Ethnobotany Research and Applications

Publisher: Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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ISSN 1547-3465

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications

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  • Ethnobotany Research and Applications 10/2015; 14:259-288. DOI:10.17348/era.14.0.259-288
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the diversity, knowledge, and use of antidiabetic plants by traditional healers, plant traders, and farmers from different locations in Benin. Altogether, 254 face-to-face interviews were conducted using a semistructured questionnaire. Plant diversity was described, based on species richness. Jaccard Index was used to examine the similarity between locations. Consensus values for plant part and manner of use were also computed. A generalized linear model (GLM) with a Poisson distribution was applied to assess the effects of social factors on informants’ knowledge. A total of 203 antidiabetic plant species were mentioned, belonging to 176 genera and 72 families. Predominant used plant parts were leaves, roots, and bark. Main methods of remedy preparations included decoction and infusion. The number of plants mentioned was significantly different among locations (P < 0.05; highest value being found in South Borgou), categories of age (P < 0.05; with adults and older people better informed than youngsters), and types of occupation (P < 0.05; healers reporting more species than farmers and traders). The variation in knowledge among healers, farmers, and traders depended on the location and the category of age. For instance, adult healers disclosed more plants than adult farmers and adult traders, but knowledge of plants was similar either when they were young or old. This study revealed that plants were frequently collected from crop fields and forests, raising concerns of sustainable harvest. It is suggested that home gardens be promoted as tools to reduce pressures on natural forests and prevent medicinal plant erosion.
    Ethnobotany Research and Applications 10/2015; 14:231-257. DOI:10.17348/era.14.0.231-257
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    ABSTRACT: In the now extensive literature on the African baobab, the use of the flower is often overlooked or described as minimal. This paper presents a synthesis of the uses of the baobab flower that incorporates the results of my own fieldwork on the introduction and cultural significance of the baobab in Florida, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Fieldwork conducted over the past 30 years has involved locating, measuring, and photographing baobabs; observations on flowering and fruiting and such things as the size and shape of fruits and the number of seeds per fruit; and structured and unstructured interviews and community discussions to determine the cultural significance of the tree. In addition to publications and word of mouth, baobabs were also located by appeals to the public involving newspaper interviews and radio interviews. Although the uses of the baobab flower have yet to be documented in a manner comparable to other parts of the tree—especially the fruit, leaves, and bark—the present study shows it is far from being useless or of little use as some premature assessments would suggest. This initial summary is intended to encourage greater attention to the uses of the flower in the increasingly sophisticated research on the baobab that is now being done in Africa and elsewhere.
    Ethnobotany Research and Applications 08/2015; 14:211-229. DOI:10.17348/era.14.0.211-229
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    Ethnobotany Research and Applications 01/2015; 14:081. DOI:10.17348/era.14.0.081-110