Use, conservation and present availability status of ethnomedicinal plants of Matebele-Village in the Limpopo Province, South Africa
Ethnobotanical surveys were carried out between January 2011 and April 2012 to compile an inventory
of plants used medicinally by people of the Matebele village. A semi-structured questionnaire was used
to collect data on the species used by the villagers. The results show that 65 species (86.1% indigenous
and 13.8% exotics) from 36 families, mostly the Asteraceae (13.8%) and Fabaceae (10.7%), are being
used to treat 28 ailments or conditions. To the best of our knowledge, 24.4% of the species were
recorded for the first time as medicinal. The most widely used species were Terminalia sericea (43.3%),
followed by Acacia senegal, Eucomis pallidiflora (36.6% each), Drimia elata (26.6%), Warburgia salutaris
(19.9%) and Artemisia afra (16.6%). Roots (39.1%), leaves (21.6%) and stem bark (10.8%) were the most
frequently used parts. The heavy dependence on wild medicinal plants and utilization of threatened (E.
pallidiflora, D. elata and W. salutaris) and protected (Sclerocarya birrea) species by inhabitants of
Matebele village calls for urgent conservation intrusion.