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Review looks at therapeutic effects of medicinal plants from Ghana


Many developing countries around the world rely heavily on traditional medicine; however, this discipline also varies greatly depending on the region. In this review, researchers from the University of Ghana looked at how medicinal plants are traditionally used in communities. They focused on those living in Apra Hills Sacred Grove in southern Ghana.

  • The researchers looked at 75 households in the Akrampa, Apra, and Loye communities in southern Ghana. The team interviewed those living in the areas about the plants each household uses to manage common illnesses.
  • To gather data, they used a semi-structured questionnaire. Informed consent was granted prior to data collection. They gathered botanical voucher specimens of the plants reported afterward.
  • From the results, the researchers found that 31 species of plants, which belonged to 16 families, were used for therapy. Among these species, 65 percent were collected from degraded areas outside the grove’s protected area, and 35 were gathered inside.
  • Over 81 percent of plants used were non-cultivated. Participants also reported that 19 percent were semi-cultivated.
  • People in Apra Hills Sacred Grove reported that the leaves were the primary plant material used — 57 percent of herbal remedies prepared used leaves as a major component. In addition, most herbal remedies were boiled into decoctions that were drunk.
  • The researchers also noted that while these plants have known ethnobotanical uses, some of these have “new use reports.”

In sum, the researchers indicated that while their review highlighted the pharmacological potential of certain plants, further investigation should be made to explore their ethnobotanical use, biological activity, and toxicity.

Journal Reference:

Adeniyi A, Asase A, Ekpe PK, Asitoakor BK, Adu-Gyamfi A, Avekor PY. ETHNOBOTANICAL STUDY OF MEDICINAL PLANTS FROM GHANA; CONFIRMATION OF ETHNOBOTANICAL USES, AND REVIEW OF BIOLOGICAL AND TOXICOLOGICAL STUDIES ON MEDICINAL PLANTS USED IN APRA HILLS SACRED GROVE. Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2018;14:76–87. DOI: 10.1016/j.hermed.2018.02.001



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