Known medicinal and aphrodisiac plants of Urhonigbe forest reserve, Edo State, Nigeria
Erhenhi AH, Obadoni BO
This study was carried out at Urhonigbe Forest Reserve, Edo State, Nigeria to document and review the medicinal and aphrodisiac plant species encountered in the forest. Urhonigbe Forest Reserve is constituted and gazetted; it covers an area of 30,791 hectares and is located to the south east of the Sakponba Forest Reserve in Edo State. The study area was conveniently divided into three sample areas (X, Y and Z). Each sample area had four sampling plots, each measuring 50 m x 50 m. A total of thirty one (31) families of medicinal plants were encountered; some of which include Anacardiaceae, Annonaceae, Asteraceae, Commelinaceae, Fabaceae, Zingiberaceae while those of aphrodisiac properties include Annonaceae, Apocynaceae Capparaceae, Costaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Tiliaceae; they comprising of trees, shrubs, herbs, sedges, grasses and climbers. Their medicinal and aphrodisiac usage were documented through the use of questionnaires which were administered to the locals of the host communities, use of available and existing literature on herbal medicine. Personal interviews, with fourteen old men and twenty three aged women known to be versed in herbal medicine; fifteen farmers in the host communities and four experienced foresters who served as our guides during the field trips. The medicinal importance of encountered species include treatment of hemorrhage, head-ache, helminthes infestations, some possess antibiotic and antifungal properties as well as improving sexual potency and solving infertility problems. Based on the diverse nature of the medicinal and aphrodisiac plant species in the forest reserve, conservation strategies will enhance availability of the plant species for unborn generations.
Fig.: Map of Urhonigbe Forest Reserve showing the Strict Natural Reserve (SNR) and surrounding forest blocks.