae and Zygophyllaceae (3 species each), Apocynaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Brassicaceae, Burseraceae, Cleomaceae, Capparaceae, Malvaceae and Meliaceae (2 species each), and other families were represented with one species each. This dominance of Leguminosae plants is a characteristic of the Sudan flora. The most commonly used species is Sarcocephalus latifolius with a UV of 2.07 followed by Guiera senegalensis with a UV of 1.87, Hydnora abyssinica with a UV of 1.83 and Geigeria alata with a UV of 1.67 respectively. Plants that treat three ailments and more (86%) represent the majority, followed by plants that treat single ailments (8%) and those that treat two ailments (6%) respectively.
Table 1

Ethnomedicinal plants used in the Algoz region (South Kordofan)/western Sudan

Plant name/family/voucher no.

Local name

Growth habit

Part used

Ailment treated

Mode of administration

UV

Abrus precatorius L., Leguminosae, G/106/83

Habat alaroose

Climber

Seed

Spleen problems

Infusion

0.06

Acacia nilotica subsp. adstringens (Schum. & Thonn.) Roberty, Leguminosae, G/56/83

Garad

Tree

Fruit

Stomachache

Powder mixed with ajeen and drunk

0.93

    

Cold and flu

Smoke fumigant

 
    

Wounds

Powder mixed with bee wax

 

Acacia oerfota (Forssk.) Schweinf., Leguminosae, O/49/78

Laoat

Shrub

Stem

Back pain

Roasted twigs put on the back

1.00

   

Leaf

Swellings

Poultice applied to swellings

 
   

Root

Snake bite

Fresh crushed roots rubbed on the place of bite

 
    

Toothache

Paste with atroon

 

Acacia senegal (L.) Willd., Leguminosae, G/110/83

Kitir abied

Tree

Gum

Haematuria

Infusion

0.60

    

Toothache

Filling tooth cavity with gum powder

 

Acacia seyal Delile, Leguminosae, M/21/76

Talih

Tree

Heart wood

Rheumatic pain

Smoke fumigant

0.53

Acanthorrhinum ramosissimum (Coss. & Durieu) Rothm., Plantaginaceae, W/14/95

Shagart almassas

Herb

Aerial part

Evil eye

Smoke fumigant

0.40

Adansonia digitata L., Malvaceae, W/20/95

Tabaldi/fruit gongolaise

Tree

Fruit

Giardiasis

Decoction of the mesocarp

0.70

    

Stomachache

Decoction of the mesocarp

 

Albizia anthelmintica Brongn., Leguminosae, K/11/96

Um takarny/gerfadud

Tree

Bark

Worm expulsion

Infusion

0.33

   

Leaf

Wounds

Powder sprinkled in wound

 
    

Stomachache

Infusion

 
    

Jaundice

Infusion

 

Allium sativum L, Amaryllidaceae, Cultivated

Toom

Herb

Bulb

Haemorrhoids

Mixed with Zingiber officinale rhizome and applied to the anus

0.07

Anastatica hierochuntica L., Brassicaceae, Purchsed

Kaf maryam

Herb

Aerial part

Postpartum

Maceration or infusion

0.37

Anogeissus leiocarpus (DC.) Guill. & Perr., Combretaceae, W/1/97

Sahab

Tree

Bark

Toothache

Filling tooth cavity with powder

0.37

    

Jaundice

Maceration or infusion

 
    

Malaria

Maceration or infusion

 

Anticharis senegalensis (Walp.) Bhandari, Scrophulariaceae, W/15/94

Shagarat alwaram

Herb

Aerial part

Swellings

Poultice applied to swellings

0.03

Arachis hypogaea L., Leguminosae, Cultivated

Foul sodany

Herb

Seed

Bilharzia

Maceration

0.033

Aristolochia bracteolata Lam., Aristolochiaceae, G/7/84

Um galagil

Herb

Aerial part

Malaria

Infusion

0.47

    

Ear infection

Smoke fumigant

 
    

Headache

Infusion

 

Azadirachta indica A. Juss., Meliaceae, W/95/94

Neem

Tree

Leaf and wood

Rheumatic pain

Maceration and taken as bath

0.43

    

Malaria

Maceration or infusion

 

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Delile, Zygophyllaceae, G/30/83

Laloub

Tree

Fruit pulp

Diabetes

Infusion

1.03

    

Hypertension

Infusion

 
    

Bilharzia

Infusion

 
    

Jaundice

Infusion

 

Bauhinia reticulata DC., Leguminosae, M/50/85

Khroob

Tree

Fruit

Hypertension

Maceration

0.57

   

Bark

Jaundice

Infusion

 
    

Wounds

Powder sprinkle in wound

 

Bergia suffruticosa (Delile) Fenzl, Elatinaceae, W/10/06

Shagarat almoya

Herb

Aerial part

Eczema

Powder rubbed locally

0.09

Blepharis linariifolia Pers., Acanthaceae, MA/38/77

Bagail

Herb

Aerial part

Kidney disorders

Maceration

0.87

    

Diabetes

Maceration or infusion

 
    

Wounds

Powder sprinkled in wound

 
    

Hypertension

Maceration or infusion

 
    

Toothache

Filling tooth cavity with powder

 
    

Tonic

Maceration

 

Boswellia papyrifera (Caill. ex Delile) Hochst., Burseraceae, K/12/96

Tarag tarag

Tree

Bark

Diabetes

Maceration

0.17

    

Diarrhoea

Infusion

 
    

Anaemia

Infusion

 

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand., Apocynaceae, W/20/94

Ushar

Shrub

Stem

Scorpion sting

Latex squeezed and rubbed locally

0.07

Carissa spinarum L., Apocynaceae, W/52/05

Alaly

Shrub

Root

Evil eye

Smoke fumigant

0.93

Cassia arereh Delile, Leguminosae, G/36/83

Um Kasho/gafa

Tree

Root

Stomachache

Maceration

0.37

    

Malaria

Maceration

 
    

Toothache

Filling tooth cavity with powder

 
    

Haematuria

Infusion

 
    

Evil eye

Smoke fumigant

 

Catunaregam nilotica (Stapf) Tirven, Rubiaceae, W/111/95

Shagarat Almarfain

Shrub

Bark

Malaria

Maceration

0.37

    

Jaundice

Maceration

 
    

Prostate

Maceration

 

Catunaregam taylorii (S.Moore) Bridson, Rubiaceae, K/3/96

Karno

Shrub

Seeds

Kidney disorders

Infusion

0.30

Chamaecrista nigricans (Vahl) Greene, Leguminosae, W/101/94

Jub argaly

Herb

Aerial part

Haematuria

Decoction

0.10

Cissus quadrangularis L., Vitaceae, G/47/83

Sala sala

Climber

Aerial part

Syphilis

Ash

0.67

    

Dandruff

Juice as a head wash

 
    

Back pain

Powder mixed with sesame oil and rubbed locally

 
    

Wounds

Poultice applied to wound

 

Cleome gynandra L., Cleomaceae, W/17/95

Tamalaika

Herb

Leaf

Improve eyesight

Boiled in sour milk

0.23

    

Spleen problems

Maceration or infusion

 
    

Worm expulsion

Decoction

 
    

Headache

Decoction

 
    

Rheumatic pain

Decoction

 

Cleome viscosa L., Cleomaceae, W/10/95

Koda

Herb

Root

Evil eye

Band around arm

0.07

Clitoria ternatea L., Leguminosae, M/18/95

Shagarat alyaragan

Herb

Aerial part

Jaundice

Infusion

0.20

    

Laxative

Infusion

 
    

Giardiasis

Infusion

 

Combretum aculeatum Vent., Combretaceae, K/9/96

Shihait

Shrub

Young branches

Swellings

Poultice applied to swellings

0.07

Combretum hartmannianum Schweinf., Combretaceae, G/114/83

Habeel

Shrub

Bark

Rheumatic pain

Smoke fumigant

0.73

Commiphora gileadensis (L.) C.Chr., Burseraceae, W/76/95

Gafal

Shrub

Bark

Measles

Decoction

0.07

Cordia africana Lam., Boraginaceae, Y/4/010

Gumbail/andrab

Tree

Root

Jaundice

Maceration

0.10

Coriandrum sativum L, Apiaceae, Cultivated

Kasbra

Herb

Seed

Foot pain

Poultice

0.02

Ctenolepis cerasiformis (Stocks) C.B. Clarke, Cucurbitaceae, O/37/79

Kazaky

Herb

Root

Tonic

Maceration

0.07

Cymbopogon schoenanthus (L.) Spreng., Poaceae, G/77/83

Mahraib

Herb

Aerial part

Diabetes

Maceration or infusion

0.50

    

Stomachache

Maceration or infusion

 

Cyperus rotundus L., Cyperaceae, AB/16/94

Siada

Herb

Corm

Kidney stones

Infusion

1.10

    

Haematuria

Infusion

 
    

Worm expulsion

Infusion

 
    

Headache

Infusion

 
    

Sexual debility

Maceration or infusion

 

Detarium microcarpum Guill. & Perr., Leguminosae, G/127/83

Irg abolaila

Tree

Root

Stomachache

Maceration

0.07

Dicoma tomentosa Cass., Asteraceae, M/28/95

Um senainat

Herb

Root

Jaundice

Maceration or infusion

0.07

Dichrostachys cinerea (L.) Wight & Arn., Leguminosae, K/5/96

Kadad

Tree

Root and fruit

Jaundice

Maceration or infusion

0.30

Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn, Asparagaceae, Y/17/015

Baroug/galb albarida

Herb

Bulb

Sexual debility

Maceration

0.17

    

Snake bite

Juice rubbed on place of bite

 

Echinops longifolius A. Rich., Compositae, G/100/83

Irg agrab

Herb

Root

Scorpion sting

Fresh crushed roots rubbed locally

0.07

Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh., Myrtaceae, Cultivated

Kafoor

Tree

Leaf

Toothache

Filling tooth cavity with powder

0.07

Fagonia cretica L., Zygophyllaceae, W/121/95

Um shuwaika

Herb

Aerial part

Skin allergy

Poultice

0.03

Geigeria alata Benth. & Hook.f. ex Oliv. & Hiern, Compositae, O/2/81

Gadad

Herb

Aerial part

Diabetes

Infusion

1.67

    

Kidney disorders

Infusion

 
    

Hypertension

Infusion

 
    

Stomachache

Infusion

 

Grewia flavescens Juss., Malvaceae, G/42/83

Hilo/khakasan

Shrub

Fruit

Anaemia

Maceration and mixed with nisha

0.63

Grewia tenax (Forssk.) Fiori, Malvaceae, G/105/83

Gudaim

Shrub

Bark

Wounds

Poultice applied to wounds

0.63

   

Fruit

Anaemia

Maceration and mixed with nisha

 

Grewia villosa Willd., Malvaceae, G/11/83

Gargadan

Shrub

Bark

Wounds

Poultice applied to wounds

0.67

    

Anaemia

Maceration and mixed with nisha

 
    

Eye infection

Infusion used as an eyewash

 

Guiera senegalensis J.F.Gmel., Combretaceae, K/35/96

Gubaish

Shrub

Leaf/root

Acid reflux

Mixed with Ammi visnaga and sugar and taken as powder

1.87

   

Leaf

Malaria

Infusion

 
    

Kidney disorders

Infusion

 
    

Diabetes

Infusion

 
    

Tonic

Infusion

 

Hibiscus sabdariffa L., Malvaceae, Cultivated

Karkady

Herb

Calyx

Hypertension

Infusion

0.93

    

Cold and flu

Infusion

 
    

Haemorrhoids

Powder applied to the anus

 

Hydnora abyssinica A.Br., Hydnoraceae, G/65/83

Dumbo dumbo

Parasite

Root

Stomachache

Powder mixed in yoghourt or ajeen

1.83

    

Diarrhoea

Decoction

 
    

Dysentery

Powder mixed in yoghourt

 

Hyphaene thebaica (L.) Mart., Arecaceae, K/81/96

Dom

Tree

Fruit

Diabetes

Infusion

0.50

    

Diarrhoea

Infusion

 
    

Kidney disorders

Infusion

 

Jatropha curcas L., Euphorbiaceae, Y/20/014

Habat almolouk

Shrub

Seed

Sexual debility

Eat with date

0.07

Khaya senegalensis (Desr.) A. Juss., Meliaceae, G/173/83

Mahougany

Tree

Bark

Malaria

Maceration

0.93

    

Jaundice

Infusion

 

Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth., Bignoniaceae, G/8/84

Um shotoor

Tree

Fruit

Breast swellings

Poultice applied at night

1.07

    

Rheumatic pain

Roasted and powder mixed with sesame oil and rubbed

 
    

Leprosy

Powder rubbed locally

 

Lannea fruticosa (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Engl., Anacardiaceae, Y/3/010

Layoun

Shrub

Bark

Swellings

Poultice applied to swellings

0.03

Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R.Br., Lamiaceae, M/9/76

Faky bla dawaya

Herb

Aerial part

Evil eye

Smoke fumigant

0.43

Leptadenia arborea (Forssk.) Schwein., Apocynaceae, W/8/95

Hadana/shaloub shailingo

Climber

Root

Acid reflux

Maceration

0.30

    

Diarrhoea

Maceration

 
    

Swellings

Poultice applied to swellings

 
    

Jaundice

Maceration

 

Lepidium sativum L., Brassicaceae, Cultivated

Habat rashad

Herb

Seed

Kidney stones

Powder taken and water drunk after

0.2

Leptadenia pyrotechnica (Forssk.) Decne., Apocynaceae, W/53/06

Mirikh

Shrub

Stem

Rheumatic pain

Smoke fumigant

0.07

Maerua pseudopetalosa (Gilg & Gilg-Ben.) DeWolf, Capparaceae, G/107/83

Kurdala

Herb

Root

Diabetes

Masticated then drink water

0.80

    

Sexual debility

Masticated then drink water

 
    

Hypertension

Smoke fumigant

 
    

Kidney disorders

Infusion

 

Maerua oblongifolia (Forssk.) A.Rich., Capparaceae, G/21/82

Wad elbarieh/irig mahaba

Shrub

Root

Evil eye/luck

Smoke fumigant

0.23

Martynia annua L., Martyniaceae, Y/5/014

Irg agrab/maklab shytan

Herb

Root

Scorpion sting

Fresh crushed roots rubbed locally

0.63

Mentha spicata L., Lamiaceae, Cultivated

Nanaa

Herb

Aerial part

Flatulence

Decoction

0.60

Moringa oleifera Lam., Moringaceae, Y/17/014

Moringa

Shrub

Seed

Back pain

Powder mixed with sesame oil and salt and rubbed

0.20

   

Leaf

Fatigue

Infusion

 

Nigella sativa L., Ranunculaceae, Cultivated

Kamoon aswad

Herb

Seed

Articulation pain

Powder mixed with sesame oil

1.20

    

Stomachache

Maceration

 
    

Headache

Infusion

 
   

Aerial part

Jaundice

Infusion

 

Oldenlandia uniflora L., Rubiaceae, Y/12/015

Shagarat albahag

Herb

Root

Leprosy

Powder rubbed locally

0.13

Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., Cactaceae, W/34/95

Teen ahawky

Shrub

Latex

Dandruff

Boil in sesame oil and rub hair skin before wash

0.07

Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br., Poaceae, Cultivated

Duchen

Herb

Seed

Measles

Powder mixed with milk of black goat and drunk and as body wash

0.10

    

Sexual debility

Powder prepared as pudding and eaten

 

Plicosepalus acaciae (Zucc.) Wiens & Polhill, Loranthaceae, W/161/95

Enaba

Parasite

Bark

Evil eye

Powder mixed with gum and wax of black goat

0.07

   

Seed

Repels insect from ear

Smoke fumigant

 

Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC., Leguminosae, W/44/95

Adan alfar/shgr dabib

Herb

Root

Snake bite

Fresh crushed roots rubbed on place of bite

0.50

Sarcocephalus latifolius (Sm.) E.A.Bruce, Rubiaceae, K/14/96

Um dimy

Shrub

Root or fruit

Malaria

Maceration

2.067

    

Jaundice

Maceration

 
    

Diabetes

Infusion

 
   

Fruit pulp

Stomachache

Maceration

 
    

Acid reflux

Infusion

 

Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra (Sond.) Kokwaro, Anacardiaceae, G/92/83

Hommaid

Tree

Bark

Jaundice

Decoction

0.93

    

Diarrhoea

Maceration or infusion

 
    

Stomachache

Maceration or infusion

 

Senna italica Mill., Leguminosae, W/14/95

Sena sena

Herb

Fruit

Dysentery

Maceration or infusion

0.60

    

Laxative

Maceration or infusion

 
    

Acne

Powder rubbed locally

 

Senna obtusifolia (L.) H.S.Irwin & Barneby, Leguminosae, G/39/83

Kawal

Herb

Leaf and seed

Jaundice

Decoction

0.63

Senna occidentalis (L.) Link, Leguminosae, W/63/95

Bun balash/soreib

Shrub

Seed

Diabetes

Infusion

0.13

    

Eczema

Powder rubbed locally

 

Setaria acromelaena (Hochst.) T.Durand & Schinz, Poaceae, Y/7/015

Um lisaig

Herb

Root

Evil eye

Smoke fumigant

0.07

Solanum dubium Dunal, Solanaceae, W/16/95

Um gibin

Shrub

Root

Jaundice

Decoction

0.07

Sonchus cornutus Hochst. ex Oliv. & Hiern, Compositae, W/12/03

Moleata

Herb

Leaf

Malaria

Infusion

0.200

    

Diabetes

Infusion

 

Stylochiton grandis N.E.Br., Araceae, O/6/79

Marouro

Herb

Root

Scorpion sting

Fresh crushed roots rubbed on place of bite

0.93

Striga hermonthica (Delile) Benth., Orobanchaceae, Y/42/014

Boda

Parasite

Aerial part

Menstrual cramps

Maceration

0.93

    

Diabetes

Maceration

 

Strychnos spinosa Lam., Loganiaceae, W/66/95

Umm bekhesa

Tree

Fruit

Hypertension

Eaten

0.07

Tamarindus indica L., Leguminosae, G/132/83

Aradaib

Tree

Fruit pulp

Malaria

Macerated with lemon, calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa and pods of Acacia nilotica subsp. adstringens

0.30

   

Bark

Evil eye

Maceration

 
   

Seed

Kidney disorders

Infusion

 

Terminalia brownii Fresen., Combretaceae, M/8/79

Sobag

Tree

Bark

Jaundice

Decoction until water gets yellow in colour

0.30

    

Rheumatic pain

Smoke fumigant

 
    

Wounds

Poultice applied to wound

 

Terminalia laxiflora Engl., Combretaceae, G/102/83

Daroat

Tree

Bark

Malaria

Maceration

0.07

Tephrosia uniflora Pers., Leguminosae, S/17/97

Tor farid

Herb

Leaf

Urine retention

Maceration

0.50

    

Prostate

Maceration

 

Thymus vulgaris L., Lamiaceae, Purchsed

Zaatr

Herb

 

Rheumatic pain

Mixed with olive oil and rubbed

0.07

Tinospora bakis (A. Rich.) Miers, Menispermaceae, Y/7/014

Bun balash/irg alhagar

Climber

Root

Swellings

Poultice applied to swelling

0.83

    

Snake bite

Maceration

 
    

Stomachache

Maceration

 
    

Malaria

Macerated with clove

 
    

Diabetes

Maceration or infusion

 
    

Evil eye

Smoke fumigant

 

Tribulus terrestris L., Zygophyllaceae, W/83/95

Diraisa

Herb

Root

Kidney disorders

Maceration

0.70

    

Diabetes

Maceration

 

Trigonella foenum-graecum L., Leguminosae, Cultivated

Hilba

Herb

Seed

Uterus inflammation

Mixed with curcuma, black cumin and bee honey

0.63

    

Swellings

Poultice applied to swellings

 
    

Foot pain

Cataplasm

 

Vangueria madagascariensis J.F.Gmel., Rubiaceae, W/45/95

Kir kir

Tree

Fruit

Diabetes

Maceration

0.10

    

Kidney disorders

Maceration

 
    

Hypertension

Maceration

 

Ximenia americana L., Olacaceae, Y/17/014

Jabl fungur

Tree

Bark

Rheumatic pain

Mixed with salt, fruit of Acacia nilotica subsp. adstringens and sesame oil and rubbed

0.07

Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Desf., Rhamnaceae, W/122/95

Sidir

Tree

Leaf

Evil eye

Maceration and drunk or as body wash

0.73

   

Fruit

Stomachache

Sousing the mesocarp

 
   

Bark

Dysentery

Decoction with atroon

 

Habitat of the plants

Analysis of data based on their habitat showed that the reported species belong to herbs (43%), trees (28%), shrubs (22%), climbers (4%) and parasites (3%) (Fig. 2). The majority of medicinal plants are collected from the wild, and only 11% are cultivated or purchased (0.01%) from the market (Table 1).
Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Habitat of medicinal plants in the study area

Parts of medicinal plants used

Data on different plant parts used in traditional medicine are indicated in Fig. 3. Those that are used the most were the root and stem (21% each) followed by the fruit (15%), whole plant (14%), seed (12%), leaf (11%), gum/latex, bulb/corm and heartwood (0.02%) and flower (0.01%) respectively. There are cases where different parts of the same plant are being used for the treatment of different diseases.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Percentage of plant parts used

Method of preparation

A majority of remedies are administered orally (67%) where infusion (36%) and maceration (32%) are the most used methods. Some prescriptions can be prepared by both methods: infusion or maceration represented 13%, while decoction represented 11% of preparations. Dried powder or freshly collected plant parts are also used. Other prescriptions are used externally (33%) and applied as dry powder (29%), rub (23%), smoke (23%), poultices (20%) or as a wash (6%) (Table 2). Most of these preparations use water as a solvent extractor. Some herbalists used other adjuvants like honey, sugar, salt, milk, sour milk, yoghurt, ajeen (fermented dough), nisha (light porridge), atroon (sodium bicarbonate), bee wax, wax of goat and olive and sesame oil.
Table 2

Mode of preparations of medicinal plants in the study area

Oral

External

Decoction

15 (11%)

Smoke

15 (23%)

Infusion

48 (36%)

Poultice

13 (20%)

Maceration

43 (32%)

Rubbed

15 (23%)

Infusion/maceration

17 (13%)

Wash

4 (06%)

Powder

12 (09%)

Powder

19 (29%)

Total

135 (67%)

Total

66 (33%)

Medicinal plants used in combination

For the treatment of particular ailment, sometimes herbalists used more than one plant. For example, Allium sativum bulb is mixed with Zingiber officinale rhizome and applied to the anus for the treatment of haemorrhoids. A potion is prepared from the seed of Trigonella foenum-graecum, curcuma, Negilla sativa and bee honey for the treatment of uterus inflammation. Root of Tinospora bakis is mixed with Syzygium aromaticum (clove) for the treatment of malaria. Atroon is added to some preparations like those of Ziziphus spina-christi and Acacia oerfota for the treatment of dysentery and toothache respectively.

Quantitative analyses of ethnomedicinal data

Informant consensus factor

Fifteen ailment categories were identified. The ICF was calculated for each ailment category, and the range was from 0.50 to 0.91 (Table 3). The highest ICF (0.91) was reported for poisonous animal bites with 8 species and 77 use reports, followed by urinary system diseases (0.89) with 17 species and 156 use reports, blood system disorders (0.88) with 14 species and 116 use reports and gynaecological diseases (0.87) with 12 species and 86 use reports. The highest ICF for poisonous animal bites can be probably related to the hard and dangerous environmental conditions. The category of plants used for treatment of eye diseases has the lowest degree of consensus (0.50) where only three informants mentioned ailments in this category.
Table 3

Diseases based on categories and informant consensus factor (ICF)

 

N t

N ur

ICF

Respiratory system diseases

8

31

0.77

Blood system disorders

14

116

0.88

Urinary system

17

156

0.89

Gynaecological diseases

12

86

0.87

Muscoloskeletal system

15

90

0.84

Dermatology

19

64

0.71

Digestive system disorders

48

292

0.84

Parasite infections

22

126

0.83

Endocrinological system (diabetes)

16

89

0.83

Abnormalities

9

45

0.82

Poisonous animal bites

8

77

0.91

Pain

10

43

0.76

Eye diseases

2

3

0.50

General health

4

13

0.75

Envy eye

12

89

0.86

Respiratory system diseases: cold, cough, flu, asthma, measles and ear infection. Blood system disorders: hypertension, anaemia and spleen problems. Urinary system: kidney disorders, kidney stones, urine retention and haematuria. Gynaecological diseases: uterus inflammation, menstruation, syphilis, postpartum, prostate and sexual weakness. Muscoloskeletal system: rheumatism, back pain and foot pain. Dermatology: skin diseases, skin allergy, wounds, eczema, leprosy and dandruff. Digestive system disorders: stomachache, flatulence, acid reflux, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, dysentery, laxative and jaundice. Parasite infections: bilharzia, malaria, giardiasis and helminthiasis. Endocrinological system: diabetes. Abnormalities: swellings. Poisonous animal bites: scorpion sting and snake bite. Pain: headache and toothache. Eye diseases: improved eyesight, eye infection. General health: tonic

N t number of taxa, N ur number of use reports

Most frequently cited plant species and medicinal uses

In this study, the most cited plants, those that had at least 20 or more citations for specific ailment, were Guiera senegalensis (57 citations) mainly used for the treatment of malaria (22 citations) and kidney disorders (20 citations). This is followed by Hydnora abyssinica (55 citations) used in the treatment of gastrointestinal system diseases (mainly for diarrhoea and dysentery (40 citations), Geigeria alata (50 citations) used mainly for the treatment of diabetes (20 citations) and hypertension (17 citations), Kigelia africana (32 citations) with 28 citations for the treatment of breast swellings and Carissa spinarum (28 citations) for envy eye.

Medicinal plants and the associated knowledge

Thirty healers (24 male and 6 female) were interviewed and divided into five different age groups (20–30, 31–40, 41–50, 51–60 and > 60). Analysis of the result on ages of healers revealed that the most dominant age of men is 41–50 while for women which were few in number is > 60 (Figs. 3 and 4).
Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Age group distribution of the traditional healers interviewed

Discussion

In this study, the most cited plants, Guiera senegalensis, Hydnora abyssinica, Geigeria alata, Kigelia africana and Carissa spinarum, were previously reported with the same traditional uses in ethnobotanical studies from other regions of Sudan. For example, Guiera senegalensis was reported by EL-Kamali [3] and Suleiman [21] for the treatment of malaria. Hydnora abyssinica (H. johannis) for the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery and Kigelia africana for the treatment of breast swellings were also reported by Musa et al. [22]. Geigeria alata for the treatment of diabetes was reported by EL-Kamali [3] and Suleiman [21]. Carissa spinarum (C. edulis) was reported by EL-Kamali [3] for charm and the treatment of madness. Kigelia africana was reported by Doka and Yagi [23] for swollen mastitis.

The high frequency of citations of medicinal plants can be explained by the fact that these plants are the best known and have long been used by the majority of informants, representing a source of reliability. In fact, many biological activity and phytochemical evaluation were carried out for these plants. For example, Traore-Keita et al. [24] reported that the chloroform extract of roots of Guiera senegalensis exhibited a pronounced antimalarial activity. They isolated two alkaloids, namely, harman and tetrahydroharman, that displayed high antimalarial activity (IC50 (50% inhibition) lower than 4 μg/mL) and low toxicity against human leukemia monocytic cell line (THP1). Yagi et al. [25] found that Hydnora johannis roots have no activity against bacteria spp. that are mainly responsible of diarrhoea but are rich in phenols. They suggested that the curing potency of the roots of H. johannis was not mainly associated with the presence of antibacterial activity agent(s) against bacterial species responsible of dysentery or diarrhoea but might be attributed to the role of tannins in reducing the effect through denaturing the proteins by the formation of protein tannate, thereby causing the intestinal mucosa to become more resistant, reducing the intestinal transit and by acting as a barrier against toxin exerted by bacteria. The antidiabetic potential of Geigeria alata root was evaluated, and diabetic rats dosed with 250 mg/kg of aqueous methanolic extract were found to have significantly (p < 0.05) decreased blood glucose level closer to that of non-diabetic rats and improved β-cell function and antioxidant status [26]. Kigelia africana was found to suppress the breast MCF7 [27], human colon adenocarcinoma (Caco-2), human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) [28] and HeLa cervical cancer cell proliferation [29].

Comparative review of traditional usages of reported species with previous studies from Sudan

A comparative review with previous reports [3, 2123, 3033] from different parts of Sudan was performed to identify the new medicinal plants and new uses reported in this study (Table 4). The plants reported by Suleiman [21] for traditional plants used by communities of Northern Kordofan region included a total of 44 plant species with 22 species with same traditional uses which were reported also in this study, while 2 species, Blepharis linariifolia and Catunaregam nilotica (Xeromphis nilotica, Randia nilotica), were reported with different uses. EL-Kamali [3] reported 48 plant species for traditional plant uses in North Kordofan too with 15 species with same traditional uses which were reported also in this study and 5 species, Acacia nilotica subsp. adstringens, Aristolochia bracteolate, Cissus quadrangularis, Dichrostachys cinerea and Sarcocephalus latifolius (Nauclea latifolia), with different uses. Doka and Yagi [23] reported 49 plant species for traditional plant uses in West Kordofan with 16 species with same traditional uses which were reported also in this study, and 9 species were reported in this study with different uses; these included Acacia senegal, Acacia seyal, Arachis hypogaea, Balanites aegyptiaca, Cissus quadrangularis, Combretum aculeatum, Grewia flavescens, Tamarindus indica and Catunaregam nilotica. Musa et al. [22] reported 53 plant species for traditional plant uses in the Blue Nile State, southeastern Sudan, with 18 species with same traditional uses which were reported in this study and 13 species with different uses: Acacia senegal, Acacia seyal, Anogeissus leiocarpus, Carissa spinarum (C. edulis), Cissus quadrangularis, Grewia villosa, Lannea fruticose, Piliostigma reticulatum, Senna occidentalis, Strychnos spinose, Tephrosia uniflora, Terminalia laxiflora and Ximenia americana. Moreover, El Ghazali et al. [3033] in their books of Sudanese medicinal plants documented some of these plants for the same or very similar usages. In fact, there are 99 new traditional uses for some previously reported medicinal plants. For example, the whole plant of Striga hermonthica was previously reported to treat diabetes, but in this study, it is used also for menstrual cramps. The fruit of Senna occidentalis is reported to treat eczema beside its common use as a laxative. Plicosepalus acaciae is commonly used to enhance wound healing and as a lactagogue, but in this study, the smoke fumigant of the seeds is reported to repel insect from ear.
Table 4

Comparative review of traditional usages of reported species with previous studies from Sudan

Plant name

Disease treated

Suleiman [18]

EL-Kamali [2]

Koda and Yagi [20]

Musa et al. [19]

El Ghazali et al. [2730]

Abrus precatorius

Spleen problems

    

Snake bite1

      

Headache4

Acacia nilotica subsp. adstringens

Stomachache

Cold and flu and pharyngitis

Hypertension

Cough

Phlegmatic cough

Cold and flu3, 4

 

Cold and flu

Tonsillitis

  

Furuncles

Tonsillitis2

 

Wounds

Fever

  

Malaria

 
  

Measles

    
  

Hypertension

    
  

Catarrh

    
  

Antiseptic

    

Acacia oerfota

Back pain

Antirheumatic

 

Tooth cavity

Toothache

Swellings4

 

Swellings

   

Headache

Scorpion sting4

 

Snake bite

   

Snake bite

 
 

Toothache

     

Acacia senegal

Haematuria

Rheumatoid arthritis

 

Giardiasis

Kidney problems

 
 

Toothache

Heartburn

    

Acacia seyal

Rheumatic pain

  

Leprosy

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea2

    

Bleeding

Dysentery

Dysentery2

Acanthorrhinum ramosissimum

Evil eye

     

Adansonia digitata

Giardiasis

Dysentery

Fever

Pain after birth

Malaria

Stomachache4

 

Stomachache

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea

 

Diarrhoea

 
  

Stomachache

  

Dysentery

 
  

Fever

    
  

Kidney stones

 

Diarrhoea

  

Albizia anthelmintica

Anthelmintic

Anthelmintic

Anthelmintic

Anthelmintic

 

Stomachache4

 

Wounds

     
 

Stomachache

     
 

Jaundice

     

Allium sativum

Haemorrhoids

    

Haemorrhoids5

Anastatica hierochuntica

Postpartum

     

Anogeissus leiocarpus

Toothache

Diabetes

  

Cough

Cough1

 

Jaundice

Dysentery

  

Giardiasis

 
 

Malaria

Wound

  

Dysentery

 
  

Urine retention

    
  

Malaria

    

Anticharis senegalensis

Swellings

    

Swellings2

Arachis hypogaea

Bilharzia

  

Scorpion bite

  

Aristolochia bracteolata

Malaria

Malaria

Scorpion sting

 

Malaria

Malaria1

 

Ear infection

HIV-1

   

Antitumour3

 

Headache

Scorpion sting

   

Scorpion sting4

  

Ear infection

    
  

Wounds

    
  

Toothache

    
  

Headaches

    

Azadiracta indica

Rheumatic pain

 

Antipyretic

 

Malaria, fever,

Fever2

 

Malaria

 

Backache

 

Jaundice

Scorpion sting3

      

Snake bite3

      

Intestinal spasm3

      

Anthelmintic4

      

Constipation4

Balanites aegyptiaca

Diabetes

Stomachache

Antispasmodic

Malaria

 

Diabetes2

 

Hypertension

Anthelmintic

Stomach pain

Kidney disorders

 

Constipation2

 

Bilharzia

Dysentery

Diabetes

  

Constipation3

 

Jaundice

Constipation

   

Bilharzia3

  

Jaundice

   

Wound3

  

Diabetes

    
      

Syphilis2

Bergia suffruticosa

Eczema

    

Leucoderms2

Blepharis linariifolia

Kidney disorders

Swellings

Stomach pain

Urine retention

 

Stomach pain4

 

Diabetes

 

Kidney stone

  

Bilharzia4

 

Wounds

     
 

Hypertension

     
 

Toothache

     
 

Tonic

     

Boswellia papyrifera

Diabetes

  

Dysentery

Bilharzia

Jaundice4

 

Diarrhoea

  

Respiratory infections

Diarrhoea, dysentery

 
 

Anaemia

     

Calotropis procera

Scorpion sting

Scorpion sting

Haemorrhoids

Scorpion sting

 

Wounds2

 

Wounds

Haemorrhoids

Scorpion sting

Rheumatic pain

 

Rheumatic pain2

  

Rheumatic pain

   

Scorpion sting4

  

Wounds

   

Jaundice4

Carissa spinarum (Syn. C. edulis)

Evil eye

 

Kidney disorders

 

Treating rashes

Skin lesions1

   

Charm and madness

  

Stomachache4

      

Headache4

      

Cough4

      

Anthelmintic4

Cassia arereh

Stomachache

   

Stomachache

 
 

Malaria

   

Diarrhoea

 
 

Toothache

   

Evil eye

 
 

Haematuria

     
 

Evil eye

     

Catunaregam nilotica (Syn. Randia nilotica, Xeromphis nilotica)

Malaria

Swellings

Swellings

Rabies

Measles

Jaundice4

 

Jaundice

Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis

 

Toothache

Anthelmintic4

 

Prostate

Dandruff

Jaundice

  

Rabies4

   

Dandruff

   

Catunaregam taylorii

Kidney disorders

     

Chamaecrista nigricans (Syn. Senna nigricans)

Haematuria

    

Stomachache4

Cissus quadrangularis

Syphilis

Syphilis

Haemorrhoids

Syphilis

Acne

Pruritus1

 

Dandruff

Asthma

 

Leprosy

Evil eye

Scorpion sting4

 

Back pain

Haemorrhoids

 

Snake bite

 

Stomachache4

 

Wounds

Snake bite

   

Joint pain4

  

Tuberculosis

    

Cleome gynandra (Syn. Gynandropsis gynandra)

Improve eyesight

     
 

Spleen problems

     
 

Worm expulsion

     
 

Headache

     
 

Rheumatic pain

     

Cleome viscosa L.

Evil eye

     

Clitoria ternatea

Jaundice

   

Constipation

Constipation1

 

Laxative

     
 

Giardiasis

     

Combretum aculeatum

Swellings

  

Snake bite

 

Wound3

      

Constipation4

      

Tuberculosis4

Combretum hartmonnianum

Rheumatic pain

    

Jaundice3, 4

Commiphora gileadensis

Measles

Antirheumatic

    
  

Typhoid fever

    

Cordia africana

Jaundice

Cuts, burns and wounds

Cuts, wounds and burns

   

Coriandrum sativum

Foot pain

    

Hypertension5

Ctenolepis cerasiformis

Tonic

     

Cymbopogon schoenanthus

Diabetes

Antispasmodic

   

Stomachache2

 

Stomachache

Stomachache

    
  

Gout

    
  

Helminthiasis

    
  

Inflammation of prostate

    

Cyperus rotundus

Kidney stones

     
 

Haematuria

     
 

Worm expulsion

     
 

Headache

     
 

Sexual debility

     

Detarium microcarpum

Stomachache

 

Rheumatism

   

Dichrostachys cinerea

Jaundice

 

Wounds

 

Stomachache

 
 

Asthma

   

Diarrhoea

 
 

Evil eye

   

Toothache

 
     

Jaundice

 
     

Sexual debility

 

Dicoma tomentosa

Jaundice

    

Toothache1

      

Febrifuge1, 4

      

Mumps3

Drimia maritima

Sexual debility

     
 

Snake bite

     

Echinops longifolius

Scorpion sting

     

Eucalyptus camaldulensis

Toothache

     

Fagonia cretica

Skin allergy

  

Skin allergy

 

Stomachache2

      

Muscular pain3

Geigeria alata

Diabetes

Antispasmodic

Diabetes

  

Stomachache2

 

Stomachache

Stomachache

Antispasmodic

  

Epilepsy3

 

Kidney disorders

Intestinal complaints

Intestinal complaints

   
 

Hypertension

Anthelmintic

Hypertension

   
  

Diabetes

Cough

   
  

Hypertension

    
  

Cough

    

Grewia flavescens

Anaemia

  

Stomach disorders

 

Tuberculosis4

    

Leprosy

  

Grewia tenax

Wounds

Tonsillitis, throat infections

   

Tonsillitis2

 

Anaemia

Anaemia

   

Swellings2

  

Malaria

   

Jaundice3

  

Tonic

   

Trichoma3

Grewia villosa

Wounds

Wounds

  

Cancer

Constipation1

 

Eye infection

Syphilis

    
  

Arthralgia

    
  

Eye ache

    

Guiera senegalensis

Acid reflux

Jaundice

Stomach pain

  

Leprosy1, 4

 

Malaria

Antipyretic

Jaundice

  

Antipyretic2, 3, 4

 

Kidney disorders

Antispasmodic

Malarial fever

  

Leprosy3

 

Diabetes

Diarrhoea

Antispasmodic

  

Vomiting4

 

Tonic

Leprosy

As a tonic

   
  

Diabetes

    
  

Hypertension

    
  

Malarial fever

    
  

Wound

    

Hibiscus sabdariffa

Hypertension

Cough

Snake bite

   
 

Cold and flu

Headache

Scorpion sting

   
 

Hypertension

Haematuria

Haemorrhoids

   
 

Haemorrhoids

Hypertension

Headache

   
  

Fever

    
  

Snake bite

    
  

Scorpion sting

    

Hydnora abyssinica (Syn. H. johannis)

Stomachache

   

Cholera

Dysentery2

 

Diarrhoea

   

Diarrhoea

Tonsillitis2

     

Dysentery

Swellings2

 

Dysentery

   

Evil eye

 

Hyphaene thebaica

Diabetes

    

Spleen problems5

 

Diarrhoea

    

Stomachache5

 

Kidney disorders

    

Wound5

Jatropha curcas

Sexual debility

 

Laxative

 

Giardia

 
     

Jaundice

 
     

Malaria

 
     

Fever

 

Khaya senegalensis

Malaria

Malarial fever

Malarial fever

 

Malaria

Headache4

 

Jaundice

Syphilis

Asthma

 

Diabetes

Stomachache4

  

Taeniacide

Intestinal complaints

  

Dysentery4

  

Hepatic inflammation

    
  

Jaundice

    
  

Trachoma

    
  

Enterogastritis

    

Kigelia africana

Breast swellings

  

Swollen mastitis

Breast tumour

 
 

Rheumatic pain

   

Hypertension

 
 

Leprosy

   

Diabetes

 

Lannea fruticosa

Swellings

   

Dysentery

 
     

Wound

 

Leonotis nepetifolia

Evil eye

    

Swellings4

      

Stomachache4

Leptadenia arborea

Acid reflux

Jaundice

 

Jaundice

 

Snake bite3

 

Diarrhoea

Dandruff

 

Dandruff

 

Gonorrhoea4

 

Swellings

    

Swellings4

 

Jaundice

     

Leptadenia pyrotechnica

Rheumatic pain

Antirheumatic

Rheumatism

   
  

Sciatica

    
  

Urine retention

    

Lepidium sativum

Kidney stones

    

Swellings5

Maerua pseudopetalosa

Diabetes

     
 

Sexual debility

     
 

Hypertension

     
 

Kidney disorders

     

Maerua oblongifolia

Evil eye/luck

    

Snake bite2

Martynia annua

Scorpion sting

     

Mentha spicata

Flatulence

    

Flatulence5

Moringa oleifera

Back pain

     
 

Fatigue

     

Nigella sativa

Articulation pain

    

Diabetes5

 

Stomachache

    

Hypertension5

 

Headache

    

Stomachache5

 

Jaundice

     

Oldenlandia uniflora

Eczema

     
 

Leprosy

     

Opuntia ficus-indica

Dandruff

     

Pennisetum glaucum

Measles

    

Rheumatic pain5

 

Sexual debility

     

Plicosepalus acaciae

Evil eye

    

Lactagogue2

 

Repels insect from ear

    

Wound2

Piliostigma reticulatum

Hypertension

   

Snake bite

Snake bite1

 

Jaundice

     
 

Wounds

     

Rhynchosia minima

Snake bite

    

Anti acid1

Sarcocephalus latifolius (Syn. Nauclea latifolia)

Malaria

Malarial fever

Headache, cough

  

Tapeworms1

 

Jaundice

Headache

Antihypertensive

  

Dysentery4

 

Diabetes

Cough

Kidney disorders

  

Cough4

 

Stomachache

Hypertensive

   

Abdominal pain4

 

Acid reflux

Kidney disorders

    
  

Dysentery

    
  

Abdominal pain

    

Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

Jaundice

Dysentery

Suleiman (2015) [21]

 

Dysentery

Stomachache4

 

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea

  

Diarrhoea

Diarrohea4

 

Stomachache

Diabetes

    

Senna italica

Dysentery

  

Constipation

 

Rheumatic pain3

 

Laxative

     
 

Eczema

     

Senna occidentalis

Diabetes

Backache

Backache

Diabetes

Jaundice

Jaundice3

 

Eczema

Hypertension

Hypertension

Gonorrhoea

  
  

Malaria

 

Intestinal ulcer

  
  

Dysentery

    
  

Jaundice

    

Senna obtusifolia

Jaundice

Jaundice

Jaundice

 

Jaundice

Constipation4

 

Eczema

    

Ringworm4

      

Wound4

Setaria acromelaena

Evil eye

     

Solanum dubium

Jaundice

     

Sonchus cornutus

Malaria

     
 

Diabetes

     

Striga hermonthica

Menstrual cramps

 

Diabetes

   
 

Diabetes

    

Leukoderma3

Strychnos spinosa

Hypertension

  

Hypertension

Sexual debility

 

Stylochiton grandis

Scorpion sting

    

Scorpion sting2

Tamarindus indica

Malaria

Malaria

 

Food poisoning

Malaria

Malaria4

 

Kidney disorders

Malaria fever

 

Toothache

Fever

Constipation4

 

Evil eye

Cold and flu

  

Stomachache

 
  

Jaundice

  

Wound

 
  

Constipation

    

Tephrosia uniflora

Urine retention

   

Diarrhoea

Headache1, 4

 

Prostate

    

Tonic4

Terminalia brownii

Jaundice

    

Diabetes1

 

Rheumatic pain

    

Cough2

 

Wound

     

Terminalia laxiflora

Malaria

   

Cough, tonic

 

Thymus vulgaris

Rheumatic pain

    

Flatulence5

Tinospora bakis

Swelling

 

Abdominal pain

  

Wound1

 

Snake bite

     
 

Stomachache

     
 

Malaria

     
 

Diabetes

     
 

Evil eye

     

Tribulus terrestris

Kidney disorders

     
 

Diabetes

     

Trigonella foenum-graecum

Uterus inflammation

    

Swellings5

 

Swellings

    

Haemorrhoids5

 

Foot pain

     

Vangueria madagascariensis

Diabetes

   

Diabetes

 
 

Kidney disorders

     
 

Hypertension

     

Ximenia americana

Rheumatic pain

  

Rheumatic pain

 

Measles1

Ziziphus spina-christi

Stomachache

Swellings

Antispasmodic

 

Stomachache,

Swellings2

 

Dysentery

Antispasmodic

Fever

 

Dysentery

Constipation2

 

Evil eye

Constipation

  

Diarrhoea

Intestinal spasm3

  

Gonorrhoea

  

Malaria

Stomachache4

     

Urine retention

Gonorrhoea4

New species and new uses for species are reported for the first time in this study. For example, Anastatica hierochuntica, Ctenolepis cerasiformis, Echinops longifolius, Cleome gynandra, Maerua pseudopetalosa, Martynia annua, Oldenlandia uniflora, Opuntia ficus-indica, Solanum dubium, Sonchus cornutus, Tribulus terrestris and Drimia maritima were not being mentioned in any previous study for the traditional Sudanese medicine. Acanthorrhinum ramosissimum, Cleome viscosa and Setaria acromelaena which were used for evil eye were also reported for the first time.

The majorities of the healers declared that they had learned about medicinal plants from their parents or grandparents. The lack of systematic documentation for medicinal plant knowledge which appears to occur in many parts of the world may contribute to the loss of this knowledge, particularly for plants that are neglected or non-preferred [3436].

Conclusion

The number of medicinal plants reported in this paper reflects evidence that the Algoz area harbours a high diversity of medicinal plants that will continue to play an important role in the healthcare system in the study area. Evaluation of their claimed pharmacological potential efficacy and toxicity profile is essential. Moreover, the present study could contribute in conserving such rich heritage and providing precious information as a contribution through writing the Sudanese pharmacopeia.

Conservation of this traditional knowledge is very important. The progressing mass destruction of wild vegetation for various purposes may accelerate the disappearance of medicinal plants. This in turn may have profound consequences on the roles of traditional medicine on human health. Furthermore, the drop in the availability of raw materials due to the depletion of natural resources affects the discovery of potential drugs [37]. Thus, raising community awareness about conservation and sustainable utilization of the traditional medicinal plants is a vital part for the entire plant biodiversity [22]. Modern biotechnical approaches like genetic engineering, micropropagation via tissue encapsulation of propagules, tissue culture and fermentation should be applied to improve yield and modify the potency of medicinal plants [38].

Abbreviations

ICF: 

Informant consensus factor

UV: 

Use value

Declarations

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all the traditional healers and local people of the study area for sharing their knowledge, cooperation and hospitality. The authors are grateful to Dr. Migdad Elsir Shuaib (Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum) for the geographical and geological information.

Funding

This study was financed by the University of Bahri, Sudan, Code No: U of B-1-2015.

Availability of data and materials

We have already included all data in the manuscript collected during the field surveys.

Authors’ contributions

TOI and YS conducted the field survey and collected the data, SY did the analysis and wrote the first draft of the manuscript, RHA and TMN provided support in sampling and plant species identification, AMM provided technical support and helped in the write-up and revision and TOK designed the study and supervised the project. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics approval

The present study is purely based on filed survey instead of human or animal trails.

Ethical guidelines of the International Society of Ethnobiology (http://www.ethnobiology.net/) were strictly followed.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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)
College of Applied and Industrial Sciences, University of Bahri, P.O. Box 1606, Khartoum, Sudan
(2)
Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant National Centre for Research, Khartoum, Sudan
(3)
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum, P.O. Box 11115, Khartoum, Sudan

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Copyright

© The Author(s). 2018

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