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Exotic plants used therapeutically by Bapedi traditional healers for respiratory infections and related symptoms in the Limpopo province, South Africa


Exotic plants used therapeutically by Bapedi traditional healers for respiratory infections and related symptoms in the Limpopo province, South Africa



Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 17(4): 663-671



ISSN/ISBN: 0972-5938

The present study examines the use of exotic plants by Bapedi healers (THs) as medicine for respiratory infections (RIs) and related symptoms (RLs). A sample of 240 THs practising in the Limpopo Province, South Africa was questioned using a semi-structured questionnaire, supplemented by personal observations. Thirty-eight plants comprising of 35 genera belonging to 26 botanical families, mainly the Solanaceae (5 spp.) and Poaceae (3 spp.), were documented. Herbs (44.7 %, n = 17) constituted the major habit followed by trees (42.1 %, n = 16). The most important plants according to use mention (UM) and fidelity level (FL) indexes were Zingiber officinale (UM = 240 and FL = 99.5 %, chronic cough), Moringa oleifera (UM = 210 and FL = 100 %, fatigue), Datura stramonium (UM = 202 and FL = 100 %, chest pain), Jacaranda mimosifolia (UM = 156 and FL 100 %, chronic cough) and Schkuhria pinnata (UM = 105 and FL = 94.5 %, painful eyes). These plants also yielded the highest use value (UV) index, but with M oleifera (fatigue; UV = 0.87), followed by D. stramonium (chest pain; UV = 0.84), 1 mimosifolia (chronic cough; UV = 0.65) and S. pinnata (asthma, fatigue and painful eyes; UV = 0.46) being the most appreciated. Overall, larger number of species recorded in our study illustrates the important role played by foreign plants as treatment of RIs and RLs in the Bapedi traditional healing sector.

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Accession: 070903812

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