Medicinal plants profile of the Mapulana people of Ehlanzeni District in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
ID: 613 / 291
Proposed Symposium Title: Medicinal plants profile of the Mapulana people of Ehlanzeni District in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
Shalom P. Mashile, Milingoni P. Tshisikhawe, Ndivhaleni A. Masevhe
Affiliations: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
South African government has declared public health care free for all citizens. Traditional medicine is preferred as supplement to avoid challenges faced by the public health care system; most people rely on both health-care systems. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to participants who included elderly people, community adults and youths. Data was analysed by calculating the use value and informants’ consensus factor. The study revealed that the elderly are custodians of traditional medicine. Hundred and six plant species were identified in treatment of 50 different ailments. The recorded medicinal plant species were distributed amongst 55 plant families with Fabaceae (20%), Crassulaceae (5%) and Cucurbitaceae (5%) as dominating families. Plant parts such as roots (48%), leaves (26%) and barks (15%) were collected from herbs (45%), trees (37%) and shrubs (18%). Aloe zebrina (0.38), Aloe marlothii (0.29), Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra (0.28) and Siphonochilus aethiopicus (0.28) use values were the highest. Gonorrhea (1.80), stomach cleansing (1.40) chicken diseases (1.19), bad luck (0.88), flu (0.84), and diarrhea (0.80) received the highest informants’ consensus factor (ICF). Plant species with low use value and ICF were known by the elder and few community adults.