Ethonbotanical Evaluation of Selected Medicinal Plants used in Treatment of Diseases around Venda Region: A Literature Review
The importance of traditional medicine has been recorded throughout the world. It has also been practiced throughout Africa by more than 80 % of rural communities. Traditional medicine has since been imbedded in the culture of many rural communities. People of the world continues to use traditional medicine because of their accessibility and affordability. The use of medicinal plants around the Venda region is vast, yet the published data on the various plants is scanty. The review aims to bring forth the knowledge of the most widely used plants among the Vhavenda population. The data was compiled from peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed journals, textbooks, thesis and also by interviews conducted with the traditional healers. The review revealed that there are a number of traditional medicines that are being preferred by traditional healers in their practice, the use of the selected plants in literature has never reported to be used in curing HIV/AIDS and its related illnesses. Most of the plants recorded were found to have active compounds in most of their organs. Plants are great sources for the discovery of new medicines. Natural products and their synthetics can be utilized in the development of highly useful drugs through chemical procedures and isolation followed by analog synthesis through modern medicinal mechanisms. The knowledge and understanding of each utilized medicinal plant is of great importance for it is through the discovery of newer potential drugs that the emerging life threatening infections can be effectively combated. With the increasing rate of people migrating from either rural – urban or vice versa, the natural habitats for such herbal plants is in the process of being completely destroyed without preservation of the naturally important plant species. The fear is of losing such important plant from the local communities thus losing valuable and future vital drugs.