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African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines
African Ethnomedicines Network
ISSN: 0189-6016
Vol. 13, No. 3, 2016, pp. 33-43
Bioline Code: tc16057
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2016, pp. 33-43

Erinoso, S.M.; Fawibe, O.O.; Oyelakin, A.S.; Ajiboye, A.A. & Agboola, D.A.


Background: The period of infancy, spanning through the neonatal stage to two years, is characterized by a series of health challenges for the affected child and concerned parents. This study conducted in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria was aimed at investigating the plants used in the traditional management of infantile dermatitis and other neonatal skin infections with emphasis on the role of SPICES.
Methods: Structured questionnaires (and personal interview) were administered to 36 nursing mothers (age range, 15 – 50) and 30 herbsellers (age range, 21 – 60) in the LGA. The herbsellers prescribed recipes used in the management of general skin diseases including abscess, chicken pox, eczema, flaky skin spots, measles, rashes, ringworm, and small pox.
Results: The survey yielded 69 plants belonging to 38 families and forming 25 polyherbal and mono-recipes. Fabaceae, Rutaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Annonaceae, Poaceae, Meliaceae, and Amaryllidaceae had high species representation. Trees (40.58%) were the most frequently used plant habit while leaves (40.58%) formed the most frequently used plant part. Decoction and infusion using pure water were the methods of preparation suggested. Administration ranged from drinking extracts (2-3 teaspoonfuls) three times daily, to bathing with warm extracts of the plants and the use of coconut oil as cream. Traditional black soap and Shea butter also featured in the herbal remedy for bath and as cream respectively. Local sponge was preferred for bathing.
Conclusion: This study has documented the alternative medical approach in the management of infantile skin diseases. The cultural relevance of plants calls for sustainable use of plant resources. This research finds application in primary health care, microbiology, and in cosmetic industries for the development of new or improved baby skin care products. Further research should be conducted to confirm the claimed ethnomedicinal values as well as evaluate possible harm of crude plant extracts to skin structures of infants.

Infants; Skin infections; Spices; Nigeria

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