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An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants of the Kembatta ethnic group in Enset-based agricultural landscape of Kembatta Tembaro (KT) Zone, Southern Ethiopia

This study was carried out in KT Zone, Ethiopia aimed to identify the taxonomic diversity of medicinal plants (MPs), and document the local knowledge. The methods used for ethnobotanical data collection were semi-structured interviews, field observation, and focus group discussion. Correlation coefficients, Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), and Jaccard’s index were calculated, and various ranking methods were employed. The reported specimens of MP were identified and deposited at the National Herbarium.A total of 145 MP species were reported to treat 64 different human ailments. About 40% of the identified MPs were harvested from enset-based homegardens and their surrounding. More than 50% of the MPs were herbs, and the dominant plant parts used were leaves. The ailments with the highest ICF wassudden sickness. The Pearson rank correlations test showed that there is highly significant negative correlation( r = -0.34, p < 0.001) between the number of MP species reported and the education level of informants. Deforestation, agricultural expansion, and over grazing became threats to MPs . The preference score for Ajuga integrifolia as a MP for ascariasis placed it in the first rank for its effective treatment. Although the study area has rich lores of plant diversity, the transfer of traditional knowledge is insecured. The incorporationof issues of traditional medicines into the school curriculum, and encouraging farmers/ healers to grow valuable MPs in their homegarden agroforestry systems seems crucial to sustainthe diversity of MPs

Author(s): Melesse Maryo, Sileshi Nemomissa and Tamirat Bekele

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