Project description:Traditional knowledge (TK) of medicinal plants in cities has been poorly studied across different inhabitants' socioeconomic sectors. We studied the small city of Chachapoyas (~34,000 inhabitants) in the northern Peruvian Andes. We divided the city into three areas according to the socio-economic characteristics of its inhabitants: city center (high), intermediate area (medium), and city periphery (low). We gathered information with 450 participants through semi-structured interviews. Participants of the city periphery showed a higher TK of medicinal plants than participants of the intermediate area, and the latter showed a higher TK than participants of the city center. The acquisition of medicinal plants was mainly through their purchase in markets across the three areas, although it was particularly relevant in the city center (94%). Participants of all socioeconomic levels widely used the same medicinal plants for similar purposes in Chachapoyas, which is likely based on a common Andean culture that unites their TK. However, participants with the lowest socioeconomic level knew and used more plants for different medicinal uses, indicating the necessity of these plants for their livelihoods. City markets with specialized stores that commercialize medicinal plants are key to preserve the good health of poor and rich people living in Andean cities and societies.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The use of plants for healing by any cultural group is integrally related to local concepts of the nature of disease, the nature of plants, and the world view of the culture. The physical and chemical properties of the plants themselves also bear on their selection by people for medicines, as does the array of plants available for people to choose from. I examine use of medicinal plants from a "biobehavioral" perspective to illuminate cultural selection of plants used for medicine by the Gitksan of northwestern British Columbia, Canada.<h4>Methods</h4>Consultant consensus, "intercultural consensus", independent use of the same plants by other cultural groups, and phytochemistry and bioassay results from the literature, were employed in analysis of probable empirical efficacy of plant uses.<h4>Results</h4>70% of 37 Gitksan medicinal plants were used similarly by other cultures where direct diffusion is not known to have occurred; eleven plants, including the eight most frequently mentioned medicinal plants, also show active phytochemicals or bioassays indicating probable physiologically based therapeutic effects.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Analysis of intercultural consensus revealed that the majority of cultures in the British Columbia region within the plant ranges use the same plants, or closely related species, in similar ways. The rigor of this analysis is effected by the lack of consistent data on all taxa of interest for all cultures within the region.
Project description:Background: Cancer is a major cause of mortality worldwide with increasing numbers by the years. In North Africa, the number of cancer patients is alarming. Also shocking is that a huge number of cancer patients only have access to traditional medicines due to several factors, e.g., economic difficulties. In fact, medicinal plants are widely used for the treatment of several pathologies, including cancer. Truthfully, herbalists and botanists in North African countries prescribe several plants for cancer treatment. Despite the popularity and the potential of medicinal plants for the treatment of cancer, scientific evidence on their anticancer effects are still scarce for most of the described plants. Objective: Bearing in mind the lack of comprehensive and systematic studies, the aim of this review is to give an overview of studies, namely ethnobotanical surveys and experimental evidence of anticancer effects regarding medicinal plants used in North Africa for cancer therapy. Method: The research was conducted on several popular search engines including PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science. The research focused primarily on English written papers published between the years 2000 and 2016. Results: This review on plants traditionally used by herbalists in North Africa highlights that Morocco and Algeria are the countries with most surveys on the use of medicinal plants in folk medicine. Among the plethora of plants used, Nigella sativa and Trigonella foenum-graecum are the most referred ones by herbalists for the treatment of cancer. Moreover, a plethora of scientific evidence qualifies them as candidates for further drug development. Furthermore, we report on the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Conclusion: Overall, this review highlights the therapeutic potential of some medicinal plants as anticancer agents. The North African flora offers a rich source of medicinal plants for a wide array of diseases, including cancer. The elucidation of their modes of action represents an indispensable condition for the rational development of new drugs for cancer treatment. Furthermore, testing the anticancer activity in vivo and in clinical trials are warranted to explore the full therapeutic potential of North African plants for cancer therapy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken to record information on medicinal plants from traditional medical practitioners in Babungo and to identify the medicinal plants used for treating diseases.<h4>Methods</h4>Traditional Medical Practitioners (TMP's) who were the main informants were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires and open-ended conversations. Field trips were made to the sites where TMP's harvest plants.<h4>Results</h4>The survey identified and recorded 107 plants species from 54 plant families, 98 genera used for treating diseases in Babungo. The Asteraceae was the most represented plant family while herbs made up 57% of the total medicinal plants used. The leaf was the most commonly used plant part while concoction and decoction were the most common method of traditional drug preparation. Most medicinal plants (72%) are harvested from the wild and 45% of these have other non medicinal uses. Knowledge of the use of plants as medicines remains mostly with the older generation with few youth showing an interest.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A divers number of plants species are used for treating different diseases in Babungo. In addition to their use as medicines, a large number of plants have other non medicinal uses. The youth should be encouraged to learn the traditional medicinal knowledge to preserve it from being lost with the older generation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Medicinal plants are the integral part of the variety of cultures in Ethiopia and have been used over many centuries. Hence, the aim of this study is to document the medicinal plants in the natural vegetation and home gardens in Wonago Woreda, Gedeo Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPR).<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Thirty healers were selected to collect data on management of medicinal plants using semi-structured interview, group discussion, and field observation. The distribution of plant species in the study areas was surveyed, and preference ranking, direct matrix ranking, priority ranking of factors and Informant consensus factor (ICF) were calculated.<h4>Results</h4>The informants categorized the vegetation into five community types based on plant density and associated landform: 'Raqqa', 'Hakka cadanaba', 'Mancchha', 'Bullukko', and 'Wodae gido'. 155 plant species were collected from the natural vegetation and 65 plant species from the home gardens ('Gattae Oduma'). Seventy-two plant species were documented as having medicinal value: Sixty-five (71%) from natural vegetation and 27 (29%) from home gardens. Forty-five (62%) were used for humans, 15(21%) for livestock and 13(18%) for treating both human and livestock ailments: 35 (43.2%) were Shrubs, 28(34.5%) herbs, 17 (20.9%) trees and 1(1.2%) climbers. The root (35.8%) was the most commonly used plant part. The category: malaria, fever and headache had the highest 0.82 ICF. Agricultural expansion (24.4%) in the area was found to be the main threat for medicinal plants followed by fire wood collection (18.8%). Peoples' culture and spiritual beliefs somehow helped in the conservation of medicinal plants.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Traditional healers still depend largely on naturally growing plant species and the important medicinal plants are under threat. The documented medicinal plants can serve as a basis for further studies on the regions medicinal plants knowledge and for future phytochemical and pharmacological studies.
Project description:Maintaining cultural identity and preference to treat cultural bound ailments with herbal medicine are motivations for migrants to continue using medicinal plants from their home country after moving to Europe and the USA. As it is generally easier to import exotic food than herbal medicine, migrants often shift to using species that double as food and medicine. This paper focuses on the trade in African medicinal plants in a Congolese neighborhood in Brussels (Belgium). What African medicinal plants are sold in Matonge, where do they come from, and to which extent are they food medicines? Does vendor ethnicity influence the diversity of the herbal medicine sold? We hypothesized that most medicinal plants, traders, and clients in Matonge were of Congolese origin, most plants used medicinally were mainly food crops and that culture-bound illnesses played a prominent role in medicinal plant use. We carried out a market survey in 2014 that involved an inventory of medicinal plants in 19 shops and interviews with 10 clients of African descent, voucher collection and data gathering on vernacular names and uses. We encountered 83 medicinal plant species, of which 71% was primarily used for food. The shredded leaves of Gnetum africanum Welw., Manihot esculenta Crantz, and Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam were among the most frequently sold vegetables with medicinal uses. Cola nuts, shea butter, Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f., and Mondia whitei (Hook.f.). Skeels were the main non-food medicines sold. Women's health, aphrodisiacs, and rituals were the most important medicinal applications, but culture-bound ailments did not entirely dominate the plant uses. While most clients in Matonge were Congolese, most vendors and plant species were not. The Pakistanis dominated the food trade, and typical Congolese plants were sometimes replaced by West African species, creating confusion in vernacular names. African-managed shops had significantly more species of medicinal plants in stock than shops managed by Pakistanis. Almost all non-food herbal medicine was sold by Africans. Apart from informal shops, non-food herbal medicine was also sold from private homes and by ambulant vendors, probably to reduce costs and escape taxes and control by the authorities. We expect that in the future, increasing rent, strict regulations, and decreasing investments by the Congolese community will force the medicinal plant trade in Matonge to go even more underground.
Project description:Currently, the search to identify treatments and vaccines for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are ongoing. Desperation within the community, especially among the middle-and low-income groups acutely affected by the economic impact of forced lockdowns, has driven increased interest in exploring alternative choices of medicinal plant-based therapeutics. This is evident with the rise in unsubstantiated efficacy claims of these interventions circulating on social media. Based on enquiries received, our team of researchers was given the chance to produce evidence summaries evaluating the potential of complementary interventions in COVID-19 management. Here, we present and discuss the findings of four selected medicinal plants (<i>Nigella sativa</i>, <i>Vernonia amygdalina</i>, <i>Azadirachta indica</i>, <i>Eurycoma longifolia</i>), with reported antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects that might be interesting for further investigation. Our findings showed that only <i>A. indica</i> reported positive antiviral evidence specific to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) based on preliminary <i>in silico</i> data while all four medicinal plants demonstrated differential anti-inflammatory or immunomodulatory effects. The definitive roles of these medicinal plants in cytokine storms and post-infection complications remains to be further investigated. Quality control and standardisation of medicinal plant-based products also needs to be emphasized. However, given the unprecedented challenges faced, ethnopharmacological research should be given a fair amount of consideration for contribution in this pandemic.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Medicinal plants used by the local people in Xizang (Tibet) have been investigated since the 1960s. The others out of Xizang, however, have been less understood, although they may be easily and strongly influenced by the various local herbal practices, diverse environments, local religious beliefs and different prevalent types of diseases. In 2006, two ethnobotanical surveys were organized in the county of Shangri-la, Yunnan Province, SW China, to document the traditional medicinal plants used by the Tibetan people.<h4>Methods</h4>After literature surveying, four local townships were selected to carry out the field investigation. Three local healers were interviewed as key informants. The methods of ethnobotany, anthropology and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) were used in the field surveys. Plant taxonomic approach was adopted for voucher specimen identification.<h4>Results</h4>Sixty-eight medicinal plant species in 64 genera of 40 families were recorded and collected. Among them, 23 species were found to have medicinal values that have not been recorded in any existing Tibetan literatures before, and 31 species were recorded to have traditional prescriptions. Moreover, the traditional preparations of each species and some folk medicinal knowledge were recorded and analyzed. These traditional prescriptions, preparations, new medicinal plants and folk medicinal knowledge and principles were discovered and summarized by local traditional Tibetan healers through times of treatment practices, and were passed down from generation to generation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>As a part of the cultural diversity of Tibetan community, these traditional medicinal knowledge and experiences may provide data and information basis for the sustainable utilization and development of Tibetan medicine, and may contribute to the local economic development. However, for many reasons, they are disappearing gradually as time goes by. Our study showed that there were abundant traditional Tibetan medicinal prescriptions and using methods. It implies that more Tibetan medicinal plants and traditional knowledge can be discovered. Further research should be done to save the wealth of these traditional medicinal knowledge and experiences before they are dying out.