An inventory of medicinal plants that the people of Nandi use to treat malaria.
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In Kenya, most people use traditional medicine and medicinal plants to treat many diseases including malaria. Malaria is one of the major diseases burden worldwide affecting more than 90 countries inhabited by 2.4 billion people (40% of the world's population). In Kenya, it is an endemic disease affecting more than 4 million people with the highest incidences being recorded in the Rift valley, Western, Central and Eastern provinces. It threatens the life of around 25 million out of the country's total population of 39 million people. It is of national concern in view of development of resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum to drugs. There is need for alternative and affordable therapy. Many antimalarial drugs have been derived from medicinal plants traditionally used to treat malaria by the Nandi community. An ethnomedicinal study was conducted on the use of medicinal plants for treatment or prevention of human ailments by Nandi people. Semi-structured questionnaires were used. Data were mainly collected through individual interviews conducted with selected knowledgeable professional healers. Plants were collected, pressed, dried, preserved, mounted and identified through available literature and voucher specimens at the University of Nairobi and Kenya National Museum Laboratories. Forty four (44) species in 40 genera and 27 families were encountered during the study. Labiatae, Euphorbiacea and Compositae families represented the species most commonly cited.