Therapeutic plants used by traditional health practitioners to treat pneumonia in the Limpopo Province, South Africa
Semenya, Sebua Silas
Ethnobotanical studies focusing on the documentation of folk therapies employed for pneumonia are almost non-existence in Africa and elsewhere. Data on plants used to treat this ailments was obtained through informed consent semi-structured face-to-face interview and field observations with 128 conveniently selected Bapedi traditional healers (THs) residing in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. A total of 57 plant species distributed across 54 genera and 32 botanical families, mostly the Asteraceae (21.8%) and Fabaceae (18.7%) were used by THs to treat pneumonia and related symptoms. Therapeutic uses of larger number of the documented species are not recorded elsewhere in literature as treatments of these ailments. Overall, the most widely used species by all interviewed THs were Acacia erioloba, Clerodendrum ternatum, Cryptocarya transvaalensis, Enicostema axillare, Lasiosiphon caffer and Stylochaeton natalensis. Ethnopharmacological studies validating the reported therapeutic claims of the species by Bapedi THs should be a subject of future investigation.