Informant consensus for anti-diabetic medicinal plants by traditional healers in Tanzania
Joseph Nicolao Otieno
Number of patients diagnosed with diabetes in Tanzania is growing gradually. Unfortunately majority in Tanzania are not even aware whether they have the disease. This is complicated further with slackness to attend regular health check. In rural areas of Tanzania, majority are attended by traditional healers who may not be conversant with the diabetes case and its associated conditions. Moreover, the skills of traditional healers in management of diabetes and its associated conditions cannot be ignored. This paper has reviewed informant consensus in traditional management of diabetes basing on popular medicinal plants reported from various parts of Tanzania namely Uvariopsis bisexualis Verdc., Ochna confusa Burtt Davy & Greenway., Phyllanthus species, Chassalia umbraticola Vatke., Cyphostemma species, Deinbollia borbonica Scheff., Cassia abbreviata Oliv. Maprounea africana Müll. Arg., and Crossopteryx febrifuga (Afzel. ex G.Don) Benth. Informant Consensus Factor of 0.78 is an indication of agreement in management of diabetes by traditional healers whereas; three of the recorded nine species i.e C. abbreviata, M. africana and C febrifuga have support from laboratory experiments. Four species (P. species, C. umbraticola, C. species and D borbonica) are reported to have anti-diabetic activity elsewhere while two (U. bisexualis, O. confusa) do not have supporting information at all. Plant species without supportive information are novel sources of new investigation. The review was made in various online databases such as PUBMED, science direct, African journal, NAPRALERT, PROTA, Annual Reviews, JSTOR and ACS publishing center. This study has contributed information that would be useful for scientists and researchers for further research and production of drugs capable of treating diabetes.