Ethnomedicinal study of plants used in villages around Kimboza forest reserve in Morogoro, Tanzania
1 Department of Science and Laboratory Technology, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, P. O. Box 2958, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2 Department of Biological Sciences, South Eastern University College (A Constituent College of the University of Nairobi) P.O Box 170-90200, Kitui, Kenya
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2012, 8:1 doi:10.1186/1746-4269-8-1Published: 6 January 2012
An ethnomedicinal study was conducted to document medicinal plants used in the treatment of ailments in villages surrounding Kimboza forest reserve, a low land catchment forest with high number of endemic plant species.
Ethnobotanical interviews on medicinal plants used to treat common illnesses were conducted with the traditional medical practitioners using open-ended semi -structured questionnaires. Diseases treated, methods of preparation, use and habitat of medicinal plants were recorded.
A total of 82 medicinal plant species belonging to 29 families were recorded during the study. The most commonly used plant families recorded were Fabaceae (29%), Euphorbiaceae (20%), Asteraceae and Moraceae (17% each) and Rubiaceae (15%) in that order. The most frequently utilized medicinal plant parts were leaves (41.3%), followed by roots (29.0%), bark (21.7%), seeds (5.31%), and fruits (2.6%). The study revealed that stomach ache was the condition treated with the highest percentage of medicinal plant species (15%), followed by hernia (13%), diarrhea (12), fever and wound (11% each), and coughs (10%). Majority of medicinal plant species (65.9%) were collected from the wild compared to only 26.7% from cultivated land.
A rich diversity of medicinal plant species are used for treating different diseases in villages around Kimboza forest reserve, with the wild habitat being the most important reservoir for the majority of the plants. Awareness programmes on sustainable utilization and active involvement of community in conservation programmes are needed.