People in Katsina State, Nigeria have been using medicinal plants to cure several ailments associated with liver since time immemorial; however the use of such plants was never documented. In this study, an ethnobotanical survey was conducted to document the medicinal plants used for the management of hepatic ailments in Katsina State, Nigeria. A semi-structured questionnaire method was adopted to interview 150 respondents (50 respondents from 1 Local Government Area of each of the three Senatorial Zones of the State) comprising herbalist, farmers, house wives, and others. A total of 62 plant species belonging to 57 genera distributed among 34 families were documented. Most of the reported plants belong to the Fabaceae (24.19%), Moraceae (6.45%), followed by Anacardiaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Asteraceae (each with 4.84%). Senna occidentalis L., Ficus thonningii Bl., and Moringa oleifera Lam. had the highest relative frequency of citation (RFC) of 0.75, 0.64, and 0.53 respectively. Majority (38.71%) of the reported plants were trees and about 79.03% of the surveyed plants are sourced from wild. Leaves were the most frequently used (45.16%) plants part. Most of the herbal medicines (80.65%) were prepared in form of decoction and all the medicines were administered orally. This is the first ethnobotanical study on hepatic ailments in the study area. Results of the study could serve as baseline data based on which further ethnopharmacological investigations would be carried out. Further researches aimed at conserving as well as validating the folkloric use of the surveyed plants would be ideal.
Key words: Ethnobotany, hepatic ailments, Katsina State, medicinal plants, Nigeria.
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