Ethnoveterinary Values of Nigerian Medicinal Plants: An Overview
European Journal of Medicinal Plants,
Background: Poor animal health is still a major problem limiting livestock production in sub-saharan Africa. Poverty and toxic effects of veterinary drugs have compelled poor resourced farmers to search for alternative medicine in Nigeria. In view of this literature search was carried out with a view to compiling medicinal plants that are being used in the treatment of livestock diseases in Nigeria.
Methods: The study was carried out in Markurdi Nigeria. Literatures from various journals that are addreesing ethnoveterinary medicine and ethnoboatany were critically reviewed in order to identify the reported traditional medicinal plants used in treating animal diseases.
Results: More than 200 plants were used in the treatment of animal diseases such as foot - and - mouth disease, mange, tuberculosis, pediculosis, etc. Some of these plants were: Acacia nilotica, Gardenia erubescens, Vernonia amygdalina, Azadirachta indica among others. Some of the searched plants were given to animals either directly or ground into powder and added to animal feeds. Others were administered to animals as concoctions, infusions, or decoctions. The responsible therapeutic phytochemicals were mainly alkaloids, tannins, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, phenols, minerals and vitamins. Some medicinal plants were given either in combination with sodium chloride or potash. Before use, plants that had toxic or antinutritional compounds, such as oxalates, tannins, saponins, phytates, alkaloids, nitrate/nitrite and others were subjected to soaking, boiling, toasting or fermentation to remove the toxic elements.
Conclusions: The identification of these plants can complement or supplement the available modern veterinary drugs with a view to providing animal protein for 70% malnourished Nigerian populace. The identified plants may also be included in modern veterinary pharmacopoeia. More so, phytochemical principles present in the plants can be fractionated, isolated and tested for acclaimed biological activities.
- livestock diseases
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