Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 1379–1386 | Cite as

Ethnobotanical knowledge of pastoral community for treating livestock diseases in Somali regional state, eastern Ethiopia

  • Ewonetu Kebede
  • Melese Mengistu
  • Biresaw Serda
Regular Articles


Modern livestock health care is still at its lowest stage in Ethiopia and most modern veterinary services like drugs and veterinary professionals are not accessible and affordable to the majority of pastoral farmers. As a result, they rely on their traditional knowledge and practices on locally available. However, this traditional knowledge has not yet been well documented. Therefore, this study identified medicinal plants used in treating animal diseases and examined factors that threatens ethno-veterinary in pastoral community of Shinle Districts. The survey study conducted on 180 households to collect data using a semi-structured questionnaire and filed guided observations. Data were analyzed by using SPSS. Thirty-one plant species belonging to 18 families used against 14 types of livestock diseases. Majority of plant species fall under Fabaceae (22.5%) and Euphorbiaceae (16.1%) family that are largely shrubs. The most used plant parts were roots (35.5%) followed by leaves (25.8%). Remedy preparation was mainly through chop and soak in concoction of water and salt. Oral, topical, and nasal route were the common mode of administration. The principal threats of medicinal plants were invasive plants, drought, over grazing, agricultural activity, and firewood collection. Endogenous knowledge on ethno-veterinary medicinal plants was accepted orally from healer’s forefathers and transmitted similarly. Awareness should raise and ethno-veterinary medicine should integrate in to livestock extension delivery systems for the need to exploit the possibility of discovering more medicinally viable plants. Further studies needed under controlled conditions on the efficacy and veterinary properties of such plant products and livestock disease treatments.


Ethno-veterinary Livestock Medicinal plants Pastoralists Plant species 



The authors would like to acknowledge Haramaya University, Office of Research Affairs, for the financial support for this research work; agricultural office; and people of Shinile Zone, who cooperated on providing all the necessary information and field guidance’s of study districts, and Abdi and Hussen who assisted data collection and field observation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author has declared that no competing interest exists.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Animal and Range SciencesHaramaya UniversityDire DawaEthiopia
  2. 2.School of Plant SciencesHaramaya UniversityDire DawaEthiopia
  3. 3.College of Veterinary MedicineHaramaya UniversityDire DawaEthiopia

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