The use of medicinal plants for the treatment of diseases including malaria is a common practice in Ghanaian traditional medicine. The objective of this study is to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants used for the treatment of malaria through ethno-botanical studies to facilitate the discovery of new sources of drugs. The study was carried out in 2018 at the Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) among 36 registered herbalists of the Ghana Federation of Traditional and Alternative Medicine (GHAFTRAM). Data was collected based on oral interview with each of the 36 registered herbalists with the aid of a well-structured questionnaire. Only data from willing respondents were documented after obtaining their consent to participate in the study. 42 different plant species belonging to 27 families were identiﬁed as being used by GHAFTRAM herbalists in treating malaria. Among the various plant parts used, the leaves were the most reported (41%), and all of the medicinal preparations were decoctions prepared by boiling the plant parts. About 93% of the herbalists collected plants from the wild, whereas the 7% were collected from their immediate surroundings (within 100 m of their homes). Major threats to the continues availability of medicinal species of plants as indicated by the respondents included: farming activities (40%), bushfires (33%), over-harvesting (14%), and drought (13%). Majority (56%) of the herbalists reported uprooting whole plants as their method of collecting medicinal plant parts. The results of the study suggest a need for conservation and sustainable harvesting strategies to conserve plant wealth in Ghana.
Key words: antimalarial, conservation, medicinal plants, Ghana Federation of Traditional and Alternative Medicine (GHAFTRAM), traditional medicine
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