Despite the multitude of studies which have shown the use of medicinal plants in the management of parasitic diseases, little data was available on the plants used against onchocerciasis. Ethnobotanical surveys were carried out among traditional healers in the Far North region of Cameroon. Studies were conducted from July 2017 to May 2018 through direct interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire taking into consideration the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents as well as their knowledge in the art of onchocerciasis and parasitic infections treatment using plant recipes. A total of one hundred people were interviewed in villages found in the Far North region of Cameroon: 43 were females and 57 males, among which, 71 were recognized as traditional healers. Adults were the most represented (71 respondents). The study identified 96 plant species belonging to 49 genera divided into 29 families among which the most represented was the Fabaceae (20 quotes). The most represented biotope was savannah (98%) and trees (51) were the most used followed by shrub (41). The leaves (40) are the organs which are mostly demanded and the main preparation method is a decoction (69) and 36 diseases and / or symptoms related to onchocerciasis and helminthiases were recorded. The medicinal plants identified, constitute an undeniable asset and a good database for the biological screening of plant-based antiparasitic molecules, which can lead to the manufacture of improved traditional medicines.
Key words: Onchocerciasis, medicinal plants, ethnobotanical surveys, filariasis, Cameroon.
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