Ethnobotonical study of traditional medicinal plants used to treat human ailments by halaba people, southern Ethiopia
Reta Regassa, Tesfaye Bekele and Moa Megersa
This paper aims to investigate and document traditional medicinal plants used to treat human ailments by Halaba people, southern Ethiopia.Gathering ethno botanical data on different plant parts traditionally used by Halaba ethnic group by using an etnobotonical approach. An ethnobotonical study was conducted from December 2015 to August 2016 in Halaba special district, Southern Nations, Nationalities and people's Regional States, Sothern Ethiopia. Halaba are the dominant indigenous people living in the district. Their language is Halabenya, which belongs to Cushetic language family.The data were collected through semi-structured interview, field visit, market survey and group discussion. A total of 120 informants (80 male and 40 female) in the age of 25 and above were randomly selected from 76 kebeles and 2 sub-urban were identified and documented, of which 45 traditional healer were purposely selected for study subject based on the information given from Halaba woreda health center and local administrators.A total of 58 medicinal plants belonging to 53 genera and 34 families were documented to treat 32 human ailments. 58.3% of the preparations are made from fresh followed by dry 25%, both dry and fresh 16.6%. Ajuga integrifolia ranked first for treating malaria followed by Allium sativum and Carica papaya. The highest ICF was scored for malaria (0.91) followed by stress and madness (0.90) and diarrhea (0.88). Fabaceae, Lamiaceae and Solanaceae were the most commonly reported medicinal plants with 7(14.29%), 5(10.20%), and 4(8.16%) species respectively.Halaba people is the richest in traditional knowledge of medicinal plants to treat various human ailments, but the traditional medicinal plant resources were highly treated by environmental change like drought, large scale deforestation and intensive utilization of land resources for cultivation. Involving local people on conservation and management of natural resources particularly medicinal plants should be encouraged.