Warburgia salutaris (G. Bertol.) Chiov.: An Endangered Therapeutic plant used by the Vhavenda ethnic group in the Soutpansberg, Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, Limpopo province, South Africa
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Although Warburgia salutaris is popular and well-known medicinal plant in southern Africa, there is still a wealth of undocumented therapeutic uses of the species within the Vhavenda ethnic group in South Africa. The literature studies confirmed that there is a sparse rather than a paucity of information about W. salutaris preparation method, administration processes and dosage used for therapeutics. This study was aimed at documenting the therapeutic uses of W. salutaris, by the Vhavenda ethnic group within the Soutpansberg Region, Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Data on therapeutic uses of the species were collected using semi-structured interview, supplemented by field guided-walk with 346 participants. The total of nine therapeutic uses of W. salutaris were recorded and this includes being used as herbal medicine for bilharzia (FL=15.3%), womb cleaning after recurring miscarriages (FL=13.8%), period pain (FL=12.5%), earache (FL=8.8%), asthma (FL=7.5%), spinal cord pains (FL=10.0%), genital sore (FL=8.1%), colds (FL=6.5%) and toothache (FL=17.7%). The therapeutic preparation process of the species includes decoction (33.4%), soaking (22.2%), powder-grounding (22.2%) and leaf-squeezing (22.2%) whereas, the administration processes involved oral (45%), smoking (11%), bathing (11%), injection (11%), sap-pouring (11%). This study present novel traditional therapeutic knowledge associated with W. salutaris which was never been reported before. The therapeutic uses of W. salutaris in the traditional health care seemed to be prevalent and reliable in combating illnesses in scant resources communities.
Soutpansberg Region, Therapeutic uses, Vhavenda ethnic group, Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, Warburgia salutaris..