Economic Botany

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Quantifying Medicinal Plant Knowledge among Non–Specialist Antanosy Villagers in Southern Madagascar



Quantifying Medicinal Plant Knowledge among Non–Specialist Antanosy Villagers in Southern Madagascar. Medicinal plant knowledge among non–specialist Antanosy villagers of southeastern Madagascar was investigated in a two–stage study. First, free–listing was used to collect the names of medicinal plants most familiar to local people. Data were organized by habitat and frequency into a short list of the 42 most frequently listed plants by habitat. A second group of interviewees were asked to name health conditions that could be treated with plants on the short list. Age, gender, and dwelling proximity to the forest were tested across the general habitat in which medicinal plants were found: in or near the village, in disturbed buffer areas between the village and the forest, or in the forest itself. Neither age nor gender was significant in free–listing. Naming health conditions treated with specific plants showed that knowledge increases with age and that for all but the oldest age group, women knew more plant uses than men. Women knew more plants from the village and buffer areas, and fewer from the forest than men. The proximity of the home to the forest had no influence on medicinal plant knowledge. The non–specialists interviewed named an average of 14 medicinal plants and most knew an average of 37 uses for 9 of the 42 most common medicinal plants. The most common conditions for people knew of plant treatments were stomach ache, babies’ fevers, and several unlisted conditions. Both exotic and endemic plant species were known to the non–specialists indicating that medicinal plant knowledge is being sustained and adapted to changes affecting both the people and their environment.

Key Words

Traditional ethnobotany Tsitongambarika plant uses 

Quantifier la connaissance des plantes médicinales parmi les villageois Antanosy non–spécialistes dans le Sud Est de Madagascar. La connaissance des plantes médicinales chez les villageois Antanosy non–spécialiste du sud–est de Madagascar a été étudiée en deux étapes. Une Première listage libre a été utilisé pour recueillir les noms des plantes médicinales les plus familiers parmi la population locale. Les données ont été organisées par habitat et la fréquence dans une courte listes des 42 plantes les plus fréquemment mentionnés par les habitant. A un deuxième groupe de personnes interviewées, ont été demandé de nommer les maladie qui pourraient être traitées avec les plantes sur la liste restreint. Sexe, âge, et villages a proximité de la forêt ont été mis a l’essai à travers l’habitat général dans lequel les plantes médicinales ont été trouve: dans ou près du village, dans les zones tampons perturbée entre le village et la forêt, ou dans la forêt elle–même. Ni l’âge, et le sexe ont été significatifs dans le listage libre. En nommant les maladies traités avec des plantes spécifiques ont montré que la connaissance augmente avec l’âge pour tous, mais le groupe le plus âgé, et les femmes en savaient plus que les hommes. Les femmes vivant dans les zones tampon et les villages, en savaient plus sur les plantes, mais moins dans la zone forestier que les hommes. La proximité des habitats près de la forêt n’avait aucune influence sur les connaissance des plantes médicinales. Les non–spécialistes interrogés ont nommé une moyenne de 14 plantes médicinales et la plupart connaissaient, en moyenne, 37 utilisation sur 9 des 42 plantes médicinales les plus commun. Les usage les plus commun que les gens savaient des plantes été pour le traitement des maux d’estomac, de la fièvre des nourrisson, et une panoplie de conditions non listée: autres. Aussi bien les plantes exotiques et endémiques étaient connus des habitants non–spécialistes indiquant que la connaissance des plantes médicinales est soutenue et adaptée aux changements affectant à la fois la populations et leur environnement.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesThe University of Montana WesternDillonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Natural Resources SciencesWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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