Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants from Ghana; confirmation of ethnobotanical uses, and review of biological and toxicological studies on medicinal plants used in Apra Hills Sacred Grove
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|Upload date||22 Aug 2018|
|Keywords||Medicinal plants, Sacred Grooves, ethnobotanical, practice|
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The majority of human populations in developing countries rely on traditional medicines but the practice of traditional medicine is not the same across the world. In this study, the authors investigated traditional medicinal uses of plants by the communities living around Apra Hills Sacred Grove, in southern Ghana. A total of 75 households in three communities, namely, Akrampa, Apra and Loye, living in the study area were interviewed about the plants they used for the management of their common human ailments. Data collection was achieved after obtaining prior-informed consent, and using a semi-structured questionnaire. Botanical voucher specimens of the plants reported as being used were collected following standard ethnobotanical practice. A total of 31 species of plants belonging to16 families were reported as being used in the management and treatment of diseases. Approximately 65% of the plants were collected from degraded areas outside the protected area of the grove whereas 35% were obtained from inside the protected area of grove (wild). The majority (81%) of the plants reported were non-cultivated plants while 19% were semi-cultivated plants, and none were cultivated. Leaves formed a major component (57%) of the plant materials being used and most of the herbal remedies were prepared by boiling and the decoctions drunk. The results of the study have also confirmed the ethnobotanical uses of the plants as well as highlighted “new use reports”. The study has confirmed importance of degraded areas as a source of medicinal plants for indigenous communities and that a high proportion of non-cultivated plants is used for such medicines. Plants in need of further investigations based on a survey of the available literature on their ethnobotanical use, biological activity and toxicological studies have been highlighted.