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A survey of plants and plant products traditionally used in livestock health management in Buuri district, Meru County, Kenya.

Gakuubi MM, Wanzala W - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2012)

Bottom Line: Of these families, Fabaceae had the highest number of species (16.67%), followed by Solanaceae (12.5%), Asteraceae and Euphorbiacea (each comprising 8.33%), Lamiaceae (6.25%), Apocynaceae and Boraginaceae (each comprising 4.17%), while the rest of the 19 families, each was represented by a single plant species.The study showed that there was a rich knowledge and ethnopractices for traditional animal healthcare amongst the Ameru.This study therefore provides some groundwork for elucidating the efficacy of some of these plants, plant products and ethnopractices in managing livestock health as further research may lead to discovery of useful ethnopharmaceutical agents applicable in livestock industry.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, P.O. Box 62157-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.

ABSTRACT

Background: Up till now, nomadic communities in Africa have been the primary focus of ethnoveterinary research. Although mainly arable and/or mixed arable/pastoral farmers, Ameru of central Kenya are known to have a rich history of ethnoveterinary knowledge. Their collective and accumulative ethnoveterinary knowledge (EVK) is likely to be just as rich and worth documenting. The aim of the study was to document and analyse the ethnoveterinary knowledge of the Ameru.

Methods: Non-alienating, dialogic, participatory action research (PAR) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) approaches involving 21 women and men aged between 50 and 79 years old were utilized. A combination of snowball and purposive sampling methods were used to select 21 key respondents. The methods comprised a set of triangulation approach needed in EVK for non-experimental validation of ethnoknowledge of the Ameru.

Results: A total of 48 plant species distributed in 26 families were documented with details of diseases/ill-health conditions, parts of plants used and form of preparation and administration methods applied to different animal groups. Of these families, Fabaceae had the highest number of species (16.67%), followed by Solanaceae (12.5%), Asteraceae and Euphorbiacea (each comprising 8.33%), Lamiaceae (6.25%), Apocynaceae and Boraginaceae (each comprising 4.17%), while the rest of the 19 families, each was represented by a single plant species. About 30 livestock diseases/ill-health conditions were described, each treated by at least one of the 48 plant species. Most prevalent diseases/ill-health conditions included: - anaplasmosis, diarrhea, East Coast fever, pneumonia, helminthiasis, general weakness and skin diseases involving wounds caused by ectoparasites.

Conclusion: The study showed that there was a rich knowledge and ethnopractices for traditional animal healthcare amongst the Ameru. This study therefore provides some groundwork for elucidating the efficacy of some of these plants, plant products and ethnopractices in managing livestock health as further research may lead to discovery of useful ethnopharmaceutical agents applicable in livestock industry.

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Ethnoremedies used on different animal groups in Buuri district, Meru County, Kenya.
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Figure 5: Ethnoremedies used on different animal groups in Buuri district, Meru County, Kenya.

Mentions: The most commonly treated animals in Buuri district were: - cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and various species of poultry. Donkeys were also kept by few livestock farmers especially in the drier part of the district but no single plant and/or plant product was reported to be used by respondents in the treatment of donkeys. This was an indication that equine ethnoveterinary medicine might be less developed in the study area and/or perhaps the socio-economic value of donkeys in the cultural and traditional life of Ameru is not as great as the rest of the other animals. Majority of the livestock found in the study area were either indigenous breed or crosses between indigenous and exotic breeds. Cattle had the highest number of known ethnoveterinary remedies (43.3%) followed by sheep (20.8%), goats (16.7%) and poultry (13.3%) in that order. Pigs had the lowest number of recorded ethnoveterinary remedies (5.8%) (Figure5). The number of known ethnoveterinary remedies for a particular type of livestock may probably correspond with socio-economic value and importance of the animal in the cultural and traditional life of Ameru[4,5] and perhaps this may also explain the order of acquisition of these animals for domestication by the Ameru in their life history. For instance, dowry among the Meru consisted of five items (an ewe, a container of honey, a heifer, a ram and a bull). All these items signified very important aspects of the marriage life with ewe symbolizing virginity. On the other hand, livestock (such as cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys) is believed to have been used by the leader of the Ameru people (Koomenjoe) to perform the second and the fourth tests of the five tests requested for by their colonial masters before the community could be released from bondage in a place called Mbwa[5].


A survey of plants and plant products traditionally used in livestock health management in Buuri district, Meru County, Kenya.

Gakuubi MM, Wanzala W - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2012)

Ethnoremedies used on different animal groups in Buuri district, Meru County, Kenya.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3539861&req=5

Figure 5: Ethnoremedies used on different animal groups in Buuri district, Meru County, Kenya.
Mentions: The most commonly treated animals in Buuri district were: - cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and various species of poultry. Donkeys were also kept by few livestock farmers especially in the drier part of the district but no single plant and/or plant product was reported to be used by respondents in the treatment of donkeys. This was an indication that equine ethnoveterinary medicine might be less developed in the study area and/or perhaps the socio-economic value of donkeys in the cultural and traditional life of Ameru is not as great as the rest of the other animals. Majority of the livestock found in the study area were either indigenous breed or crosses between indigenous and exotic breeds. Cattle had the highest number of known ethnoveterinary remedies (43.3%) followed by sheep (20.8%), goats (16.7%) and poultry (13.3%) in that order. Pigs had the lowest number of recorded ethnoveterinary remedies (5.8%) (Figure5). The number of known ethnoveterinary remedies for a particular type of livestock may probably correspond with socio-economic value and importance of the animal in the cultural and traditional life of Ameru[4,5] and perhaps this may also explain the order of acquisition of these animals for domestication by the Ameru in their life history. For instance, dowry among the Meru consisted of five items (an ewe, a container of honey, a heifer, a ram and a bull). All these items signified very important aspects of the marriage life with ewe symbolizing virginity. On the other hand, livestock (such as cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys) is believed to have been used by the leader of the Ameru people (Koomenjoe) to perform the second and the fourth tests of the five tests requested for by their colonial masters before the community could be released from bondage in a place called Mbwa[5].

Bottom Line: Of these families, Fabaceae had the highest number of species (16.67%), followed by Solanaceae (12.5%), Asteraceae and Euphorbiacea (each comprising 8.33%), Lamiaceae (6.25%), Apocynaceae and Boraginaceae (each comprising 4.17%), while the rest of the 19 families, each was represented by a single plant species.The study showed that there was a rich knowledge and ethnopractices for traditional animal healthcare amongst the Ameru.This study therefore provides some groundwork for elucidating the efficacy of some of these plants, plant products and ethnopractices in managing livestock health as further research may lead to discovery of useful ethnopharmaceutical agents applicable in livestock industry.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Science, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, P.O. Box 62157-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.

ABSTRACT

Background: Up till now, nomadic communities in Africa have been the primary focus of ethnoveterinary research. Although mainly arable and/or mixed arable/pastoral farmers, Ameru of central Kenya are known to have a rich history of ethnoveterinary knowledge. Their collective and accumulative ethnoveterinary knowledge (EVK) is likely to be just as rich and worth documenting. The aim of the study was to document and analyse the ethnoveterinary knowledge of the Ameru.

Methods: Non-alienating, dialogic, participatory action research (PAR) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) approaches involving 21 women and men aged between 50 and 79 years old were utilized. A combination of snowball and purposive sampling methods were used to select 21 key respondents. The methods comprised a set of triangulation approach needed in EVK for non-experimental validation of ethnoknowledge of the Ameru.

Results: A total of 48 plant species distributed in 26 families were documented with details of diseases/ill-health conditions, parts of plants used and form of preparation and administration methods applied to different animal groups. Of these families, Fabaceae had the highest number of species (16.67%), followed by Solanaceae (12.5%), Asteraceae and Euphorbiacea (each comprising 8.33%), Lamiaceae (6.25%), Apocynaceae and Boraginaceae (each comprising 4.17%), while the rest of the 19 families, each was represented by a single plant species. About 30 livestock diseases/ill-health conditions were described, each treated by at least one of the 48 plant species. Most prevalent diseases/ill-health conditions included: - anaplasmosis, diarrhea, East Coast fever, pneumonia, helminthiasis, general weakness and skin diseases involving wounds caused by ectoparasites.

Conclusion: The study showed that there was a rich knowledge and ethnopractices for traditional animal healthcare amongst the Ameru. This study therefore provides some groundwork for elucidating the efficacy of some of these plants, plant products and ethnopractices in managing livestock health as further research may lead to discovery of useful ethnopharmaceutical agents applicable in livestock industry.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus