Ethnobotanical survey of food and medicinal plants of the Ilkisonko Maasai community in Kenya
Type of Spiritual Experience
The diseases have not beenlisted as activities as it is difficult to attribute diseases with plants
A description of the experience
J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Dec 4;175:463-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.10.013. Epub 2015 Oct 9.
Ethnobotanical survey of food and medicinal plants of the Ilkisonko Maasai community in Kenya.
Kimondo J1, Miaron J2, Mutai P3, Njogu P4.
- 1Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197-00202, Nairobi, Kenya. Electronic address: email@example.com.
- 3Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya. Electronic address: email@example.com.
AIM OF THE STUDY:
Pastoralist communities such as the Maasai are heavily reliant on traditional foods and medicines. This survey sought to identify traditional foods and/or medicinal plants of the Ilkisonko Maasai community living in Kenya.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Ethnobotanical knowledge of traditional plants used as food and human/veterinary medicine was obtained using structured and semi-structured questionnaires administered through face to face interviews of key informants.
A total of 30 species from 21 families and 25 genera were reportedly used as food and/or medicine by 48 respondents. The most commonly encountered genus was the Fabaceae. The growth forms encountered were tree (47%), shrub (33%) and herb (20%). Plants that were commonly mentioned by respondents were
Salvadora persica (85%),
Grewia villosa (52%),
Ximenia americana (52%),
Albizia anthelmintica (50%),
Acacia robusta (46%) and
Acacia nilotica (42%).
The root/root bark was the most commonly used plant part (35%), followed by the stem/stem bark (30%), fruit (15%), leaves (11%) and whole plant (9%). Common ailments treated were stomach aches, constipation, back aches, joint aches, body pains and sexually transmitted infections. The plants were also used as tonics, digestives, and restoratives.
It was evident that traditional medicine was the preferred health care system for the Ilkisonko Maasai community. It is important to document and use this knowledge in producing novel products that could improve nutrition and healthcare in rural communities.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ethnobotanical survey; Kenya; Loitokitok; Maasai; Medicinal plants