Ethnomedicinal Survey of Medicinal Plants Traditionally Used in Ogurugu Community Southeast Nigeria for the Treatment of Malaria

Ethnomedicinal Survey of Medicinal Plants Traditionally Used in Ogurugu Community Southeast Nigeria for the Treatment of Malaria

Cletus .A. Ukwubile*, Otalu Otalu, Umar Abdulrahim, Alexander .E. Angyu, Y.K. Aliyu5, Salihu Njidda, Mathias. S. Bingari

International Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine

Malaria is described as a disease that is caused by a protozoan parasite of the genus Plasmodium. The parasites are transmitted to humans through the bites of an infected vector the female Anopheles mosquitoes. There are about 100 million estimated cases of malaria resulting in more than 300,000 deaths annually in Nigeria. This figure is high when compared to deaths from infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS. Maternal mortality from malaria fever alone is estimated at 11%. Despite preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites by use of insecticide-treated nets (ITN), and chemotherapy such as the use of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), very little results were achieved, as the parasite seems to have developed resistance to these measures. This study was aimed at surveying medicinal plants used in folk medicine by the Ogurugu community Southeast Nigeria for the treatment of malaria. Traditional medicine practitioners, native herbalists, traditional healers, and product marketers were interviewed orally and the use of 200 structured questionnaires on the plants used to treat malaria as well as medicinal plants used for the treatment. Morphological parts of fifty-four (54) plant species from thirty-two (33) families were collected in the survey. Only 30 % of the plants surveyed were reported to have antimalarial activities against Plasmodium berghei. Family Asteraceae have the highest number of species diversity with 11.54 % (6), followed by Family Annonaceae with 9.62% (5) and Family Euphorbiaceae with 5.77% (3), whereas Amaranthaceae, Anacardiaceae, Humiriaceae and Sterculiaceae Families have each 3.85 % (2) species diversity. Other Families have 1.92 % (1) species distribution. A decoction of the leaves was the popular way of using plant parts in malaria treatment. The study revealed that people in this community believe strongly on the efficacies of these medicinal plants than orthodox drugs in treating malaria, with no serious side effects. Despite these successes recorded in the use of these plants as antimalarial, there are challenges in terms of conservation of species due to urbanization encroachment. These plants, therefore, represent another source for antimalarial drug discovery.

Keywords: Ethnomedicinal; malaria; medicinal plants; Ogurugu; Southeast Nigeria.

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Cletus .A. Ukwubile, Otalu Otalu, Umar Abdulrahim, Alexander .E. Angyu, Y.K. Aliyu5, Salihu Njidda, Mathias. S. Bingari.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Medicinal Plants Traditionally Used in Ogurugu Community Southeast Nigeria for the Treatment of Malaria. International Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2020, 5:30.


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