Ethnomedicinal Survey of Plants Used for the Management of Hypertension Sold in the Makola Market, Accra, Ghana
European Journal of Medicinal Plants,
Hypertension is a highly prevalent public health problem among Africans, including Ghanaians, and it is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and coronary artery disease. Hypertension occurs at a rate of 19% to 48% across Ghana; and because about 70% of the patients are believed to be using herbs to manage this condition, it is important to know the kind of plants that are used in the management of this condition. The aim of this study was therefore to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey to document medicinal plant species which are sold on the open Ghanaian market; and are traditionally used in the treatment of hypertension. Validated questionnaires were administered to sellers of dried or semi-processed herbs at the Makola market, in the Accra Metropolitan Area. The survey identified the plant materials and the way and manner; by which these plant materials are prepared and administered.
A total of 13 plant species belonging to 13 plant families were identified. The following medicinal plants were found to be commonly sold for the treatment of hypertension: Bambusa vulgaris (Graminaeae), Bridellia ferruginea (Euphorbiaceae), Carica papaya (Caricaceae), Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae), Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae), Nauclea latifolia (Rubiaceae), Ocimum gratissimum (Lamiaceae), Parkia biglobosa (Leguminosae), Persea americana (Lauraceae), Proporis africana (Leguminosae – Mimosoideae), Pseudocedrela kotschyii (Maliaceae), Theobroma cacao (Sterculiaceae) and Vitellaria paradoxa (Sapotaceae). Leaves and roots of these plants predominated other plant parts. Most of these herbs were prepared as aqueous decoctions before administration. In conclusion, there are many medicinal plant species used to treat several conditions, including hypertension, within the Ghanaian community. This study therefore underscores the need to preserve, document and scientifically investigate traditional herbs used for the treatment of various diseases of public health importance, and to optimize their use since they serve as alternative treatment.