African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 628

Full Length Research Paper

Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used for treating preschool children anemia in an urban setting, Douala-Cameroon

Suzanne Sandrine Beack Bayengue
  • Suzanne Sandrine Beack Bayengue
  • Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Douala, P. O. Box 24157, Douala, Cameroon.
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Mathieu Ndomou
  • Mathieu Ndomou
  • Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Douala, P. O. Box 24157, Douala, Cameroon.
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Luther Martin Koanga Mogtomo
  • Luther Martin Koanga Mogtomo
  • Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Douala, P. O. Box 24157, Douala, Cameroon.
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Rosalie Annie Ngono Ngane
  • Rosalie Annie Ngono Ngane
  • Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Douala, P. O. Box 24157, Douala, Cameroon.
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Clergé Tchiegang
  • Clergé Tchiegang
  • Laboratory of Biochemistry and Food Technology, Department of Food and Nutrition Science, National School of Agro-Industrial Sciences (ENSAI), University of Ngaoundéré, P. O. Box 455, Ngaoundéré, Cameroon.
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  •  Received: 31 January 2017
  •  Accepted: 23 March 2017
  •  Published: 31 May 2017

Abstract

Anemia is one of the most widespread public health problems which mainly affect preschool children. Its prevalence is 60% in Cameroon and due to poverty, many patients turn towards medicinal plants for treatment. This study was designed to compile plants used for the treatment of anemia in the Littoral Region (Douala) of Cameroon and classify them based on their use. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out in December 2015. A total of 32 herbalists and 40 mothers of children under 5 years were interviewed by means of questionnaires. Results showed that malaria (88%) was the main cause of anemia. Twenty-six plant species belonging to 17 families were identified. The most used plant was Eremomastasx speciosa. Three families stand out as the most used: Acanthaceae (11.5%), Asteraceae (11.5%) and Euphorbiaceae (11.5%).  Seventeen of them have been therapeutically described. Most of the reported species were shrubs. The most used plant parts were leaves. The herbal remedies are administrated in aqueous form and usually orally (83%) or anally. The survey provides the preliminary information on some medicinal plants having anti-anemic properties. Further investigations should be conducted so that the use of these plants can be an alternative to the population.

 
Key words:  Ethnobotanical survey, infantile anemia, medicinal plants, Douala-Cameroun.