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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development (EJHD)
Title Ethnomedicinal uses of plants among the Somali ethnic group
Volume 31
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL http://www.ejhd.org/index.php/ejhd/article/download/1356/1014
Introduction: In Ethiopia, most people are dependent on traditional medicine (TM), mainly of plant origin for
human and animal health problems. The practice of herbal medicine varies widely, in keeping with the societal and
cultural heritage of different countries. The heritage has not been well documented in the developing countries
including Ethiopia and this is even more so in the emerging regions of the country. The objective of this study was
to document medicinal plant knowledge of the people and identifying factors determining the use of medicinal
plants in Jigjiga Woreda, Somali Regional State, eastern Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in five kebeles from where ethno-medicinal information was
collected using semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to 800 heads of households.
Data were entered and analyzed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences version 20. Multivariable logistic
regression was performed to show possible associations between the dependent and independent variable and
statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: The study documented an overall prevalence of 40% to use of herbal medicine during one month recall
period. A total of 45 medicinal plant species were collected and botanically identified. The study found that leaves
are the most frequently utilized plant part (30.5%), followed by roots (23.0%). The reasons for preference of
herbal drugs were related to lower price, efficacy and geographic accessibility as compared to modern medicine.
Age, gender, educational status and occupation were identified as important determinants for the use of herbal
Conclusion: This ethno-medicinal study showed that community in Jigjiga Woreda relies on traditional medicinal
plant species to treat a wide spectrum of human ailments. It is therefore suggested that more in depth studies be
condicted to explore the potential of traditional medicine in the region to preserve this indigenous knowledge.

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