Chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus are increasing in incidence in sub-Saharan Africa. African traditional
medicine is part and parcel of the health care system in Uganda. Majority of the indigenous population will have visited
a traditional health care practioner or self-administered herbal medicines before seeking conventional health care. However,
documentation of the various medicinal plants is still lacking, necessitating a well-organized information search for such
knowledge through research. Such information can lay a firm and clear foundation for scientific investigation of the purported
therapeutic benefits of the said plants. The objective of this study was to collect names of medicinal plants used to
manage diabetes mellitus type II in selected districts of central Uganda.
In this ethnobotanical survey, names, of plants used to manage diabetes mellitus type II as well as the methods
of preparation, routes of administration and the plant parts used in the districts of Mukono, Kampala, Wakiso and Masaka
in the central region of Uganda were documented using a researcher administered questionnaire. Participants were recruited
using a snow ball approach in which one individual directed us to another. Informant consensus was determined for each of the plants mentioned.
A total of 18 names of medicinal plants were recorded of which Aloe vera
var, Solanum indicum
were the most commonly mentioned plants and thus had the highest informant consensus. Leaves were the
main parts that were used to prepare the herbal medicine while water as the solvent used in all the preparations. In all the cases, only the oral route was used for administration of the medicines.
Documentation of medicinal plants used to manage diabetes can further improve on the formalization process of the Ugandan traditional medicine system as well as lay a basis for further scientific investigation with emphasis on the plants whose informant consensus is high.