Medicinal uses of Moringa oleifera in southern Benin (West Africa)
Moringa oleifera is a non-tree forest product (NTFP) known for its nutritional and medicinal virtues. The present study investigated the medicinal uses of various parts of Moringa oleifera in southern Benin. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out across the four phyto-districts of southern Benin (Plateau, Coast, Ouémé and Pobè) with a sample of 439 informants (201 women and 238 men) belonging to Fon, Waci, Xwla, Sahouè, Djerma, Kotafon, Aïzo, Goun, Yoruba socio-cultural groups. The informants include traditional medicine practitioners, householder, housewives, old men and women, adults, and the young. Various parts of Moringa oleifera are used to obtain traditional medicines to cure diseases. The study revealed up to 46 complete recipes traditionally made to heal 34 common diseases. These include venereal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, tropical diseases, inflammatory complaints, oto-rhino-laryngologocal complaints, skin infections, digestive diseases, infertility disorders, etc. The mode of administration as well as the dosage of each medicine were recorded. It was found that among the plant parts used for this purpose, the leaf was the most used, followed by the roots, bark, seeds and pods. The consensual value of use types was estimated to prove the relative efficiency of each medicine. Moreover, the seeds were also found to be used to carry out rites for blessings and attracting customers and a sexual partner. The study showed that M. oleifera plays an important role in traditional medicine in the rural areas of South Benin, hence this study constitutes sound arguments for its production at large scale in agroforestry systems in Benin. The information collected is useful and can nurture more in-depth research on the part of modern medicine for better use of this species.
Agoyi, E.E., Okou, F.A.Y., Assogbadjo, E.A. and Sinsin, B. (2017). Medicinal uses of Moringa oleifera in southern Benin (West Africa). Acta Hortic. 1158, 303-308
Ouémé, non-tree forest products, agroforestry, traditional medicines