Journal of Medicinal Plant and Herbal Therapy Research
ISSN: 2053-1826
Vol. 4(1), pp. 1-16, February 2016



Wild useful plants with emphasis on traditional use of medicinal and edible plants by the people of Aba'ala, North-eastern Ethiopia

Misganaw Meragiaw

Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management, College of Natural Sciences, P. O. Box 3434, National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: misganme@gmail.com.

Received 17 January, 2016; Received in revised form 30 January, 2016; Accepted 03 February, 2016.

Abstract


Keywords:
Aba'ala, Multipurpose plants, Northern Afar, Nutraceutical plants, Pastroralists.

While plants can provide multiple uses, overlapping between food and medicine is quite well known in traditional societies. The aim of this study was to document and assess the conservation status of traditional wild useful plants and the associated knowledge in Aba'ala district. Data were collected from 24 informants in six study sites. Methodology included semi-structured interviews, group discussion, and market survey. The data were analyzed through use values, ranking and comparison. In total, 58 species belonging to 28 families and 46 genera were collected and preserved. Most of these species were used as traditional herbal medicine (24 species), followed by nutraceutical and edible plants (10 species each) and other traditional values (14 species). Shrubs accounted for the highest number (31 species). Thirty-four species were used against 26 human and livestock ailments and leaves took the lead. Fruits were the most frequently used edible parts. The majority of the plants were used for other purposes aside from food and medical practices. Most of the plant knowledge is held by traditional healers and pastoralists. The findings inform that conservation action is needed in the multipurpose plant species since they are found in short supply.

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