Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal Plants in Mwala Sub-County, Machakos County, Kenya
Journal of Diseases and Medicinal Plants
Volume 4, Issue 4, August 2018, Pages: 110-119
Received: Sep. 25, 2018; Accepted: Oct. 23, 2018; Published: Nov. 13, 2018
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Caleb Mutwiwa, Department of Environment and Resources Development, Chuka University, Chuka, Kenya
Brian Rotich, Department of Environment and Resources Development, Chuka University, Chuka, Kenya
Matthaeus Kauti, Department of Environmental Science & Technology, School of Environment and Natural Resources Management, South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU), Kitui, Kenya
Jafford Rithaa, Department of Environment and Resources Development, Chuka University, Chuka, Kenya
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Studies on traditional use of medicinal plants can provide leads towards discovery of pharmaceutical drugs for treatment of both human and livestock diseases. This study sought to identify and document the use of medicinal plants by residents of Mwala Sub-county in Machakos County, Kenya. The research employed cross-sectional research design where simple random sampling was used to select the households to be sampled. A sample size of 61 households was used for the study and data collected by use of semi-structured questionnaires. Voucher specimens were collected, pressed, dried, mounted and identified at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) Herbarium. Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) were used for data analysis and results presented in the form of tables and graphs. The study focused on identifying medicinal plants used, diseases treated, parts of the plant used, and methods of preparation and routes of administration. Research findings documented a total of 51 plants species from 31 families used to treat 38 different disease conditions in the study area. The commonly used plant species was Aloe secundiflora (11.1%) while Malaria (19.8%) was the most cited disease. The most used plant parts were the leaves (52.8%) and bark (19.4%). About 75.4% of the respondents acquired knowledge on medicinal plant use through apprenticeship from relatives. With the stocks of medicinal plants declining in the area, there is need for conservation, domestication and better management of key medicinal plants. Additionally, documentation of the indigenous knowledge is necessary to ensure intergenerational benefits from the herbal medicines.
Bio Piracy, Indigenous Knowledge, Ethnobotany, Conservation
To cite this article
Caleb Mutwiwa, Brian Rotich, Matthaeus Kauti, Jafford Rithaa, Ethnobotanical Survey of Medicinal Plants in Mwala Sub-County, Machakos County, Kenya, Journal of Diseases and Medicinal Plants. Vol. 4, No. 4, 2018, pp. 110-119. doi: 10.11648/j.jdmp.20180404.12
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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