Barks Extravitism and Healthiness of Aboriginal Yoruba Populace in Kwara State, Nigeria

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Kayode J. Amoo J.O Ayeni M.J


Background and Objectives: The studies conducted on plant barks used in native pharmaceutical extraction in Yoruba-speaking areas of Nigeria have failed to consider the Yoruba ethnic groups of Kwara and Kogi States of the country Nigeria. Thus this study is an attempt to fill the missing gap and aimed at the identification of plant species whose barks are extracted in Yoruba speaking area of Kwara State for medicinal purposes and define their chemical constituents.
Methods: Two rural communities were selected from each of the 12 Yoruba speaking Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kwara State and used for this study. 10 respondents were randomly selected in each community and interviewed with the aid of a semi-structured questionnaire guide. Also in each LGA, a major market was selected where 5 botanical vendors were interviewed on the plant barks sold in the market. All the interviewed were focused, conversational and two-way in communication. Group interviews were conducted in each community to established group consensus on the individual responses provided. Key informants, consisting of health, forestry and community development officers were identified in each LGA and interviewed.
Results: The Yoruba tribe in Kwara State have cultural affiliation with their tribe in the south western parts of the country. They passed ethnobotanical knowledge from one generation to another. Dependence on the use of medicinal plants for health management was prominent in this culture. A total of 40 plants, belonging to 23 families, were observed to have their barks valued as medicine and/or for health maintenance in the study area. Secondary sources revealed the various chemical constituents of the identified species. The method of utilization of the species varied from soaking in cold water or soft drink for prescribed periods, to boiling in water, grinding and taken with water or Pap or honey, chewing and ingesting of the resulting saliva.
Conclusion: Plant barks were observed to be useful to the healthiness of the tribal Yoruba group in Kwara State, Nigeria. Incentives and disincentives that could affect continuous utilization were identified.

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