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Background and objective: Malaria is perhaps the major illness in Nigeria as the country accounts for an estimated 23% of cases worldwide. It is also the leading cause of child deaths in the country. The study being reported here aimed to document plant species used in the management of malaria disease by the various aboriginal groups in Ondo State, Nigeria.
Methods: Three LGAs where each ethnic group dominated the population were selected, exemption being the Owo ethnic group, where two LGAs were used. In each of the selected LGA, five rural communities were selected. In each of these communities, 20 respondents who had maintained continuous domicile for a period of not less than 20 years were chosen and the selected respondents were interviewed using semi structured questionnaire matrix. Plants used for curing malaria were identified by the respondents; the local names of the plant and parts used as well as the time of usage, dosage, and administration were documented.
Results: The respondents in the study area were quite aware of the medicinal importance of plants in their environment and utilized them for the cure and/or protection from diverse diseases including malaria. A total of eight plant species were identified as being widely utilized in the state for the management of malaria disease. Only three of these species were cultivated in the study area. The utilization of the identified species varied among the tribal group. The details of their utility were defined.
Conclusion: The plant derived medicine were acceptable and affordable. However, further studies are required on the identified species particularly on the need to determine the abundance of the identified plant species with the aim of identifying the rare ones and propose sustainable strategies that would ensure their availabilities to both the present and future generations in the study area. Also, scientific validation of the medicinal utilization of these species should be determined. All these will help in the effective control of malaria.
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