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Medicinal plants used to manage sexually transmitted infections by Bapedi traditional health practitioners in the Blouberg area, South Africa


Medicinal plants used to manage sexually transmitted infections by Bapedi traditional health practitioners in the Blouberg area, South Africa



South African Journal of Botany 122: 385-390



ISSN/ISBN: 0254-6299

DOI: 10.1016/j.sajb.2018.10.009

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health concern in developing countries with their transmission rate regarded as one of the highest in the world. A large proportion of the rural population in the Blouberg area of South Africa relies on traditional health practitioners and their practices of medicinal plants in order to meet their health care needs. The aim of the study was thus to gain insights into the way in which THPs manage the symptoms of STIs via the use of medicinal plants. Information was collected from 33 THPs using an interview schedule. Information recorded included ailments treated, diagnoses and gender treated. Further information regarding species used, growth forms harvested, plant parts used, as well as mode of preparation and administration of remedies was sought. Results showed that THPs manage only gonorrhoea, chalmydia and makgoma. Seventeen plant species belonging to 12 families are used to manage STIs. Herbs (41%), trees (35%) and shrubs (24%) were used. Roots (70%), bulbs (18%), as well as fruits and bark (6% each) were utilised. Remedies were prepared by boiling, powdering and pounding. The preferred method of administration was orally. The study found seven new species used by Bapedi THPs to manage STIs and related symptoms. This study reveals that local communities in the Blouberg area, still depend on THPs and traditional medicines for basic healthcare. Bapedi THPs in the Blouberg area play an important role in the management of STIs.

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Accession: 070926823

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