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African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines
African Ethnomedicines Network
ISSN: 0189-6016
Vol. 4, No. 4, 2007, pp. 469 – 475
Bioline Code: tc07062
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2007, pp. 469 – 475

 en TRADITIONAL LEAFY VEGETABLES IN SENEGAL: DIVERSITY AND MEDICINAL USES
Mathieu, Gueye & Meissa, Diouf

Abstract

Six administrative regions of Senegal were investigated. Forty species of vegetable leaves which are traditionally consumed in Senegal have been inventoried. All species are members of twenty-one families the most numerous of which are Amaranthaceae Juss., Malvaceae Juss., Moraceae Link., the Papilionaceae Giseke and Tiliaceae Juss. The species are subdivided into three groups: cultivated leafy vegetables, plants gathered annually, perennial sub-ligneous and ligneous species. The gathered species represent 67.5% of the inventory, 40.7% of which is ligneous. Cultivated species account for 32.5% of the inventory. The species are consumed for their medicinal properties, nutritive value and eating habits linked to specific ethnic traditions. During the drought years, with the scarcity of main food (millet, mays) consumption of leafy vegetables is high. All species reported except Sesuvium portulacastrum check for this species in other resources L. are consumed like vegetable herbs. The species of Hibiscus are eaten in spinach and condiment form while Sesuvium portulacastrum L is cooked in salad. Of the forty species examined, eleven are widely consumed. Within the entire study area, Hibiscus sabdariffa check for this species in other resources predominates among species consumed, followed by Moringa oleifera Lam. and Senna obtusifolia check for this species in other resources Link. A high consumption level of some species like amarante, Corchorus tridens check for this species in other resources L., Corchorus aestuans check for this species in other resources L., Leptadenia hastata check for this species in other resources Decne. and Vigna unguiculata check for this species in other resources (L.) Walp is confined to certain areas. In addition to their consumption as vegetables, the medicinal uses of 57.5% of these is of primary importance. The most commonly exploited parts are, respectively, leaf (40%), roots (20%), and bark (13.3%). Among the numerous pathologies treated, abscess, constipation, and rheumatism are predominant followed by aphrodisiac uses. The Amaranthus check for this species in other resources spp. L., Leptadenia hastata check for this species in other resources Decne., Senna obtusifolia Link., Adansonia digitata check for this species in other resources L. and Tamarindus indica check for this species in other resources L. are species with multiple medicinal uses.

Keywords
Traditional leafy vegetables - diversity - medicinal uses - Senegal

 
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