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An Ethnobotanical Study of Plants Used for the Treatment of Livestock Diseases in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Masika, P.J., Afolayan, A.J.
Pharmaceutical biology 2003 v.41 no.1 pp. 16-21
estrus, ethnobotany, eyes, farmers, heartwater, helminthiasis, inflammation, interviews, leaves, livestock, livestock diseases, medicinal plants, medicinal properties, parasites, rapid rural appraisal, retained placenta, walking, South Africa
Information on medicinal plants used by the people of the Eastern Cape for the treatment of animal diseases was collected by rapid rural appraisal techniques, including ranking, stories, transect walking, seasonal calendars and semi-structured interviews. A total of 38 species belonging to 31 families was found to be commonly used in herbal remedies against various diseases of farm animals. Out of these, 21 plant species from 17 families are used to treat gallsickness, while 13 species from 13 families are used to treat redwater disease. In the majority of preparations, 78% of the remedies are decoctions: 13% as infusions, 5% by just squeezing the plant parts, and 4% of the preparations are either prepared as infusions, or as decoctions. Leaves are the most frequently used plant part. A total of nine livestock disease conditions, namely gallsickness, redwater, heartwater, eye inflammation, retained placenta, foot rot, hastening of estrus, three-day-stiff sickness and internal parasites (helminthiasis) were reported to be treated using the plants recorded during the investigation. Generally, more than one plant species are combined for the treatment of livestock by the rural farmers of the Eastern Cape province. In most cases, the plants used are reported, in literature, to possess some pharmacological activity.