Full Length Research Paper
The use of plants for medicine has constituted an important aspect of primary healthcare delivery system of people throughout the world for many centuries. Nonetheless, information on medicinal plants and their conservation are still lacking in some areas, including the Togo Plateau Forest Reserve in Ghana. This paper investigates the ethnobotany of the Togo Plateau Forest Reserve, Ghana, to document the traditional knowledge, uses and conservation of medicinal plants. Information on these plants was sought through a structured questionnaire administered to 384 registered members of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners’ Association including certified traditional healers, traditional birth attendants (TBAs), vendors of herbal remedies, managers of herbal medicine centers, and local plant collectors from six communities within the catchment area of the Togo Plateau Forest Reserve. The study recorded 114 medicinal plant species, including 14 herbs, 6 lianas, 21 shrubs and 74 trees that are mostly collected from the wild. The most commonly cited medicinal plant species were Azadirachta indica, Alstonia boonei, Morinda lucidaand Nauclea latifolia, mostly used to treat human conditions such as malaria, jaundice, rheumatism, andcough. Mostof the herbal medicines were prepared as decoctions and administered by drinking. Majority of the informants (75%) were within the age bracket of 41-60 years, with males (39%) out numbering the females (36%). Barks, roots and leaves were the most commonly used plant parts, and these were mostly collected by destructive methods. The unregulated collection of plant parts and harvesting methods may reduce plant species richness and abundance in the area, requiring sustained conservation efforts in order to benefit from them medicinally.
Key words: Medicinal plants, Togo Plateau forest reserve, plant diversity.
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