Diversity, Ethnobotanical Potential and Sustainability Assessment of Plants Used by Traditional Healers to Treat Cancer in Boyo Division, North-West Region, Cameroon

Download options
Download document
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. Therefore, the knowledge on medicinal plants used to cure human cancer could be of great importance for their widespread use and scientific validation. The present study records information on anticancer plants in Boyo Division, in the western highland of Cameroon. Thirty traditional healers, were interviewed to document their know-how on the type of human cancer allegedly cured, the plant species used as well as their use pattern. Guided field walks were made to the collection sites for plant and its habitat characterization as well as herbarium voucher collection. Ethnobotanical quantitative tools were used to analyze and summarize collected data. Sustainability of harvest was assessed using a vulnerability index based on seven parameters. A total of 25 medicinal plants cited were identified as belonging to 13 families and 23 genera. The most represented families were Asteraceae (28%), Lamiaceae (16%), Fabaceae (12%) and Acanthaceae (8%). Out of the seven categories of cancer diseases reported, the highest number of plants species were reported to treat stomach, pancreas, liver, skin and breast cancers, with informant consensus factor (ICF) ranging from 0.79 to 0.82. Leaves (60%) and bark (20%) were the major plant parts used mostly in form of decoction (45.45%) and concoction (38.18%). The result of Relative frequency citations (RFCs) revealed that 9 of the 25 plants species cited were the most frequently used with fidelity levels ranging from 92% (Geniosporum rotundifolium and Ocimum tenuiflorum Aframomum melegueta and Entada abyssinica) to 100% (Coleus blumei, Ocimum gratissimum, Eremomastax speciosa, and Dichrocephala integrifolia). Six species were assessed as vulnerable (Vi ≥ 2), while two species were rated as highly vulnerable namely G. rotundifolium (Vi = 2.71) and E. abyssinica (Vi = 2.85). New traditionally effective anticancer plants were identified in the present study, some of which were already vulnerable for exploitation in their actual habitat. Plants with high ICF, RFCs and FL values should be subjected to further phytochemical and pharmacological investigations for scientific validation while those with high Vulnerability index should be recommended for participatory domestication by the main users.
Authors: Avana-Tientcheu, M.-L.; Sime, C.; Tsobou, R.; Tchoundjeu, Z.
Subjects: medicinal plants
Publication type: Journal Article, Non-ISI, Publication
Year: 2019
ISSN: 2231-0894

Back to top

Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Connect with us