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Ethnobotany of Aloe L. (Asphodelaceae) in Tanzania

Amir, H.M., Grace, O.M., Wabuyele, E., Manoko, M.L.K.
South African journal of botany 2019 v.122 pp. 330-335
Aloe, ethnobotany, gender, indigenous knowledge, interviews, leaves, malaria, medicine, traditions, Tanzania
The genus Aloe (Asphodelaceae) is well known in Tanzania for its medicinal uses, yet its ethnobotany has not previously been systematically studied in the region. To document the indigenous knowledge of Aloe species, data were collected using semi-structured interviews from 180 respondents of different gender and age groups at four study sites in Tanzania. Thirty-seven uses of Aloe were recorded for 11 species; the majority were for human medicine (73%), and the most frequently mentioned ailment treated was malaria. Leaves were the most frequently used part of the plant. Respondents in the 21–45 and 45+ age groups reported the greatest diversity of uses of Aloe species across the sites, suggesting that the transmission of plant use traditions to younger generation in the 15–20 age group may be waning. Perceived declines in wild populations of Aloe indicate the vulnerability of species and associated indigenous knowledge, and the need for their conservation.