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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 13, No. 2, 2013, pp. 320-326
Bioline Code: hs13045
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2013, pp. 320-326

 en Exotic and indigenous problem plants species used, by the Bapedi, to treat sexually transmitted infections in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Semenya, S S; Potgieter, M J & Erasmus, L J C

Abstract

Background: The ethnic usage of exotics and indigenous problem plants is a highly debated topic, as legislative requirements over-shadow their potential medicinal value, particularly to treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Limited information exists regarding their medicinal value among the Bapedi.
Objective: To ascertain the importance of exotics and indigenous problem plants in the treatment of STIs, a major global primary health care challenge.
Methods: A field observation and semi-structured questionnaire focussing on species diversity, types of STIs treated and medicinal preparation as well as application was used to collect data from 34 traditional healers.
Results: Seven exotics and three indigenous problem species were identified. These species were used to treat four STIs; with Catharanthus roseus check for this species in other resources illustrating its dominance in the treatment of gonorrhoea. Some medicinal species used by Bapedi traditional healers have been validated through scientific research or through their extensive use by various cultures in South Africa and other parts of Africa. To the best of our knowledge Alternanthera pungens check for this species in other resources , Caesalpinia decapetala check for this species in other resources , Cinnamomum verum check for this species in other resources , and Citrullus lanatus check for this species in other resources are reported for the first time in the treatment of the investigated STIs.
Conclusion: Exotic and indigenous problem species constitute an important component of the STIs treatment protocol.Their utilization by Bapedi cautions against the narrow-minded approach of indiscriminate eradication, as these species can play a significant role in the primary health care needs of socio-economic vulnerable people.

Keywords
Bapedi; sexually transmitted infection; indigenous problem plants; exotics

 
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