2Institute of Biological Sciences,College of Arts and Sciences,University of the Philippines Los Baños; and Faculty of Management and Development Studies,University of Philippines Open University,Los Baños,4031 Laguna,Philippines.
Received date: November 16,2015; Accepted date: December 11,2015; Published date: December 17,2015
Citation: Kpadehyea JT,Fernando ES,Tinio CE,et al. Ethnobotany Survey of the Wonegizi,Ziama Clan-Lofa County,Liberia. Electronic J Biol,11:4
Background: Wonegizi landscape is one of the poorest areas in Liberia; lacks basic social services including road network, or inaccessible. The knowledge of indigenous medicine by these people has not being recorded separately, though some botanical research works have occurred. We conducted this research to record local knowledge on what plant resources are used daily for the wellbeing of Wonegizi people. The main objective is to draw attention to traditional practice of medication, providing a comprehensive list of indigenous medicinal plants of potential for the cure of diseases and wounds in Wonegizi, which will serve as the beginning of a systematic recording of medicinal plants in Ziama Clan separate from the previous works conducted in Liberia by western botanists.
Methods: The survey was conducted during May- June 2014 using photographic documentation of indigenous medicinal plants. The use of keyinformants, community consultations, transects and articles and books on West Africa flora were used.
Results: A total of 101 plants of medicinal potential were surveyed belonging to 48 families and 97 genera. Accessed plants are used for treatment of 11 categories of different diseases and disorder common in Wonegizi area. The majority recorded were cure to internal complications and others for external body parts. Trees were the primary source for treatments of diseases and ailments followed by herbs and liana/climbers.
Conclusion: The Wonegizi survey demonstrated significant role of unique traditional medicinal practitioners whose beliefs prohibited the collection of plant specimens during field work. They believe their ancestral spirits must be consulted on the exclusive collection of medicinal plant parts through sacrificing cattle. Hence, traditional medicine continues to be extremely important for the people of Wonegizi in meeting their basic health services.
Wonegizi; Ethnobotany; Indigenous knowledge; Health services; Recording.
Ethnomedicinal healing systems vary across cultures . In Africa,70–80 percent of the vast majority of people still consult traditional medicinal practitioners . Special families are responsible for traditional medication referred to as ‘Zoes’ in Wonegizi community. The introduction of synthetic medicine has never replaced the indigenous healing system,and traditional healers continue to be consulted for a variety of reasons in Africa .
There have been several botanical studies conducted in parts of Liberia beginning in the 1960s,viz. national forests of Liberia (Sapo National Park,Proposed and Protected Areas of Liberia including Wonegizi,Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties) [4-7]. Yet many parts of the country remain unexplored exclusively for medicinal plants. In fact,the idea of plant collection is poorly understood by the country side,let alone their medicinal plants.
In general,this study sought to showcase the significant role of Traditional Medicinal Practitioners (TMPs) of Wonegizi in providing sustainable fundamental healthcare services for the community wellbeing.
Specifically,this study aimed to:
1. Assess,classify,and record indigenous medicinal plants (MPs) and their traditional uses using local,common,and scientific names,after comparing specimens with field guides and manuals.
2. Make recorded information available to the community,local and national government,and all concerned stakeholders for decision making in support of indigenous medicinal plants conservation.
Wonegizi landscape is located in Ziama Clan,Zorzor District,Lofa County- Liberia,and is host to the Wonegizi Proposed Protected Area (WPPA) (Figure 2 ). It has a population of 40,000 people distributed in 16 major towns and 47 satellite villages. The landscape is proposed suitable conservation area due to its diverse biodiversity presence . It is located in the northwest of the country and covers 37,979 hectares of forestland that hosts remnants of African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis africana),and other threatened and endangered species. Wonegizi forms a trans-boundary conservation corridor between Liberia and Guinea. The area is recognized internationally as key biodiversity conservation hotspot,and includes Liberia’s highest peak,Mt Wutevi (1,424m)  (Figure 1 and 2).
The landmark contains the lone intact example of transitional vegetative type between lowland and montane rainforest in Liberia [11,12]. Liberia has a tropical climate; average temperature ranging from 70°F (21°C),with relatively small variations between day and night,and never exceeding 37°C. Its average rainfall is 170 inches (4.320mm) inland including Ziama land .
Ziama Clan was defined based on tradition,and cultural beliefs. There are only two major groups (Nephews and Uncles) of people in the Clan. Majority of people in Ziama belong to the nephew group called ‘’darbey’’. This group occupies 11 of the 16 major towns. The towns are Amah,Barwen,Barzewen,Boi,Borkeza,Kpassagizia (Lokpo),Konia,Luyeama,Nikebouzu,Zeleemai and Zulor. Kpassagizia (Lokpo Massa) is the most senior brother town to the 11 by virtue of the Ziama tradition,and not the history for which town was built first; nor is the largest. The role of Lokpo Massa in Ziama tradition is to provide traditional medical security. In other words,Kpassagizia is the lead herbalist town referred to as the Zoe town. Lokpo Massa is assisted by the 10 nephew towns that refer to Lokpo as “dea-zayzay”,big-brother. The name Lokpo Massa is exclusive title called by the uncle towns,and not others when they refer to the people of Kpassagizia. They are direct nephews to Ziggida (Vesseh),which proxies for Wozi (Loleye).
The second segment consists of the 5 uncle towns,which are responsible for the traditional administration of the clan. They are Dorzenilor,Warkesu,Wozi,Vetesu,and Ziggida. Vesseh administers on behalf of Loleye (senior uncle town) on traditional matters.
A total of 46 well-informed indigenous medicinal practitioners (18 females and 28 males) between the ages of 30 and 80 participated from the 8 towns as key informants along with our team (Table 1). The towns’ people chose herbalists based on experience and commitment to good services for their community. These men and women played important role in society apart from being herbalist. Some informants were senior local citizens,educators,traditional midwifes and etc (Table 2). Data were collected through interview,transects,consultation,participation and disclosure.
|No||Name||Sex||Age||Occupation & Position||Institution|
|1||James T. Kpadehyea||M||47||Student &
Survey Team Leader
|University of the Philippines Los Baños|
|2||Francis K. Kpadeh||M||55||Forester & Asst. Manager||Forestry Development Authority|
|3||KokulokuSali||M||45||Forester; Conservation Zone Warden Wonegizi Proposed Protected Area (WPPA)||Forestry Development Authority|
Table 1: Team of recorders.
|No||Name||Sex||Age||Occupation & Position||Town|
|6||ForkpaZaza||M||38||Herbalist/Asst. town Chief||Kpassagizia|
|13||Joseph T. Daniels||M||47||Herbalist/Town Chief||Warkesu|
|14||MulbaZumo Gain||M||39||Herbalist/ builder||Warkesu|
|19||GayflorVamuwu||M||50||Herbalist/Former Town Chief||Ziggida|
|38||Oliver Zaza||M||57||Herbalist/Chief hunter||Vetesu|
|42||TarnueKezelee||M||40||Herbalist/Asst. Town Chief||Dorzenilor|
Table 2: Informants of Wonegizi indigenous medicinal plants.
Respecting Ziama tradition,we were not allowed to collect specimens in physical form. They believe this could be a bridge between them and their ancestral spirits who gave them the power to use the plant resources. A way of obtaining medicinal plants specimens required sacrifice with cattle to ancestral spirits,and approval through the lead Zoe,who performs the oracles of the land. Besides,medicinal plants or plant parts were not seen on both Borkeza and Konia general market-grounds for sale during the research. Informants told us that consultation with TMPs in Ziama was at the homes of “zoes’’.
Medicinal plants were identified by touched from informants,which in most cases was captured through photograph. They were identified and initially authenticated by comparing [14-16]. Finally,plants surveyed were compared to specimens stored at the ArcelorMittal’s temporary herbarium in Yekepa,for their authentication. Dr. William D. Hawthorne,an Oxford University Professor who did lot of recent collections in West Africa also made huge collections in Liberia stored in Yekepa. Plants surveyed around 8 towns of Ziama provide treatments against diseases in Ziama. Majority medicinal plants recorded were used as same treatment against diseases in the 8 towns. This notably indicated that medicinal plants recorded were the most effective and intensive used in the landscape (Table 2).
The survey began in Kpassagizia on 5 May 2014. Kpassagizia provides traditional medical assistance to Ziama,by virtue of the practice and norm of their ancestral kinsmen. Traditional medical fees are very minimal,if paid. Our initial plan was to work with one female and two male herbalists. The women herbalists didn’t send their selected for the first day in keeping with the respect and dignity of their culture. The men were to start out first to soften the bush before women enter. On May 6,all three women herbalists joined their male counterparts to help us with the recording of plant resources they worked with. The women general focus was on birth attended traditional medication and children treatment. Most traditional medicines recorded for treatment of illnesses that affected their children were mentioned by women; though they were also kin on menstrual disorders.
The people of Kpassagizia and the 7 other towns worked with our team in good faith; acknowledging that plant parts were forbidden to be extracted during field exercises. Total medicinal plants documented amounted to 101 species belonging to 48 families and 97 genera. Species amount per individual family with their respective local name,and parts used are mentioned in Table 3.
|Botanical name||Family||Wonegizi name (Vernacular name)||Parts used/Usage|
|Acacia kamerunensisGand.||Fabaceae||tarnagie||Leaves: chew; cures leprosy; cancer|
|Adeniarumicifolia Engl. & Harms,||Passifloraceae||terrboyalui||Leaves: boil, keep extract in mouth 3-5 minutes, cures toothache; drunk to cure swollen neck|
|Aframomumatewae Lock &J.B.Hall.||Zingiberaceae||ponitorfoi||Leaves: collect 4 shoots, smoke cake plus tea spoon full of melegueta pepper seeds; pound, put in cone of leaves, pour water, put droplets in nose to heal epilepsy|
||Zingiberaceae||taakeezagie||Fruit, Seeds: chew 4 seeds 3X daily, cures sore-throat; headache; fresh-cold; spice|
|AgelaeaparadoxaGilg,||Connaraceae||gaasava-yansai||Leaves: cure for snake bite|
|Ageratum conyzoides(L.) L.,||Asteraceae||beleezaawee||Leaves: crush, apply on skin disease; snake bite; leprosy|
|Albiziaadianthifolia (Schum.) W.Wight||Fabaceae||kpakpaboigie||Bark: boil, decoction drunk to cure cough|
|Albiziazygia (DC.) J.F.Macbr.||Fabaceae||gbanangie||Leaves: chew, cures heartache; for ear infection, add Combretumcuspidatum young leaves, roast and squeeze to put droplets in affected ear|
|Alchorneacordifolia(Schumach. &Thonn.) Müll.Arg.,||Euphorbiaceae||zokai||Leaves: boil, serve decoction to cure chest pain; cough;
Pith: chew pith for cough
|AmphimaspterocarpoidesHarms,||Fabaceae||kozee||Bark: roast bark, steam foot fungus ; cancer|
|Ananascomosus(L.) Merr.||Bromeliaceae||kevegie||Fruit: boil when green, serve decoction to cure yellow jaundice; typhus|
|Anchomanesdifformis (Blume) Engl, ,||Araceae||gorvialukpoi||Rhizome: roast to steam foot fungus|
|AnthonothamacrophyllaP.Beauv.||Fabaceae||bebee||Leaves: chew young leaves against amoebic dysentery; diarrhea|
|Artocarpusaltilis(Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn) Fosberg||Moraceae||weeteyangului||Roots: boil, serve to cure hypertension
Leaves: boil, serve decoction to cure diabetes; typhus
|Aspiliaafricana(Pers.) C.D.Adams||Asteraceae||wukugie||Leaves: crush, place on baby head, joins skull bones; extract put in children ear to heal ear problems|
|AspleniumnidusL.||Drynariaceae||yanfulargie; sevelagie||Leaves: collect 4 each from different plant or 3 for man and woman respectively; boil; keep extract cool for bath to remedy infection|
|Asystasiagangetica (L.) T.Anderson,||Acanthaceae||pelewobai||Leaves: cook fresh leaves with palm-oil to be eaten by woman who just gave birth to recover from profuse bleeding; heal internal sore
Fruit: patch, add palm-oil, eat to stop chest pain
|Axonopuscompressus(Sw.) P.Beauv.||Poaceae||teteforfoi||Plant: wash, roast to massage fractured leg; arm|
|Bertieraspicata(C.F.Gaertn.) K.Schum.||Rubiaceae||kpuvuluma-woligie; zeagbengan||Leaves: boil, drink extract to remedy constipation|
|Blighiawelwitschii(Hiern) Radlk,||Sapindaceae||poai||Leaves: crush in bucket of water, bath with decoction to cure epilepsy|
|BrideliagrandisPierre ex Hutch.||Euphorbiaceae||kuwui||Bark: boil, serve decoction to cure ulcer
Seeds: add 1 teaspoon melegueta pepper dust to a liter of water, serve decoction 4 times daily to cure typhus
|BrillantaisiaowariensisP.Beauv.||Acanthaceae||koalameelefai||Leaves: chew young leaves, remedy to poison|
||Fabaceae||kpebelee||Bark: boil, wash feet 3-4 times daily to treat fungus; drink decoction twice as worm treatment.|
|Caladium bicolor (Alton) Vent.
||Araceae||gaybadeh-lefai; gaybadeh-boutegie||Rhizome: pound with Musangacecrpioidesbark to treat skin cancer|
|Callichiliasubsessilis(Benth.) Stapf,||Apocynaceae||gillehwolo-worloryeze-yengie||Root: add water or palm-wine, serve extract as remedy to constipation; gonorrhea|
|Canariumschweinfurtii Engl.||Burseraceae||savawului||Bark: pound, apply to cure leprosy; ringworm|
|Canna indicaL||Cannaceae||gor-lor-leleh||Shoot: crush, add water; sieve to serve half glass of extractive to remedy fever; boil, serve to cure jaundice|
|Capsicum frutescensL.||Solanaceae||kezegie||Fruits: crush, apply on affected rheumatism area|
||Meliaceae||kovei||Bark: chew inner bark, place on fresh wound, stops bleeding; bacteria repellant|
|CarpolobialuteaG.Don,||Polygalaceae||sakewulugie; dervervalakpakugie||Root: roast, chew to cure heartache; chest pain|
|Cercestisafzelii Schott||Araceae||berbergie||Stem: tie hip of woman in labor-pain, prolongs delivery for hospital service
Leaves: chew young leaves to treat cough
|CissusproductaAfzel.,||Vitaceae||saliwuloba- lefai||Stem: cut stem into pieces and add lime fruit to boil, give extract as remedy to poison.|
|ClerodendrumformicarumGürke||Verbenaceae||arwolai||Leaves: crush, add water, drop extract in patient’s mouth to cure liver infection|
|CombretumcuspidatumPlanch. exBenth.,||Combretaceae||kpoloyaingie-sai||Leaves: boil, serve decoction to cure thrush; diarrhea|
|CostusaferKer Gawl.,||Costaceae||torfoi||Inflorescence: pound, add water, drop on eye to cure cataract;
Stem: chew stem, boil, drink decoction to cure malaria, yellow jaundice; pound inflorescence mixed with melegueta pepper to cure piles; for gonorrhea and all internal infections treatment, add Costus spec. stem to Dracaena praetermissa roots, 7 rep fruits of Capsiumfrutenscens, Adeniarumicifolia stem, Zingiberofficinalerhizome and pour wine to drink extract
|CraterispermumcaudatumHutch.||Rubiaceae||gbengan; yemeedoi||Bark: pound to dust for sore or cut treatment
Leaves: boil, serve decoction against yellow jaundice
|Cyathulaprostrata(L.) Blume,||Amaranthaceae||darlagie, derlagie||Leaves: boil leaves, serve extracts to cure fever, yellow jaundice, heartache, thrush and to initiate normal menstrual cycle|
|DalbergiasaxatilisHook.f.||Fabaceae||kpelegogo-boi||Leaves: crushed leaves to apply on boil for pus removal|
|Dendrobium sp.,||Orchidaceae||gulubalama-boblogie||Leaves: crush, apply extractive on boil for fast relief|
|Desmodiumadscendens (Sw.) DC.,||Fabaceae||dorbor-leyangie||Leaves: crush, add water, serve extract to cure cough, asthma; boil, serve extract to remedy dysentery and ulcer; dry plant, boil as tea for children having cough|
|Dichrostachyscinerea(L.) Wight &Arn.,||Fabaceae||dadai||Bark: tie the fibrous bark in climber rope as snake repellent|
|Arecaceae||torkpoi; dorwului; tuwuwului||Cabbage: grand, apply on fresh sore as anti-bacteria|
|Eleusineindica (L.) Gaertn.||Poaceae||teteforfor-zenai; dovogui; etelorlevegui||Plant: boil, drink decoction against yellow jaundice; typhus|
|Englerinagabonensis(Engl.) Balle,||Loranthaceae||teneegui||Leaves: boil, wash head against severe headache|
|Entadagigas(L.) Fawc. &Rendle,||Fabaceae||tuwuvegui||Sap: sore eye medicine|
|Entandrophragmacylindricum(Sprague) Sprague||Meliaceae||kpetelegui||Bark: chew inner bark, add palm-wine for sexual stimulant|
|Entandrophragma utile (Dawe& Sprague) Sprague||Meliaceae||kpetelee-kpoigie||Bark: chew inner bark, add palm-wine for sexual stimulant; potential|
|Eremomastaxspeciosa(Hochst.) Cufod.||Acanthaceae||borlor-bordai||Leaves: eat to stop poison|
||Moraceae||nyanlai-wolegie; koliwoligie||Leaves: crush, add water, serve decoction to remedy worm, ring-worm and skin cancer|
|FicussurForssk.,||Moraceae||nyanlai-boigie||Leaves: crush, add water, serve decoction to remedy worm; add Milicia spp. to cure chronic skin disease|
|Fleroyastipulosa (DC.) Y.F.Deng,||Rubiaceae||porwor-wului||Bark: pour water, palm-wine, serve decoction to cure ulcer|
|Funtumiaafricana (Benth,) Stapf,||Apocynaceae||borlorworleh-zyneh’||Bark: soaked in water, extract drunk to cure diarrhea
Latex: drunk to stop prolonged menstrual cycle
|Garcinia kola Heckel,||Guttiferae||doloyangui||Bark: extracts from bark cures pressure
Fruit: aphrodisiac, cures pressure
Root: cure for yellow jaundice
|GeophilaafzeliiHiern||Rubiaceae||koawee||Plant: wash, fry with red-oil, serve 3Xs every 4hrs to cure heartache, eat fresh after washing; add palm-wine, treat jaundice, chronic gonorrhea; serve as appetizer;|
|GongronemalatifoliumBenth.||Apocynaceae||yeneyai-yensai||Sap: drunk by baby-ma, to instill healthy breast-milk|
|HarunganamadagascariensisLam. ex Poir.
||Guttiferae||kpodogui||Leaves: crush to cure ring worm; eat against dysentery
Bark: scrape, soak in water, serve decoction to cure yellow jaundice
Sap: applied to cure ringworm
|Heisteriaparvifolia Sm.||Olacaceae||kpada-wee||Flower: eat to relief headache; cough and cold|
|Ipomoea involucrataP. Beauv.||Convovulaceae||zowei-kpolor-yansai||Leaves: chew to cure cough; steam against rheumatism;
Root: add Aframomumroot plus water, palm wine, extract drunk to instill good menstrual cycle
|Landolphiadulcis (Sabine ex G.Don) Pichon,||Apocynaceae||kinnegui||Leaves: boil with Pterocarpus spec. bark, serve decoction to cure dysentery; STI;|
|Macarangaheterophylla(Müll. Arg.) Müll.Arg.||Euphorbiaceae||zea-lakolegui; wonsamee-gbaloi||Leaves: tie 3 bundles, boil, serve extract to the pregnant to relief pain from hot liquid that disturbs fetus|
|MacarangahurifoliaBeille,||Euphorbiaceae||darkolegui||Leaves: boil, serve extract to initiate sperm fertility; chew young Macaranga and Microdesmis against cough|
|Maesobotryabarteri (Baill.) Hutch.||Euphorbiaceae||doloyangui||Bark: pound with clay, produce chalk to treat high-fever, malaria, chest pain; free lungs by eating fruits|
|ManniophytonfulvumMull.Arg.||Euphorbiaceae||foinworgui||Laves: eat to cure dysentery; ulcer|
|Mareyamicrantha(Benth.) Mull.Arg.||Euphorbiaceae||wanawanagui||Leaves: cure snake bite; cook, add salt to kill worms in stomach|
|Massulariaaccuminata(G.Don) Bullock ex Hoyle,||Rubiaceae||dorbor-lee||Bark: pound with melegueta pepper, rub to cure jaundice
Leaves: boil, extract drunk for malaria cure; tea
|MicrodesmiskeayanaJ.Lėonard||Pandaceae||nikee||Leaves: eat to cure dysentery|
|Miliciaregia (A.Chev.) C.C.Berg,||Moraceae||semagui; kodawului||Bark: pound, mix with Ageratum, white clay rub externally to treat leprosy, severe skin disease; chew cambium as aphrodisiac|
|Mimosa pudicaL.||Fabaceae||zenatavazui/||Plant: boil, serve to cure thrush|
|Leaves: crush, add water, drunk to treat tongue trouble; treat severe headache|
|MonodoratenuifoliaBenth.||Annonaceae||vornehgului||Bark: chew inner bark, put wine, drunk as aphrodisiac; add Trichiliabark, pealed Costusstem and Aframomumroot, boil with palm-wine, drunk for normal menstrual cycle|
|Morindamorindoides(Baker) Milne-Redh.||Rubiaceae||suolehmia; kojolobo||Leaves: boil, serve extract to cure worms; jaundice; body pain; malaria and fever|
|Musa x paradisiacaL.,
||Musaceae||yemeegai||Leaves: slash shoot, add water, cures cholera|
|Musangacecropioides R.Br. ex Tedlie,||Cecropiaceae||tozugui; gozugui||Bark: Chew as cough cure; heartache|
|MussaendaelegansSchumach. &Thonn.||Rubiaceae||terzyneh-la-boi-gui||Leaves: add Sclera spec. crush, serve decoction to stop vomiting|
|MussaendaerythrophyllaSchumach. &Thonn.||Rubiaceae||terzyneh-labelle-boi-gui||Leaves: add Sclera spec. crush, serve decoction to stop vomiting|
|MyrianthuslibericusRendle||Cecropiaceae||gbaloii||Leaves: boil, serve decoction to induce blood|
|Newbouldialaevis (P.Beauv.) Seem.||Bignoniaceae||torloi; yootefai’||Leaves: crush, apply extract on piles; chew leaves to cure dysentery; slice, fry with palm-oil, eaten by barren for pregnancy|
|Newtoniaaubrevillei (Pellegr.) Keay,||Fabaceae||keleigului||Bark: chew as aphrodisiac|
|Octoknema borealis Hutch. &Dalziel||Olacaceae||korlorquillegui||Bark: add water, served extract against constipation|
|Palisotahirsuta (Thunb.) K.Schum.||Commelinaceae||phonigie; foenigui||Stem: extract cures gonorrhea; ear ailments and all that affect the head|
|PentaclethramacrophyllaBenth.||Fabaceae||kovelei||Bark: extract served to cure trash; skin cancer|
|Petersianthusmacrocarpus (P.Beauv.) Liben,||Lecythidaceae||teveagui||Bark: boil, serve decoction against worms; ulcer; thrush|
|Phyllanthusmuellerianus (Kuntze) Exell||Phyllanthaceae||woniwolo-zaingui||Leaves: crush, add water to treat fire burnt|
|PortulacaoleraceaL.,||Portulaccaceae||borborlor-quee||plant: roasted to massage baby to remedy ribs pain|
|PterocarpussantalinoidesDC.||Fabaceae||kpatoi||Bark: extract cures dysentery; ulcer; worms|
|Pycnanthusangolensis(Welw.) Warb.||Myristicaceae||kporsoi||Bark: boil, serve decoction to cure dysentery; ulcer; worms|
|RauvolfiavomitoriaAfzel.||Apocynaceae||kalazulugui||Leaves: crush fresh, squeeze to treat snake-bite; Bark: dry, pound with clay, rub to cure leprosy|
|Ricinodendronheudelotti (Baill.) Heckel,||Euphorbiaceae||kpoloi||Bark: add to bark of Distemonanthusbenthaminus, boil to steam skin cancer|
|RutideadepuisiiDe Wild.||Rubiaceae||kolu-lefai; lorweifazai’||Leaves: crush fresh leaves, apply to abate bleeding|
|ScleriaboiviniiSteud.||Cyperaceae||garvai||Sap: drop sap to cure sore-eye|
|Sherbourniacalycina (G.Don) Hua.||Rubiaceae||kenegbowuloi||Fruit: boil, strain, drink 1 glass of decoction every 3hrs against yellow jaundice; keep in mouth 5-8 minutes after every 3hrs to cure toothache; gum swollen|
|SmeathmanniapubescensSol. ex R.Br.||Passifloraceae||zolowo-darkai||Leaves: boil, serve extract to remedy thrush|
|SterculiatragacanthaLindl.||Malvaceae||kovagui||Leaves: boil dry leaves, steam patient with rheumatism|
|TerminaliaivorensisA.Chev.||Combretaceae||bazee||Leaves: boil, keep extract in mouth for 5-10 minutes to cure tooth bacteria|
|TetraceraaffinisHutch.||Dilleniaceae||dopawongui||Sap: cut stem, drop sap on eye, cures sore-eye
Leaves: crush Aframomium shoot and Tetraceraleaves, drop extract on cataract affected eye as cure
|Tetrorchidiumdidymostemum(Baill.)Pax&K.Hoffm.||Euphorbiaceae||selewoligui; sevewoligui||Leaves: boil, serve extract to stop constipation|
|Tiliacoraleonensis (G.F.Scott-Eliott) Diels||Menispermaceae||kpein-yansai||Stem: slash, add water or palm-wine, drunk to cure yellow jaundice; kidney problems|
|Tremaorientalis(L.) Blume||Ulmaceae||wonboi||Bark: chew inner bark to cure hopping cough; TB and chest pain|
|Trichiliamonadelpha(Thonn.) J.J. de Wilde||Meliaceae||zaawoi; zakpanigui||Bark: scrip, boil with Xylopiaaethiopicabark, serve decoction to induce fertility in woman|
|Vismiaguineensis(L.) Choisy||Guttiferae||kpodo-senai||Leaves: boil, serve extracts to cure thrush
Bark: thrush medicine
|Zanthoxylumgilletii(De Wild.) P.G.Waterman||Rutaceae||voai||Bark: chew to cure cough; TB
Leaves: boil with bark, keep warm extract in mouth for 3-8 minutes to cure toothache; swollen gum
Table 3: Ethnomedicinal plants of Wonegizi.
The family Fabaceae had the highest count (14 species),equivalent to 13.86% of plants recorded. Two reasons responsible for Fabaceae topping could be that the family is large,and are common in various vegetation types visited. This commonality allowed easy access as areas visited were informants’ chosen sites. Fabaceae was followed by Euphorbiaceae and Rubiaceae each at 9 species (8.91%). Apocynaceae family was the third with 5 species (4.95%),closely followed by Meliaceae and Moraceae each at 4 species (3.96%).
Out of 101 species surveyed in various habits,trees (50) stood at 49.5%. This indication further raised conservation concerns as the remaining fragmented forests continue to be destroyed due to competing interests in forest resource use. Concomitantly,forest resource usages were shifting cultivation,logging,mining,gathering,hunting and these furthered by natural occurrences. Herbs and lianas/climbers were the second most mentioned. There were 19 cases of each. Shrubs,Grass and Epiphytes were among the least mentioned,with six,four and three respectively (Table 4). Wonegizi people high depend on Trees for medicine (Table 4). The mentioned are mega representative of the bulk to be surveyed. In effect,there is a greater need to form common ground between various interests in forest resource use,taking in to account the result of this exercise conducted in one month. Trees are the most important source of good health in Wonegizi.
Table 4: Habit of medicinal plants recorded.
There were 11 categories of sicknesses with attended descriptions in the Ziama Lorma that roam Wonegizi. The most common and devastating was malaria,followed by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),and tuberculosis (Table 5).
|Category Of Sicknesses||Bio-Medical Names||Local Term (ZiamaLorma)|
|Urinal-genital problems||Sexual debility
|Respiratory Diseases||Common cold
|Oral and dental disorders||Toothache
|Skeletal-muscular pain and swelling||Body ache
|Ear, Nose, Throat problems||Earache
|Mental disorders||Mental tonic
Table 5: Disease indicators suggested by Wonegizi TMPs and corresponding bio-medical terms.
Plant parts utilized showed that leaves were the most applied,and mostly prepared at fresh though. This was followed by Bark,Root,Fruit,Sap,and Stem respectively (Table 6). Although all parts of the plants were used in fresh form,it was also reported that all,depending on the sickness,were used in dried forms either pounded to obtain desire results .
Table 6: Different parts of plant used.
TMPs of Wonegizi still remain the most easily accessed and consulted in providing health services to their communities. Survey result showed that the people are heavily dependent on indigenous medicinal plants for their survival. This is critical,due to the numerous competing interests for natural resource use; flora being among the highest through logging and shifting cultivation as further fragmentation medium. Few elders knowledgeable in medicinal plant use are willing to teach the youths who are not willing due to modern exposure. Hence,conservation concerns for the wealthy knowledge and attended plant resources.
The authors are thankful to Wonegizi community for their vast indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants they provided for the makeup of this manuscript. We also thank Mr. Francis Kpadeh and Kokuloku Sali for their help during field work in Wonegizi.
Nothing would have been realized on data collection without the timely intervention and financial support from ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) Biodiversity Conservation Programme. The authors are,therefore thankful especially to Wing-yunn Crawley who coordinates the Programme.
Finally,we wish to thank Forestry Department Chairman,Professor John T Woods,University of Liberia,for his tireless effort in consolidating our study at the University of the Philippines,Los Banos.