Ethnobotanical studies of medicinal plants used by Traditional Health Practitioners in the management of diabetes in Lower Eastern Province, Kenya
Ketera, Lucia K
Mutiso, Patrick C.
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Ethnopharmacological relevance Diabetes mellitus is a growing problem in many developing countries and the financial burden associated with it is enormous. In traditional African communities, majority of people relies on traditional medicines and Traditional Health Practitioners as the primary source of health care. Hence, this study was undertaken in the Lower Eastern province of Kenya to document the medicinal plants used by the traditional practitioners to treat diabetes and to assess the existing knowledge in management of this condition. Materials and methods Data was collected using structured open- and close-ended questionnaires. Results Thirty-nine species belonging to 33 genera and 26 families were encountered and the most frequently cited species were from Caesalpiniaceae, Ebenaceae, Solanaceae and Labiatae families. Twenty-eight percent of the plant species are reported to have hypoglycaemic activity. Conclusions Currently there is no data on medicinal plants used to treat diabetes in Kenya. Therefore, these findings are important in the management of diabetes and future research on traditional medicine in drug development