Though the majority of people in Ethiopia at large, and at Bale Mountains National Park in particular, rely on ethnomedicinal plant species to manage human ailments, the indigenous knowledge largely remains undocumented. Therefore, an ethnobotanical study was conducted on medicinal plant species used to manage human ailments at Bale Mountains National Park, Southeastern Ethiopia. Observations and semi-structured interviews were used to gather ethnobotanical data. Altogether, 56 ailments were reported to be managed using 101 different ethnomedicinal plant species. Consensus of traditional healers was high in managing eczema (ICF = 0.58), tinea versicolor (ICF = 0.50), rheumatism (ICF = 0.43), haemorrhoids (ICF = 0.33), earache (ICF = 0.33) and gonorrhoea (ICF = 0.27). The mean number of plant species used by each healer showed significant difference with district. Most medicinal plant species reported in this study were found to be under threat and this calls for urgent conservation measures so as to maximize the sustainable use of these vital resources in the study area.
Key words: Ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, indigenous knowledge, medicinal plant, traditional medicine, traditional healer, Bale, Ethiopia.
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