Ethnobotanical and socio economic study of some medicinal plants used in cancer treatment in the Boyo division in highland region of Cameroon: Lannea kerstingii, Geniosporum rotundifolium, Entada abyssinica and Ocimum gratissimum uri icon

abstract

  • An ethnobotanical and socio-economic study of some four medicinal plants used in cancer treatment was carried out in the Boyo Division of the northwest region of Cameroon from the 1st of April to the 31st of September 2010. The main objective of the study was to assess the use and evaluate the importance of Lannea kerstingii, Geniosporum rotundifolium, Entada abyssinica and Ocimum gratissimum to different user groups in the Boyo Division. Two sets of questionnaires were structured and addressed to 30 traditional healers and 60 household heads. Data collected were analyzed using EXCEL 2007 and SPSS v. 12. Results show that 100% of respondents have some knowledge about O. gratissimum, while the least known medicinal species is L. kerstingii (known by 32.22% of respondents). The total percentages of those who know E. abyssinica and G. rotundifolium are 74.44% and 91.11% respectively. The main plant parts used for the shrubs are the leaves (with 72.1%) citations for O. gratissimum and 51.7% citations for G. rotundifolium), while for the tree species, the major plant part used is the tree bark (cited by 70.6% and 69.1% of users for L. kerstingii and E. abyssinica respectively). The main sources from which the species are harvested include the wild and home gardens. Those involved in collecting the plant species are the men, (22.4%) women (46.3%) and young people (31.3%). Apart from O. gratissimum which has been cited by the majority of respondents (70.59%) as being constant over the past few years, all the other species have been decreasing as cited by the majority of respondents (95.74%, 85.00% and 84.48% for L. kerstingii, E. abyssinica and G. rotundifolium respectively). Respondents attest there is a problem of scarcity and the causes of scarcity include amongst others, bush clearance for agriculture and construction, the drying up of plants during dry season, dry season bush fires, overharvesting, and slash and burn agriculture. The number of cancer patients received by traditional healers per month varies from 1 to 100 patients and the average cost of treatment is estimated at 23960FCFA. This study recommends: to ICRAF, to encourage cultivation of medicinal species through participatory tree domestication; to users of medicinal plants, to engage in sustainable harvesting practices, and to the government, to formalize the market for the medicinal plants as well as for the services provided by traditional healers

publication date

  • 2016