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November 2022

J Ethnopharmacol. 1993 Dec; 40(3): 167-80.

Ethnobotany of Apocynaceae species in Kenya.

Omino EA, Kokwaro JO.

Jomo Kenyatta University College of Agriculture and Technology, Department of Biological Sciences, Nairobi, Kenya.

The study of Apocynaceae species used in traditional medicine reveals that 25 species in 16 genera are of ethnobotanical interest. Nineteen species are medicinal, sixteen of which fall under the subfamily Plumerioideae which usually has indole alkaloids. The most common category of diseases treated is skin and ectoparasitic diseases followed by abdominal diseases, diseases of the head, female conditions and venereal diseases. The root is the most commonly used part of the plant and it is possible that the alkaloids play an important role in the medicinal value of the plants. Many species are used for non-medicinal purposes as fruit (Saba comorensis), edible roots (Carissa edulis), poisons (Acokanthera schimperi), fodder (Strophanthus mirabilis), wood (Funtumia africana), birdlime (Tabernaemontana pachysiphon), ornamentals (Adenium obesum), dye (Carissa edulis) and perfume (Wrightia demartiniana).

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