Abstract

Traditional knowledge on the use of medicinal plants is in danger of extinction because of different changes taking place all over the world including Ethiopia, and thus, there is a need for its immediate documentation for the purpose of conservation, sustainable utilization, and development. Thus, an ethnobotanical study was conducted in Ambo District, Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia, to document and analyze local knowledge on medicinal plants used for the treatment of animal diseases. Data were collected between November 2017 and April 2018 mainly through semi-interviews conducted with purposively selected informants. Data collected mainly included demographic information of respondents, local names of medicinal plants, plant parts used, preparation methods, mode of applications, diseases treated, and habit and habitat of the reported plants. Based on data obtained through interviews, informant consensus factor (ICF) values were computed. A total of 55 medicinal plants used to manage livestock ailment were reported by informants in the Ambo District. Herbs were commonly used in the preparation of remedies. Leaf was the most frequently utilized plant part accounting for 49.1% of the total reported medicinal plants. The majority (69.0%) of the medicinal plants used in the study district were uncultivated ones mainly harvested from edges of forests and bushlands, roadsides, riverbanks, and grasslands. High ICF values were obtained for ophthalmological (0.82), dermatological (0.79), febrile (0.77), and gastrointestinal ailments (0.77). The current study shows that there is still rich traditional knowledge on the use of plants to control various animal diseases in the study district. However, such a claim needs to be scientifically verified with priority given to medicinal plants used in the treatment of ailment categories with high ICF values as such plants are considered to be good candidates for further pharmacological evaluation.

Highlights

  • In Ethiopia, traditional medicine, in general, and medicinal plants, in particular, are still playing a significant role in solving livestock health problems [1]

  • According to Tamiru et al [14], the agroecology of Ambo District consists of highland (23%), midland (60%), and lowland (17%). e District is divided into 34 administrative kebeles; kebele is the smallest unit of administration in Ethiopia

  • Medicinal Plants Used and Ailments Managed. e current study documented 55 medicinal plant species that were used in Ambo District to manage several livestock ailments (Table 1). e plants were distributed across 36 families and 53 genera

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Summary

Introduction

In Ethiopia, traditional medicine, in general, and medicinal plants, in particular, are still playing a significant role in solving livestock health problems [1]. Despite the significant role that has been played by medicinal plants in treating livestock ailments in both settled and pastoralist areas in Ethiopia, very limited attempts have been done to explore, document, evaluate and develop, and promote them for their wider uses in the country [3]. A literature survey shows that there was no proper ethnoveterinary study so far conducted in Ambo District to document the use of medicinal plants in managing livestock ailments. Some personal communications indicate the wide practice of using medicinal plants to control different types of animal health problems in the study area

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