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Abstract

ETHNO-MEDICO-BOTANY, THEORY AND PHILOSOPHY: CASE OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL PLANT USES IN HEMIPLEGIA AND NEURALGIA, IN BUI DIVISION, NORTH WEST REGION OF CAMEROON

Noumi Emmanuel*

ABSTRACT

A study of how medicinal plants are used by traditional healers and herbalists to treat hemiplegia and neuralgia was carried out in Bui Division of the North West Region of Cameroon. Two field works were conducted in December 2009 and January 2010 and in December 2010 and January 2011, according to the theory “perceive a disease condition as a solution to the problem of continuity of metabolism so as to decipher the problem necessitating the disease condition and seek ways to restore health”. Two target populations of traditional healers and herbalists on the one hand and hemiplegic/neuralgic patients on the other hand, were interviewed. From the results, twenty-four (24) plant species belonging to seventeen (17) families were used by forty (40) traditional healers and herbalists to produce fifteen (15) therapeutic preparations consisting mostly of a concoction from plant leaves, roots, barks and stems. Most treatments involved drinking extracts from plant species with frequency of consumption and duration depended on a combination of factors. Treatment was frequently accompanied by physiotherapy, physical exercises and psychotherapy. At least 40% patients were treated by phytotherapy, with the health of many others improved. It was reported that phytotherapy showed greater efficiency than those obtained from conventional medicine. The antihemiplegic and anti-neuralgic properties of several plants harvested during the study were evaluated. The treatment of one disease in phytotherapy may lead to the treatment of several diseases with similar symptoms. It is recommended that further studies be carried out to examine these findings.

Keywords: Phytotherapy, Hemiplegia, Neuralgia, Traditional healers, Bui Division, Cameroon.


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