African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 805

Full Length Research Paper

An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in Debre Libanos Wereda, Central Ethiopia

Seyoum Getaneh
  • Seyoum Getaneh
  • Deapartment of Biology, Arba Minch University, P.O. Box 21, Arba Minch, Ethiopia.
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Zerihun Girma*
  • Zerihun Girma*
  • Department of Wildlife and Eco-tourism, Hawassa University, P.O. Box 5, Hawassa, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 18 May 2013
  •  Accepted: 11 June 2014
  •  Published: 31 July 2014


An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in Debre Libanos Wereda, in central Ethiopia, was carried out from October 2008 to June 2009. A total of 60 informants were interviewed that include knowledgeable farmers, monks, nuns, herbalist farmers and full time herbalists. A total of 83 medicinal plants classified under 77 genera and 46 families were collected. Asteraceae were the most prominent family (7) species and (6) genera, followed by Fabaceae and Lamiaceae that contain four species in three genera each. These plant species were found to be used in treating 50 different types of human and livestock diseases. The majority (77.1%) were wild species whereas 22.9% of the reported medicinal plant species were cultivated in home gardens. Higher numbers of species (46.6%) were harvested for their leaves, followed by roots, seeds and fruit (14.56, 13.59 and 6.80%, respectively). Vast knowledge on the traditional uses of these plants is conveyed from one generation to the next generation through words of mouth. As a result, there is a need for urgent biodiversity conservation of the area and the indigenous traditional ethnobotanical knowledge.


Key words: Ethnobotany, medicinal plant, herbalist, disease, mode of preparation.