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Beijing Forestry University (2011)

African and Chinese Plants with Ethno-botanical and Ethno-medicinal Values

Neo Christophine Mokgolodi(尼欧);

Titre : African and Chinese Plants with Ethno-botanical and Ethno-medicinal Values

Auteur : Neo Christophine Mokgolodi(尼欧);

Grade : Doctoral Dissertation 2011

Université : Beijing Forestry University

Résumé partiel
Over 80,000 plants species are in use throughout the world. Amongst them, medicinal plants continue to play a central role in the healthcare system of large proportions of the world’s population. This is particularly true in developing countries like the ones in Africa, where herbal medicine has a long and uninterrupted history of use. It forms the basis of all medicine-conventional drugs, homeopathic medicine, Chinese medicines, etc. Recognition and scientific development of the medicinal and economic benefits of these plants are on the increase in both developing and industrialized nations.In Asia, the practice of herbal medicine is extremely well established and documented. As a result, most of the medicinal plants with international recognition such as Ginkgo biloba, Ziziphus jujuba and Z. mauritiana come from this region, particularly from China and India. In recent years, for example, the Chinese plant Artemisia annua L., has become the essential ingredient in a new generation of anti-malaria drugs. The plant is now being grown in East African countries to supply pharmaceutical manufacturers in Europe. In Europe and North America, the use of herbal medicine is increasing fast, especially for correcting imbalances caused by modern diets and lifestyle.Use of plants for medicinal remedies is an integral part of the cultural life of the people of Africa as well, and this is unlikely to change in the years to come. In Africa, traditional medicine is a socio-economic and socio-cultural heritage, servicing over 80% of the populations. They are being used to fight illness and maintain health. For instance, indigenous San have used Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s Claw tubers) medicinally for centuries, which is now being exported to Europe, in the treatment of mainly arthritis, arteriosclerosis and rheumatism. Furthermore, drugs to fight other life-threatening diseases like diabetes, cancer, HIV and diarrhea-and even substances to protect crops from slugs-are being developed from plants, microorganisms, amoeba and other species from African countries such as Egypt, Somalia, Libya and Gambia. Using available literature from recent journal articles, books and other various publications, this study particularly focused on the immense ethno-medicinal importance of African plants namely Sclerocarya birrea, Ziziphus mucronata and Faidherbia albida. In addition, their domestication potential, more especially in areas where they are underutilized, as well as their current economic importance in the region is explored, for instance, in relation to pastoral farming as in the case of F. albida. The multiple uses associated with most parts of S. birrea make it one of Africa’s most valuable trees. This includes its contribution towards health, nutrition and food security. Archaeological evidence indicate that it was consumed by humans since 9,000 BC. S. birrea fruits can be eaten fresh, squeezed to make juice, brewed in traditional beer, or even used to make jam and jelly. The barks, seeds, roots and leaves are exploited for traditional medicinal purposes to treat diverse ailments like hepatitis and rheumatism. S. birrea has acquired significant commercial value since its fruits and other products entered the local, regional and international trade in Southern Africa. The accumulated knowledge and skills relevant in establishing and commercializing S. birrea can therefore guide the same in areas where S. birrea remains undomesticated or underutilized.Not only is traditional medicine popular and accepted, but also in some areas it is the only system available. Western medicine is costly and often inaccessible. In Africa, rural people depend heavily, if not exclusively, on indigenous healthcare knowledge to meet their medical needs from plants like the underutilized Ziziphus species. However, in terms of abundance and economic value, Z.jujuba and Z. mauritiana are currently the most important, especially in China and India. The study examined a related common species widely distributed in Africa, Z. mucronata, whose economic value is not yet explored. Local people in various African countries use its different parts to cure numerous diseases, many of which are similar to those treated with Z. jujuba and Z. mauritiana.On the other hand, other medicinal plants like F. albida provide additional essential benefits to communities. F. albida is an ideal agroforestry tree commonly intercropped with annual crops like millet and groundnuts in the dry and densely populated areas of Africa. With its peculiar reverse phenology, it makes growth demands at a different time from that of crops. In addition, it deposits great amount of organic fertilizer on food crops

Mots clés : Africa; China; domestication; Faidherbia albida; Ginkgo biloba; medicinal plants; Metasequoia glyptostroboides; Sclerocarya birrea; sustainable exploitation; Ziziphus mucronata;

Présentation (CNKI)

Page publiée le 8 juin 2019