Ethnobotanical Survey of Endangered Antimalarial and Analgesic Plants of Togo for the Safeguard of the Medicinal Biodiversity


The correlation between the threat of species and the use of medicinal plants is necessary for the preservation of this biodiversity. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Togo, where the majority of the population use herbal medicines as first health care recourse, few actions are undertaken to make available the medicinal plants. This study aims for the identification of endangered antimalarial and analgesic medicinal plants. Ethnobotanical surveys were realized with Togolese traditional medicine practitioners of Maritime and Lomé-Commune Health Regions. Semi structured interview, ‘’Achat en Triplet de Recettes médicinales’’ (ATRM) and meetings in focus groups, were methods used for data collection. Parts used, socio-economic data and the phytogeography of the plants, were combined for the identification of the endangerment of medicinal plants.

One hundred and twenty five practitioners have participated to the survey. Between them 31 (44 year age average) have recorded 16 medicinal plants identified by the study as endangered species. These plants belong to 12 families. Leguminosae and Rubiaceae were the most represented families where Pavetta corymbosa (27,73%) Cola millenii (13,48%), Uvaria chamae (13,13%) and Lannea kerstingii (11,43%) were the most cited species. Trees (56,25%) were the main biological form living mostly in Perturbed forests (62,50%) and in Savannah (56,29%). Stem bark (34,78%), leaves (26,08%), roots and seeds (17,39% each) and fruits (4,35%) are parts used.  Alstonia boonei (0.0072 USD/gram of dry Stem bark) was the most expensive plant. The harvest of stem bark and roots (52,17% of part used), combined with the ecology of the plants and the price by gram illustrate the reality of the endangerment of the medicinal plants. Cola millenii, Pavetta corymbosa, Dodonea viscosa, Senna alata, Opililia amantacea, Uvaria chamae, were retained to be cultivated for local needs, where Alstonia boonei, Griffonia  simplicifolia  and  Lannea  kerstingii,  were selected for regional and international agribusiness.

Keywords :

Ethnobotanical survey; antimalarial plants; analgesic plants; biodiversity endangerment; Togo.

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