Friday Ekhorutomwen Osayimwen, Nosayaba Osadolor and Stainless Obaile Okoogua
Traditional use of plants for medicine has been an agelong practice among different ethnicities of the globe before the advent of modern medicine. A study was conducted among the people of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria, to find out the ethnomedicinal knowledge of the traditional medical practitioners in the area for the purpose of documenting the available information relating to medicinal plants. Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area comprise of 73 communities, out of which 32 (44%) communities were selected using stratified random sampling. Ethnobotanical data was collected using closed-end questionnaire, group discussion and guided field walk. A total of 500 questionnaire were administered to 37 local herb sellers, 144 traditional medical practitioner and 318 other local informants. Questionnaires used for the interview was divided into Part A & B; A containing demographic information of respondent and part B contained information on medicinal plant such as plant local name, life form, part of plant used, ailments treated, method of preparation, mode of administration, dosage etc. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistical method. The investigation revealed that 111 plant species belonging to 53 families are used for the prevention and treatment of 80 ailments. 22.64% of the plant species use for medicinal purpose belong to the ‘’Fabaceae’’ family. The most common of traditional medicinal preparation and administration methods were decoction and oral administration among others. The study revealed that the most of the traditional medicine knowledge in the area is still strictly held in secrecy, with the older generation being the major practitioners. This greatly puts the knowledge of the medicine plants at risk of being eroded in the near future and therefore requires an urgent need for more documentations.
Keywords: Medicinal; Ailments; Communities; Administration; Traditional.