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Ethnobotanical survey of plants used by Bapedi traditional healers to treat tuberculosis and its opportunistic infections in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

Semenya, S.S., Maroyi, A.
South African journal of botany 2019 v.122 pp. 401-421
Asteraceae, Capparis tomentosa, Cassipourea, Catha edulis, Citrullus lanatus, Combretum hereroense, Cryptocarya, Datura stramonium, Diospyros, Enicostema, Fabaceae, Gnidia, Gossypium herbaceum, Solanum catombelense, Warburgia salutaris, Zingiber officinale, Ziziphus, boiling, ethnobotany, leaves, medicinal plants, questionnaires, recipes, roots, secondary infection, surveys, traditional medicine, tuberculosis, South Africa
The present study explored the utilisation of medicinal plants by Bapedi traditional healers (THs) to treat and manage tuberculosis (TB) and its opportunistic infections in the three districts of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Data were gathered using a semi-structured questionnaire as a guide for conversation with 202 THs after obtaining informed consent. One hundred and eighty-four (n = 184) plant species distributed in 149 genera and 77 botanical families were used by these THs. Amongst the diverse botanical families noted, the Fabaceae (21 spp.), Asteraceae (12 spp.) and Malvaceae (11 spp.) were dominant. Remedies were predominantly prepared from roots (63.8%) and leaves (13.8%). Overall, a total of 275 recipes (71.2% = mono and 28.7% = poly), prepared chiefly via boiling (50.9%) and pounding (40.7%) were documented. The foremost methods of administering these formulae were orally (87.2%) and nasally (11.2%). The highest fidelity level value (100%) was recorded for Capparis tomentosa, Cassipourea garcini, Catha edulis, Citrullus lanatus, Combretum hereroense, Datura stramonium, Dicoma anomala, Diospyros lycioides, Enicostema axillare, Gossypium herbaceum, Solanum catombelense, Stylochaeton natalensis, Zingiber officinale and Ziziphus zeyheriana across the studied districts. Cryptocarya transvaalensis, Lasiosiphon caffer and Warburgia salutaris notched the highest integer according to use value index. In general, a large number of species used by Bapedi THs are, for the first time, documented as medicines for TB and its opportunistic infections. These new additions to the scientific literature emphasise the need to conduct more ethnobotanical studies focusing on TB.