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Plant use in Odo-Bulu and Demaro, Bale region, Ethiopia

Author(s): Bussmann Rainer | Swartzinsky Paul | Worede Aserat | Evangelista Paul

Journal: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
ISSN 1746-4269

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 28;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Oromo | Ethiopia | Ethnobotany | Plant use | traditional knowledge | utilization

Abstract This paper reports on the plant use of laypeople of the Oromo in Southern Ethiopia. The Oromo in Bale had names/uses for 294 species in comparison to 230 species documented in the lower reaches of the Bale area. Only 13 species was used for veterinary purposes, or as human medicine (46). Plant medicine served mostly to treat common everyday ailments such as stomach problems and diarrhea, for wound treatment and as toothbrush-sticks, as anthelmintic, for skin infections and to treat sore muscles and. Interestingly, 9 species were used to treat spiritual ailments and to expel demons. In most cases of medicinal applications the leaves or roots were employed. Traditional plant knowledge has clearly declined in a large part of the research area. Western style health care services as provided by governments and NGOs, in particular in rural areas, seem to have contributed to a decline in traditional knowledge, in part because the local population simply regards western medicine as more effective and safer.
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