International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 678

Full Length Research Paper

Survey of medicinal plants used to treat human ailments in Hawzen district, Northern Ethiopia

Gidey Yirga*, Mekonen Teferi and Mezgebe Kasaye
Department of Biology, Mekelle University P. O. Box 3072, Mekelle, Ethiopia
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 October 2011
  •  Published: 31 December 2011




Traditional medicine is an integral part of the culture of the Ethiopian people due to its long period of practice and existence. The present study was conducted to identify the medicinal plants used to treat human ailments in Hawzen district, Northern Ethiopia. Twenty informants including six females were selected purposefully for semi-structured interview with the help of local elderly people. Ethnobotanical data was collected between January and February 2011 on seven field trips made to the site. Thirty-three species of medicinal plants were collected and identified for treating 25 human ailments. Most (17, 51.5%) of the traditional medicinal plants were collected from the wild stands and leaves (65%) and roots (17%) were the most commonly used plant parts for herbal preparations. Most (85.7%) of the traditional medicinal plant preparations were used in fresh form. Oral, dermal and nasal were the routes of application of remedies. Squeezing, grinding, boiling, chewing, crushing and tying were the methods of remedy preparation. Leaves were mainly harvested part for traditional medicine preparation in the area; the practice does not affect the sustainable utilization of the medicinal plants.


Key words: Ethnobotany, Ethiopia, Hawzen, medicinal plants, ailments.