Veterinary World

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Research (Published online: 29-05-2015)

21. Ethnoveterinary medicinal plants: Preparation and application methods by traditional healers in selected districts of southern Ethiopia - Gebremedhin Romha Eshetu, Tewedros Ayalew Dejene, Lidet Befkadu Telila and Daniel Fekadu Bekele

Veterinary World, 8(5): 674-684



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2015.674-684


Gebremedhin Romha Eshetu: Department of Animal and Range Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Dilla University, P.O. Box 419, Dilla, Ethiopia;

Tewedros Ayalew Dejene: Department of Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Dilla University, P.O. Box 419, Dilla, Ethiopia;

Lidet Befkadu Telila: Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Dilla University, P.O. Box 419, Dilla, Ethiopia;

Daniel Fekadu Bekele: Institute of Indigenous Studies, Dilla University, P.O. Box 419, Dilla, Ethiopia;


Received: 09-11-2014, Revised: 14-04-2015, Accepted: 22-04-2015, Published online: 29-05-2015


Corresponding author: Gebremedhin Romha Eshetu, e-mail:

Citation: Romha G, Dejene TA, Telila LB, Bekele DF (2015) Ethnoveterinary medicinal plants: Preparation and application methods by traditional healers in selected districts of southern Ethiopia, Veterinary World 8(5):674-684.

Aim: The aim was to document the ethnoveterinary medicinal plants, their preparation, and application methods used by traditional healers in treating different animal diseases, in four districts with different culture and languages in southern Ethiopia.

Materials and Methods: Information of ethnoveterinary medicinal plants was obtained through in-depth direct interview with the local healers and field observations. A descriptive statistics was used to analyze the reported ethnoveterinary medicinal plants and associated indigenous knowledge. The informant consensus factor (ICF) was calculated for each category of diseases to identify the agreements of the informants on the reported cures. Preference ranking was used to assess the degree of effectiveness of certain medicinal plants against most prevalent animal diseases in the area.

Results: The healers had a very high intention to keep their traditional knowledge secrete and none of them was ready to transfer their knowledge either freely or on incentive bases to other people; they need to convey their knowledge only to their selected scions after getting very old. A total of 49 plant species used to treat 26 animal ailments were botanically classified and distributed into 34 families. The most commonly used plant parts for remedy preparations were leaves (38.8%), followed by whole roots (20.4%). Calpurnia aurea (Ait.) Benth was the most preferred effective treatment against external parasite and skin problem, which is the most prevalent disease with the highest ICF (0.68).

Conclusion: The study suggests that the community of the study districts depend largely on ethnoveterinary medicinal plants for the treatment of different animal ailments though the healers have a very high intention to keep their traditional knowledge secrete. Commonly reported plant species need to be tested for their antimicrobial activities in vitro and validated their active ingredients in order to recommend effective preparations and treatments to this community.

Keywords: animal ailments, ethnoveterinary medicinal plants, indigenous knowledge, traditional healers.

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