Traditional Medicinal Plants Used to Treat Maternal and Child Health Illnesses in Ethiopia: An Ethno-Botanical Approach
Received Date: Apr 09, 2018 / Accepted Date: Jun 22, 2018 / Published Date: Jul 05, 2018
Maternal and child morbidity and mortality is highest in sub Saharan African countries including Ethiopia, due to shortfalls in modern health institutions, women improper use of medicinal plants. Scientific utilization of traditional medicinal plants continues to play an important role in improving and maintaining health problems in developing countries. About (80%) of the Ethiopia people depend on traditional medicine for their health care and more than 90% traditional medicine preparations are made from plant origin. The aim of this review was to provide an overview on traditional medicinal plants used to treat maternal and child health illnesses in Ethiopia.
Materials and Methods: Databases (Pub Med, Google Scholar, Research Gate, and HINARI) were searched for published studies on the Ethno-botany of medicinal plants used to treat maternal and child health illnesses in Ethiopia. Studies that did not contain full ethno-botanical data of medicinal plants traditionally used to treat maternal and child health illnesses were excluded.
Results: In different database search, the investigators found a total of 360 articles. After adjustment for duplicates and inclusion and exclusion criteria, 38 articles were found appropriate for the review. None of the medicinal plants traditionally used to treat maternal and child health illnesses in Ethiopia are confirmed scientifically. Of the 103 plants identified from the various studies, 25 (25.75%) were herbs and the common plant part used was found to be root 40 (41.2%) followed by leaves 32 (32.96%). Based on this study, medicinal plants the most common route of administration was orally 71 (73.13%).In this review, medicinal plants which were abundant for maternal illness the leading were treatment of retained placenta 24 (24.72%) species followed by abortion, which comprise 6 (6.18%).On the other hand, milk feeding diarrhoea and Kwashiorkor 3 (3.09%) comprise high and equal percentage of childhood infection in Ethiopia.
Conclusion: Various medicinal plants have been used by Ethiopian people. Most of the plants were herb and the commonly used plant part was root. The most common maternal illness treated by medicinal plant was retained placenta in children milk feeding diarrhoea and Kwashiorkor. There is a need to conduct clinical trials to support traditional claims and to analyse cellular and molecular mechanisms involved.
Keywords: Ethno botany; Ethiopia; Maternal health; Child health; Medicinal plants
Based on WHO traditional medicine is defined as the sum total of all knowledge and practices, whether explicable or not, used in diagnosis, prevention and elimination of physical, mental, or social imbalance and relying exclusively on practical experience and observation handed down from generation to generation, whether verbally or in writing. The emphasis on the use of medicinal plants had been focus on the treatment rather than prevention of diseases .
Maternal and child morbidity and mortality is highest in sub Saharan Africa including Ethiopia due to shortfalls in modern hospitals, women improperly use of medicinal plants About (80%) of the Ethiopia people and (90%) of livestock depend on traditional medicine for their health care and more than 90 and of traditional medicine preparations are made from plant origin. Similarly, there has been a continuous growth of demand for traditional medicines globally and in many developing countries health care system .
But when we use in scientific way, traditional medicine continues to play an important role in improving and maintaining health in developing countries. High income and knowledge of medicinal plants are important determinants of use of traditional medicine. This challenges the common assumption that poor and marginalized people are most dependent on traditional medicine due to its availability .
Ethiopia is believed to be home for about 6,500 species of higher plants of which 12% are endemic  making the country among the most diverse floristic regions of the world . However, conservation of these plants and knowledge of their use have generally been neglected since it was considered irrelevant in earlier times . Moreover, the attitude of the society towards the traditional medicine healers was negative and this forced healers to keep the knowledge secret .
But currently different studies have been conducted on Ethnobotany of medicinal plants used to treat various human diseases in different parts of Ethiopia; Traditional medicine is commonly assumed to be a crucial health care option for poor households in the country. However, there has not been any review done that comprehensively expresses the Ethno-botany of plants used to treat maternal and child health illnesses. Therefore, there is a need to assess the overall traditional preparation techniques and types of plants used in the country scientifically. So this review was aimed to provide an overview of Ethno-botany of medicinal plants used to treat maternal and childhood illnesses among the diversified population in Ethiopia. It gives a comprehensive information on the scientific name of plants, method of preparation, route of administration, plant part used and the habit of the plant used and the study will be an input for further study/ call attention of other investigators on traditional medicine on the treatment of maternal and child diseases and increase quality of care on maternal and child health (MCH) service delivery system in Ethiopia.
Materials and Methods
Databases (Pub Med, Google Scholar, Research Gate, and HINARY) were searched for published studies done on Ethno-botany of medicinal plants in Ethiopia. Some studies were also identified through a manual Google search. No restriction was applied on the year of publication, methodology, or study subjects. Primary search terms were “maternal and child health review”, “Ethiopia”, “medicinal plants”, and “Ethno botany”.
Studies which do not contain full information about Ethno botany (method of preparation, growth form, plant part used, route of administration), surveys which did not address maternal and child health illness as a disease treated traditionally by practioners were excluded. Plants which are out of flora list of Ethiopia were also excluded from this review.
The authors screened the articles based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria. The details of medicinal plants were extracted from each study using an abstraction forms: Scientific, Family and Local name, habit of plant, plant part used, methods of preparation, specific use and route of administration (Table 1).
|No||Names||Habit||Part(s) used||Specific use||Method(s) of preparation and Dosage||ROA||Reference|
|1.||Justicia schimperiana (Hochst.ex Nees) T. Anders||Acanthaceae||n||H||R||Retained placenta||n||oral|||
|2.||Acacia nilotica (L.)||Fabaceae||N||HA||L,R||Retained placenta||n||Oral,Nasal|||
|3.||Senna italica Mill||Fabaceae||n||T||S||Retained placenta||n||Oral|||
|4.||Ziziphus mauritiana Lam||Rhamnaceae||n||CA||L||Retained placenta||n||Oral|||
|5.||Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Desf||Rhamnaceae||n||H||L||Retained placenta||n||Oral|||
|6.||Premna oligotricha Baker||Verbenaceae||n||n||L||Retained placenta||n||Oral|||
|7.||Hippocarteaafricana (Wild.) Loes||n||Aadeeguratii||n||Leaf||To remove the blood after birth||Crushing||Oral|||
|8.||Sidaovata Forssk||n||Baleenbulaa||H||Root||To prevent Abortion||crushing &Powdering||Oral and dermal|||
|9.||Zehneria scabra [L.f.] Sond.||Cucurbitaceae||Aregresa (Haregresa)||N||Leaf||To induce labour||Boiled with water and steam inhaled Leaf with awazie half-filled teaspoonful once||Inhalation|||
|10.||Cynoglossum coeruleum Hochst. ex A. DC.||Boraginaceae||Mexene Tiro||HA||Leaf||Kwashiorkor||Concocted wtith verbascum sinaiticum||Orally|||
|11.||Verbascum sinaiticum Benth.||Scrophulariaceae||Muka loni, Gura Haree||Sh||Kwashiorkor Ap||Concocted with Cynoglossum coeruleum||Orally|||
|12.||Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Desf.||Rhaminaceae||Kurkura||T||Leaf||Hemorrhage||Crushed and bath the anal opening||Anal|||
|13.||Pousolzia parasitica(Forssk)scheweinf||Urticaceae||Dirba||HA||Root ,leaf||Infertility in female||Concoction taken to increase chance of fertility||Orally|||
|14.||Lagenaria siceraria (Molinia)Standl.||Curcurbitaceae||Buqee||CA||Leaf||Obstructed labour||Crushed and filtrate|||
|15.||Capsicum annuum L.||Solanaceae||Berbere||Shrub||Leaf||Infertility||small quantities of fruit chewed and swallowed once (small fruit once)||Orally|||
|16.||Anoigissus leiocarpa (A. DC.) Guill.& Perr.||(Combretaceae||Sigga||Hu||Stem bark||Retained placenta||Stem bark is crushed, diluted in water and one cup is taken(diluting)||Orally|||
|17.||Cissampelos mucronata A Rich.||Menispermaceae||Siyapewa||Hu||Root||Children (Milk feeding) diarrhea||Root is crushed, squeezed with water and one cup of watery juice is given (crushing and squeezing) One cup||Orally|||
|18.||Combretum collinum Fresen.||Combretaceae||Abasteya (hafa)||HA||Fruit||Obstructed labour||Fruits are crushed, diluted in water and 1/2 cup is taken (diluting)||Orally|||
|19.||Combretum collinum Fresen.||Combretaceae||Abasteya (hafa)||HA||Root||Retained placenta||Root is crushed, squeezed with water and one cup is taken ( crushing &squeezing)||Orally|||
|20.||Cordia africana Lam.||Boraginaceae||Wanza||HA/goat||Root bark||Children (milk feeding) diarrhea||Root bark is crushed, squeezed with water and given to drink (crushing and squeezing)||Orally|||
|21.||Ficus sycomorus L||Moraceae||Fuga||HA||Root||Children (milk feeding) diarrhea||Root is crushed, soaked in water and one cup is taken||Orally|||
|22.||Grewa mollis A.Juss.||Tiliaceae||Gediya||HA||Stem bark||Retained placenta||Stem bark is soaked in water and one cup is taken (maceration)||Orally|||
|23.||Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth.||Bignonaceae||Endehua||HA||Fruit||Infertility in female||Fruits are crushed, soaked in water and (maceration) one bottle taken in morning||Orally|||
|24.||Lonchocarpuslaxiflofus Guill. &Perr.||Fabaceae||Beewa||HA||Stem bark||Infertility in female||Stem bark is crushed, soaked in water, filtering one cup is drink||Orally|||
|25.||Sorgum bicolor (L.) Moench||Poaceae||Awut||HA||Seed||Retained placenta||Malt seeds are crushed with table salt, diluted one bottle is taken||Orally|||
|26.||Trichodesma zeylanicum (Burm.f.) R.Br.,||Boraginaceae||Jgewusha||HA||Root||Infertility in female||Roots are crushed with garlic, boiled and (decoction) one cup is taken||Orally|||
|27.||Ruta chalepesis L.||polygonaceae||Tult||Root||Umbilical cord laboring||Tying fresh root around west|||
|28.||Vemonia adoensis Sch.Bep.ex Walp.||Asteraceae||Etse Mossa||Root||Menstrual disorder||Root are chewed with honey||Orally|||
|29.||Ajuga integrifolia Buch.-Ham.Ex D.Don||Lamia ceae||Orsha||Herb||leaf||Retained placenta||n||Orally|||
|30.||Bidens pilosa L.||Asteraceae||GURDAY||Herb||Leaf/seed||Retained placenta||n||Orally|||
|31.||Rumex nepalensis spring||polygonaceae||Germach||Herb||Root||Child diarrhea||n||Orally|||
|32.||Colocasiaesculenta(L.)Schott||Araceae||Haleko||Root||To detach retained fetal membrane||Root dried, ground and mixed with powdered root of Momordica spp.and all soaked in warm water and One cupful||Orally|||
|33.||SolanumacuminatumRuiz&Pav||Solanaceae||Raki||Sh||Root||To detach placenta||Root chopped,mixed with cold water One cupful||Orally|||
|34.||XimeniaamericanaL||Olacaceae||Hudhaa||Sh||Menstruation disorder||Crushed and mixed with water one cup of tea takenfor1–5 days until the blood stop||Orally|||
|35.||XimeniaamericanaL||Olacaceae||Hudhaa||Sh||Contraceptive||Exudates drunk for five days 2cup per a day||Orally|||
|36.||AchyranthesasperaL.||Amaranthaceae||Telenj/qaytele||n||Treatment of RH incompatibility||The herbs are dried, chopped together and put in a cotton pouch to be hung around the pregnant woman’s neck in the seventh month. When the baby is born it is taken off the mother and put on the baby thought.||Dermal|||
|37.||Datura stramonium L.||Solanaceae||mestenager||Herb||Seed||Abortion||Half tea spoon of seeds are ground into powder, mixed with water half of cup is drink once||Oral|||
|38.||Gomphocarpus fruticosus (L.) Aiton f.||Asclepiadaceae||Demaito bereka||Herb||Root||Abortion||Chew the root and taken stat||Oral|||
|39.||Linum usitatissimum L.||Linaceae||Entatie||Shrub||Seed||Retained placenta||Seeds roasted on iron sheet and grinding into powder, then cooked in t-he presence of honey taken for a month before delivery||Oral|||
|40.||Rumex nervosus Vahl.||Polygonaceae||Huhot||Shrub||Leaf||Breast Cancer||Leaves are crushed and paste applied on affected area||Dermal|||
|41.||Solanum nigrum L.||Solanaceae||Alalemo Wezero||Shrub||Leaf||PPH||Leaves are crushed and inserted into vagina||Dermal|||
|42.||Cucumis ficifolius A. Rich.||Cucurbitaceae||Ramboramb, lomin bita||Herb||Root||Abdominal cramp after delivery||Roots are chewed||Oral|||
|43.||Aloe trichosantha A. Berger||Aloaceae||N||N||Leaf, stem||Breast infection||Oral, nasal, body wash||Oral, dermal|||
|44.||Aloe trichosantha A. Berger||Aloaceae||N||N||Leaf, root||Retained placenta||N||Oral|||
|45.||Aerva javanica (Burm.f.) Schultes||Amaranthaceae||N||n||Leaf||Breast infection||Nasal ,body wash||Nasal, dermal|||
|46.||Celosia polystachia (Forssk.) C.C.||Amaranthaceae||N||n||Leaf||Breast cancer||n||Oral,nasal,topical|||
|47.||Calotropis procera (Ait.) Ait.f.||Asclepiadaceae||N||n||Leaf||Breast swelling||n||Nasal,topical|||
|48.||Balanites aegyptiaca (van Tieghem) Blatter||Balanitaceae||N||n||Root||Infant sickness||n||Oral|||
|49.||Balanites aegyptiaca (van Tieghem) Blatter||Balanitaceae||N||n||Leaf||Breast cancer||n||Oral ,nasal, body wash|||
|50.||Boscia coriacea Pax.||Capparidaceae||N||_ n||Root||Retained pl||n||Tying|||
|51.||Cadaba farinosa Forssk.||Capparidaceae||n||Leaf||Breast cancer||not mentioned||Oral|||
|52.||Senna accidentalis(L)link||Fabaceae||Assenmeka||H||Root||Excessive menstruation||Fresh root powder with butter is taken a drink before breakfast for three days||Oral|||
|53.||Sida schimperiana Hochst. ex A.Rich.||Malvaceae||Tifraria||Shrub||Root||RH disease||Crush ,filter & drink a cup of fluid||Oral|||
|54.||Phytolacca dodencandraL.Herit.||Phytolaccaceae||Indod||N||Root||Abortion||Crush the root and mix with water and drink||Oral|||
|55.||Pentaslanceolata(Forssk.)Deﬂers,||Rubiaceae||jamto,dori-charo,jamto||Herb||Root||Retained placenta||not mentioned||Oral|||
|56.||Amaranthus caudatus||Combretaceae||Akuba shukfa (Ku), Eshok mergem||T||leaf||Prolonged labour||Pounding ,homogenize the powder with water and wash the vagina thoroughly or apply a half cup of solution nasaly||Vagina ,nasal|||
|57.||Acalypha fruticosa||Euphorbiaceae||Timigidda (Ku)||T||Leaf||Excess menstruation||Add the leaf into fire and expose the vagina to smoke||Vagina|||
|58.||Ageratum conyzoides||Asteraceae||Gugisha (Ku)||H||Root||Reduce pain during labour||Vagina|||
|59.||Entada abyssinica||Fabaceae||Sesenaffa (ku)||T||Root||Treat children diarrhea||Pounding the root and drink a bottle cup of the juice in the morning||Oral|||
|60.||Nigella sativa||Ranunculaceae||Tselim Aweseda (Tig)||H||Stem||Children abdominal pain||Adding the seed into boiled water, add small amount of sugar to the decoction, cool and drink a tea spoon of the solution during pain||Oral|||
|61.||Pentatropis nivalis||Asclepiadace||Amemmeka(ku)||H||Root||Rx loss of appetite in children||Pounding the root drink a tea spoon of the juice in the morning||Oral|||
|62.||Pterolobium stellatum||Fabaceae||kuka (Ku)||Sh||Root||Retained placenta||Pounding the root, mix with water and drink a bottle cup of it in the morning.||Oral|||
|63.||Rhamnus prinoides||Rhamnaceae||Gesho (Tig)||T||Leaf||Fever in children||Adding the leaf in to water, stay for a while and give the drop of this Concoction to the child||Oral|||
|64.||Ipomoea obscura (L.) Ker-Gawl||Convolvulaceae||N||Herb||Leaf||Malnutrition in Child &Diarrhea||N||Oral|||
|65.||Indigofera zavattarii Chiov.,||Fabaceae||Kechine||T||Root||Rh factor||Oral|||
|66.||Phytolocca dodecandra||Phytolaccaceae||n||CA||Root||Abortion||Root of Indod and seed of Gomen||Oral|||
|67.||Cynoglossum lanceolatum Forssk.||Boraginaceae||N||Herb||Root||Mastitis||Chopped root or crushed and dried root mixed with butter||Topical|||
|68.||Solanum anguivi Lam.||Solanaceae||n||Shrub||Mastitis||Dried and crushed leaves mixed with butter||Topical|||
|69.||Periploca lineari folia Quart.Dill. & A. Rich||Asclepiadaceae||n||Climber||Leaf||Mastitis||Crushed leaves mixed with water and then applied||Topical|||
|70.||Dodonaea angustifolia L. f.||Sapindaceae||Eticha||Shrub||Leaf||Retained placenta &||Chopped leaves mixed with water and filtered||Oral|||
|71.||Urera Philodendron (A. Rich.) Wedd.||Urticaceae||n||Shrub||Leaf||Retained placenta||Chopped Leaves and mixed with water||Oral|||
|72.||Cucumis ficifolius||Cucurbitaceae||Yemidir Embuay||Climber||Root||Infertility in women||Juice||Oral|||
|73.||Achyranthes aspera||Amaranthaceae||Telenji||Herb||Stem||Retained placenta||Juice with water||Oral|||
|74.||Withania somnifera||n||n||n||Root||Refusing to give milk the child by mother||Washing the breast with this dilute||Dermal|||
|75.||Phytikacca Dodecandra||n||n||n||Fruit, stem, flower||Abortion, STDs||n||Oral|||
|76.||Ureta hypselodendron||Urticaceae||Hajijaa||Li||Leaf||Retained placenta||Chopping the leaves, making solution, adding magado salt and giving one liter orally at once||Oral|||
|77.||Aloe Vera L.||Aloaceae||Ret||H||Root||Rh disease||Crashed and mixed with butter, then eating in three month interval during pregnancy||Oral|||
|78.||Calpurnia aurea (Aiton) Benth.||Fabaceae||Cheketa||S||Leaf||Mastitis||n|||
|79.||Ekebergia capensis Sparrm.||Meliaceae||Olonchoo||T||B||Weight loss in children||n|||
|80.||Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata (Wall. ex G.Don.) Cif.||Oleaceae||Ejersu||T||B||Kwashiorkor||n|||
|81.||Artemisia absinthium||Asteraceae||Naatiruwa||Herb||All parts||Retained placenta||crushed and mixed/concoted with butter and taken||Oral|||
|82.||Brucea antidysentrica J.F.mill||Solanaceae||Shureshuupiya||Tree||Root||Parasitic disease in children||crushed and taken||Oral|||
|83.||Stephenia abyssinica||Menisperm aceae||Bazo tura/Ado tura||Climber||Root||Stomach ache in children||crushed, decocted and mixed with fresh||Oral|||
|84.||Impatients tinctoria||n||Ensosila||n||Root||Abortion||The roots are chopped, crushed, mixed with water and drunk once or twice. For arthritis (Rih) the roots are chopped, boiled, crushed and drunk.||Oral|||
|85.||Achyranthesaspera||n||N||H||Root||Hemorrhage at birth||Pounded and squeezed leaf is filtered with water to be drunk in a half size of water cup||Oral|||
|86.||Asparagusafricanus||n||N||Hi||Root||Rh disease||It is pounded with the root of other species likeA.pulcherrima||Oral|||
|87.||Cucumisficifolia||n||N||H||Root||Birth control||Is chewed and absorbed with ripe fruit of Solanumanguivi before sexual intercourse at the end of menstrual –cycle||Oral|||
|88.||Jasminumgrandiflorum||n||N||H||Leaf||Hemorrhage at birth||It is crushed with the leaf of Solanumin canumandC.pepoand applied as cream on the vagina||Vaginal|||
|89.||Blepharis edulis (Forssk.) Pers.||Acanthaceae||Harar||H||Leaf||Tiredness during labour||Hanging on the ceiling of the house to avoid exhaustion during labour||Hanging on roof|||
|90.||Leucas neuflizeana COlll'bon||Lamiaceae||Hebrud||H||Leaf||Infertility in women||fresh leaves crushed and squeezed with water and orally taken||Oral|||
|91.||Barleria eranthemoides R. Br. ex C.B. Clarke||Acanthaceae||N||H||Root||Women infertility and Rh disease||Smoke bath smoke||Smoke bath|||
|92.||(Hochst.)A.Rich||Malvaceae||N||Ha||Leaf||Rh disease||Decoction taken orally||Oral|||
|93.||CadabarotundifoliaForssk.C||apparidaceae||N||Sh||B ,L||Extended flow of menstruation/Menometrorrhagia||Concocted together with Withania somnifera and a cup of filtrate is taken||oral|||
|94.||Ximenia americana L.||Olacaceae||Hudhaa||Shrub||Leaf||Menstruation broblem||not mentioned||Oral|||
|95.||Clerodendrum myricoides (Hochst.) Vatke||Lamiaceae||Tulange||Shrub||Mastitis||Chopped root is mixed water||Topical Oral|||
|96.||Cucumis ficifolius A.Rich||cucurbitaceae||Yemidr Embuay||n||Root||Retained placenta||Crushed fresh root mixed with water and given||Oral|||
|97.||Rumex nervosus Vohal||Polygonaceae||Tult||n||Root||Retained placenta||Fresh root is inserted vaginally for few minutes||Vaginal|||
|98.||Rumex nervosus Vohal||Polygonaceae||Tult||n||Root||Retained placenta||Fresh root is inserted vaginally for few minutes||Vaginal|||
|99.||Combretum adenogonium Steud. ex A. Rich. / C.||Combretaceae||Weyeba||n||Root stem or stem bark||Disease of the uterus||Inhale the smoke||Oral|||
|100.||Combretum adenogonium||Combretaceae||Weyeba||n||Uterus disease (mahtsen)||Fumigate and inhale the smoke||Oral|||
|101.||Cucumis ficifolius A. Rich.||Cucurbitaceae||Ramboramb, lomin bita||Herb||Root||Treat Stomach ache after delivery||Roots are chewed||Oral|||
|102.||Solanum nigrum L.||Solanaceae||Alalemo Wezero||Shrub||Leaf||Treat bleeding after delivery (PPH)||Leaves are crushed and inserted into vagina||dermal|||
|103.||Rumex nervosus Vahl.||Polygonaceae||Huhot||Shrub||Leaf||Breast cancer||Leaves are crushed and paste applied on affected area||Dermal|||
Sh-shrub, T-tree, CA-climber/annual, CP-climber/perennial, HA-herb/annual, HP-herb/perennial, CH-creeper herb, n=not mentioned, Hb=Habit, Pu=Parts used, Cp=Condition of preparation, Ra=Route of application, T=Tree, H=Herb, Hcl=Herbaceous climber, Li=Liana, Hu=Human, F=Fresh, D=Dried, F/D=Fresh/Dried, O=Oral, Dm=Dermal, Na=Nasal, Op=Optical, L=Leaf, R=Root, St=Stem, Ba=Bark, Fl=Flower, Fr=Fruit, S=Stem, Bu=Bulb, Rh=Rhizome, La=Latex, HI=both (Human/Livestock )
Table 1: List of traditional medicinal plant species used to treat maternal and child health illnesses in Ethiopia.
Literature search results
The search of the Pub Med, Google Scholar, Research Gate, and HINARY databases and Google provided a total of 350 studies. After adjustment for duplicates, 105 remained. Of these, 40 studies were discarded, since after review of their titles and abstracts, they did not meet the criteria. .The full texts of the 66 studies were reviewed in detail. Finally, 38 studies were included in the review (Figure 1).
Methodological validity of all the reviewed articles were checked prior to inclusion in the review by undertaking critical appraisal using a standardized instrument adapted from . These studies differed significantly in the number of plants identified. From these 38 articles, almost all were conducted to assess the Ethno-botany of medicinal plants used to treat human diseases. All the studies were conducted in different parts of Ethiopia and are qualitative and mixed type. The studies used purposive sampling to select study articles. The detailed description of each plants collected from different studies is given below (Table 1).
Method of preparation and route of administration
Traditional medicinal practioners in Ethiopia apply different techniques of preparation like drying, crushing, concoction, decoction and eating with some other plants or animal products (Table 1). They use simple methods and equipments during their remedy preparation. Of the routes commonly used to administer remedies in the treatment of maternal and child health illnesses, oral route was the common route which consists 71 (73.13%) followed by dermal 6 (6.18%) way of administration. About 6% of the medicinal plants among 103 reviewed from published articles, the rout of administration is not specified (Figure 2).
Maternal and child health illnesses treated by traditional medicinal plants
In this study, the investigators were intended to deal both maternal and child health disease treatments of traditional medicinal plants. Based on the information reviewed on published research results, medicinal plants which were abundant for the treatment of retained placenta 24 (24.72%) species followed by treatment of abortion, infertility in women, Menstrual disorder and treatment of Rh disease which comprise the same 6(6.18%) plant species (Table 2).
|3.||To induce Labour||1||1.03|
|4.||To remove blood after birth||1||1.03|
|5.||Infertility in Women||6||6.18|
|6.||Child milk feed diarrhea||3||3.09|
|11.||To treat Rh incompatibility||6||6.18|
|12.||To detach placental Fetal membrane||1||1.03|
|14.||Abdominal crump after delivery||1||1.03|
|19.||Reduced contraction during labour||1||1.03|
|20.||Malnutrition and Diarrhea in children||1||1.03|
|22.||Refusing lactation by the mother||1||1.03|
|23.||Fever in child||1||1.03|
|25.||Weight loss by child||1||1.03|
|26.||Parasitic disease in child||1||1.03|
|27.||Stomachache in child||1||1.03|
|28.||Hemorrhage at birth||3||3.09|
|29.||Tiredness during labour||1||1.03|
|31.||Disease of the uterus||1||1.03|
Table 2: Maternal and child health illnesses diseases treated by traditional medicinal plants in Ethiopia.
Habits of medicinal plants which treat maternal and child illness
In this review paper shows that the most widely used Medicinal plants habit in the reviewed articles the collected plants found to be herbs 25 (25.75%) followed by shrubs 19 (19.57%) (Figure 3).
Plant parts used in the reviewed articles
Every part of different plant species are used against a variety of diseases. In this review the commonly used plant parts were found to be root 40 (41.2%) followed by leaves 32 (32.96%), and stem bark 4 (4.12%) respectively. Among 103 reviewed medicinal plants about 7 (7.21%) were not identified their parts used for the case mentioned. In some cases, more than one organ of the same plant species, particularly a combination of parts, is used in the preparation of different therapies.
Diversity of medicinal plants in terms of families
In this paper review different families of medicinal plants were collected from published research articles. Among them Fabaceae is the most dominant family that holds 8 (7.77%) plant species followed by Solanaceae having 6 (5.82%) species and Cucurbitaceous having 6 (5.82%) species. From the documented medicinal plants 7 (6.79%) plant species at which their family was not clearly stated in the reviewed papers (Table 3).
Table 3: Diversity of medicinal plants in terms of families used for the treatment of maternal and child health diseases in Ethiopia.
Based on this systematic review, there is plant species used for food and drink purpose in addition to traditional treatment of maternal and child illnesses. Solanaceae, Berbere (local name) , Boraginaceae Wanza (local name) , Phytolaccaceae Indod (local name)  Rhamnaceae, Gesho (local name)  Aloaceae, Ret (local name) .
This review indicated that about 103 plant species find applications by the traditional medicinal practitioners of Ethiopia to treat maternal and child health illnesses. Of the plants used traditionally, none of them were proven scientifically which shows the less attention given to the problem and the traditional practitioners in general. According to this review there is high species diversity of medicinal plants used which may be due to the climate variation that exists with the different parts of Ethiopia. In this study based on diversity of medicinal plants, Fabaceae is the most dominant family that holds 8 (8.24%) plant species followed by Solanaceae having 6 (6.18%). Similarly, a study done in Nigeria 22.5% , Afar , Harare regional State , Fiche Town , southern region, Konta , four districts of Jimma Zone 625% , Dire Dawa (8.5%) , Benishangul Gumuz (8.3%)  and Chifra District, Afar Region15% , evidenced this.
In this review, the commonly used plant part was found to be root 41.2%. Similarly the study conducted in Tanzania , Bale zone (35.71%) , South Omo (40%) , Benishangul Gumuz (39%) , Shewa Zone, ‘Boo sat’ sub-district 38% (48) and Chilga District 89%  dominant plant part used by traditional healers. On the other hand leaf is the most plant part used by traditional healers in the studies conducted in 57.2% Harari regional state (48%) [4,14] Afar 52% (14), Fiche Town (34.68%) , Tehuledere district, South Wollo (50%) , in Dire Dawa (29.4 %) , Gamo Gofa (44%) , Mirab-Badwacho district (41%) , Nekemt town 35%  and Alma-Ata, Southern Tigray 52% .The reason for this difference is might be due to knowledge (awareness) of traditional healers, geographical difference, and availability of plant parts in the area.
Based on this study, the most widely used medicinal plants growth forms harvested in the reviewed articles found to be herbs (26%). This result is similar with the study conducted in Uganda 51.9% , Nigeria (68.5%) , Uganda 80% (55), Delanta 52.6% , Guzman District 51% , Hadiya zone 52% , Jimma 84% and Tehuledere district, South Wollo (48%)  herbs were dominantly used. Whereas shrub had highest dominancy in studies conducted Shewa Zone, ‘Boo sat’ sub-district 46% , Abaya district, Borena Zone 48.8%  and Dasa forest, Tigray 48.8%  and study in South Omo trees 29%  highly used. The reason for this difference is it might be due to the plant species exhibit high level of abundance and easy to access them. This review revealed that, most commonly route of administration is internal particularly oral that accounted for 71%.This was similar with the studies conducted in Nigeria (84.6)  Mexico 26%  and Uganda 100% .
Conclusions and Recommendations
The plant parts used for treatment of maternal health and child illness in this review was found to be root followed by leaves and it was unlike with other ethno-botanical studies which were leaf was the dominant plant part used and the common rout of administration was through orals. Most of the medicinal plants in this review were herb. The most common maternal illness treated by medicinal plant was retained placenta and whereas in children milk feeding diarrhoea and Kwashiorkor.
From this review the authors suggested to carry out similar studies in areas not previously covered in order to get a full picture of the country’s medicinal plants potential for a particular disease like maternal illness. There is a need to conduct clinical trials to support traditional claims and to analyse cellular and molecular mechanisms involved.
There should be photochemical analysis in order to determine the bioactive component which could heal the disease.
The combination effect of traditional medicinal plants (pooled effect of medicinal plants) on maternity health and other health problems should be studied. In this review, some papers were incomplete so for those authors it is better to incorporate some family names, local names, etc. for better work.
Ethical approval and consent to participate
Consent for publication
Availability of data and material
No additional data are required; all information is clearly stated in the main manuscript.
The authors have declared that there is no competing interest.
No funding was obtained for this study.
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Citation: Asmare TW, Yilkal BA, Mekuannint T, Yibeltal AT (2018) Traditional Medicinal Plants Used to Treat Maternal and Child Health Illnesses in Ethiopia: An Ethno-Botanical Approach. J Tradit Med Clin Natur 7: 277. DOI: 10.4172/2573-4555.1000277
Copyright: © 2018 Asmare TW, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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