BACKGROUND: Medicinal plants are integral source of easily available remedy used in rural healthcare system. The aim of the study was to document available medicinal plants, methods of preparation and major uses in Southeast Ethiopia.
METHODS: An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in Bale Zone, Southeastern Ethiopia. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the specimens and record pertinent information on their use.
RESULT: Several medicinal plants recognized for the treatment of various diseases were collected. The leaf parts were widely used, followed by roots and stems. Some plants (31.0%) needed other ingredients either for taste preference or as a portion of medicine. Ten (25.0%) of the collected species consisted of more than one part of the plant parts as a source of medicine, while 29(79.5%) of them had a single part for use. The common method of preparation was decoction (39.0%) and vegetable drug constituted (37.0%). The major uses of the medicinal plants ranged from pain killer to malaria and cancer treatment.
CONCLUSSION: Rural communities in Bale Zone are a rich source of medicinal plants as revealed in this study. However, there is need to scientifically ascertain the authenticity of the claimed use these plants.
Ethnobotany, Medicinal plant, Traditional medicine, Bale Zone, Ethiopia