Plants are a considerable source of active substances which are exploited in the treatment of several diseases, among which are rheumatic affections. This study aimed to explore the knowledge of traditional practitioners and patients on medicinal plant species of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, used for the treatment of rheumatic affections. Direct interviews with open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires were used to collect information on ethnopharmacological uses of plants among 50 traditional practitioners and 125 patients of the Department of Rheumatology, CHU-Yalgado Ouédraogo. Majority of the traditional practitioners were male (70%) and their average age was 56.42 years. 74% of traditional practitioners had non-formal education and their knowledge on rheumatic affections was limited. A total of 73 medicinal plants belonging to 70 genera in 41 families were cited as being important for the treatment of rheumatism by traditional practitioners. Among the families, Caesalpiniaceae, Combretaceae, Meliaceae, Fabaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae and Apocynaceae were the most represented and root dominated by 52% over other plant parts used as herbal remedies. Plants were used alone or in association with other plants or ingredients. The decoctions were more recommended and administered through oral and topical routes. Majority of the interviewed patients were female (73%) and half of the patients used a traditional treatment in rheumatic affection. The oral route was the advantaged mode of administration of remedies (55.7%) and approximately 10% of the patients considered that the side effects or the interactions between conventional medicine and healing plants were absent. Traditional practitioners are widely involved in the care of rheumatic affections in Ouagadougou. This is the first record on traditional practitioners’ knowledge on plants used for the treatment of rheumatism in this area. Investigations have to continue to justify the empirical use of these plants and to obtain essays of medicinal formulations.
Key words: Rheumatic affections, medicinal plants, traditional practitioners, Ouagadougou.
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