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Published on:August
Pharmacognosy Journal, 2010; 2(11):368–373
Research Article | doi:10.1016/S0975-3575(10)80017-3

Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used as anti-obesity remedies in Nkonkobe Municipality of South Africa.

Authors and affiliation (s):

Afolayan A J1 and Mbaebie B O2

1Phytomedicine Research Centre, Botany Department, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa. 

2Department of Biological Sciences, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria.


Introduction: Obesity is one of the world’s leading preventable causes of death, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In South Africa, the number of people suffering from excess body weight is believed to be rising steadily. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used for body weight reduction was carried out in the Nkonkobe Municipality of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Method: Structured questionnaire was administered to the informants. Results: A total of 20 plants belonging to 18 families were identified for the management of obesity in the area. Dicussion/Conclusion: Three medicinal plants namely, Cissaempelos capensis, Curtisia dentata and Schotia latifolia were repeatedly mentioned by the traditional healers and the local dwellers to have weight-reducing properties. Roots, leaves, whole plant and barks are the common parts of the plants used while decoctions and infusions are the main methods of preparation. There was a general belief on the efficacy of the prepared extracts; though there is still the need for further phytochemical and pharmacological investigations to validate the uses of the plants for the treatment of obesity.

Key words: Obesity, Herbal remedies, Plant survey, Medicinal plants.


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