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SURVEY OF MEDICINAL PLANTS USED BY THE GIRIAMA OF BASI, KENYA

Author: Muniafu MM, Kipkore KW, Maima AO, Kwena MO, Kahindi JHP
Is Part Of: Pharmaceutical Journal of Kenya, Volume 21, No. 4 (2014)
Abstract:
Background: Though the Giriama people of Kenya rely mostly on ethno-medicine to manage human ailments, theindigenous knowledge  largely undocumented. This study was set to survey, record and report some of the medicinal plant species they use to manage human
ailments. The Main Objective of this study was to identify some of the indigenous medicinal plants used amongst the Giriama community of Kenya. Methodoloy: Observationsand semi-structured interviews (see Appendix 1) were usedto gather ethno-botanical data for each  plant. About 3 Kg of suitable specimens were harvested, with leaves pressed and preserved for identification at SUDIC Herbarium. Voucher specimens were also deposited at SUDIC and excess material powdered and kept dry. The pressed specimens were dried at 200 C to 250 C using plant blower. Results: A total of 23 medicinal plants, belonging to 15 families, were harvested and identified. The families Lamiaceae, Malvaceae and Fabaceae were the most represented. The medicinal use of three of the plant species (Deinbollia borbonica  Scheff., Clerodendrum incisum Klotzsch and Gardenia posoquerioides S. Moore) had hitherto not been documented and may be new records for treating various ailments. Conclusion and Suggestions: It is apparent that the Giriama of Basi are well endowed with knowledge on indigenous ethno-medicine and forest contours. Their passion and protection of the Kayas and medicinal plants help them in contributing not only to sustainable provision of community health care but also a potential to share this knowledge far beyond their Kilifi County. If nurtured well, this knowledge could empower the people economically. It could also be incorporated into key policies to guide conservation efforts for the rainforest and its biodiversity, to stave off over-utilization and loss of plant genetic reservoir. The ethno-medicinal knowledge needs to be well researched and recorded before it is irretrievably lost.

Keywords: Giriama, Ethno-medicine, Deinbollia, Clerodendrum, Gardenia, herbal remedies, sustainability
Publisher: The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya
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