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Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal Plants Used for the Treatment of Skin Disease in Keffi, Nigeria

Objective: The study was aimed at surveying the Ethnobotanical plants used traditionaly to cure skin diseases in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Methods: Administration of structured questionnaires /interview were employed. Herb sellers, traditional medicine practitioners, farmers and aged people were the respondents. Plant species were photographed and identified at the Department of Biology, Nasarawa State University, Keffi Nigeria. Results: A total number of 40 plants species belonging to 30 families were observed to be used in treatment of Skin diseases such as eczema, rashes, wounds, boils, acne, and measles. The family Euphorbiaceae provided the largest plants species (4) followed by Compositeae (3), Rutaceae (2), Malvaceae (2), Liliaceae (2), Asteraceae (2) and Poaceae (2). The other plant families have one member each in the distribution of species within the families. Example of some plants in this families include Jatropha curcas, Tridax procumbens, Citrus aurantium, Sida acuta, Aloe vera, Chromolena adorata, Cymbopogon citratus, Mangifera indica, Azadirachta indica etc. The preparation methods of this herbal recipe includes infusion (7) which is mostly used method, grinding (6) followed closely and then decoction (2) while (6) others are applied directly. The result shows that plants leaves are the most commonly used part (35), followed by seeds and sap (3), then stem bark has (2) and oil (1). The result also reveals that Keffi residents view herbal treatments as more effective and cheaper compared to the orthodox medicine. Conclussion: Medicinal plants used in this area form a rich source of indigenous knowledge which can function for therapeutic purposes.

Author(s): Gabriel G. Mowobi, Salisu Abubakar, Charles Osuji, Vera N. Etim, Nweke Ogechi and Juliana J. Egya

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