Background/Aim: More than 7,000 species of flowering plants are recorded in Ethiopia, of which only 200 species are recorded for malaria treatment. A large segment of the population in Ethiopia relies on traditional medicine to get a relief from various diseases. Malaria is the major cause of death in Southern Ethiopia. The main aim of the study was to assess the indigenious knowledge and document antimalarial and repellent plants used by Sidama people of Hawassa Zuria district, Sidama zone, Southern Ethiopia.
Methods: A total of 150 informants (32 females and 118 males) were selected randomly to collect information on medicinal plants use from ten kebeles. Out of these, 30 key informants were purposively selected based on the recommendation of district office and elderly people. Ethnobotanical survey was conducted from January to February, 2018. Ethnobotanical data were collected and analyzed through semi structured interview, field observation, Use value, preference ranking and Informant consensus factor.
Results: A total of 25 medicinal plants belonging to 24 genera and 19 families were recorded in the study area. Among the total traditional medicinal plants, 21 species were used as antimalarial and 8 species were used as repellent. Out of the collected plant species, 9 species, (38%) were trees followed by shrubs (8 species, 33%). The highest ICF was scored for repellent (0.95). The most cited species were Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (UV=0.50) followed by Premna schimperi Engl. (UV=0.32) and Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustifoia (UV=0.19). The most preferred species by the informants was Azadirachta indica A. Juss both as antimalarial and repellent plant.
Conclusion: The result of the current study showed the existence of indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants to treat malaria as well as to repel mosquitoes and ticks in Hawassa Zuria district. Further research should be considered to discover effective antimalarial drugs and simple repellent products from the documented antimalarial plants through phytochemical and pharmacological studies.
Antimalarial; Hawassa Zuria district; Indigenous Knowledge; Malaria; Repellent