Medicinal plants and herbalist preferences around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Cunningham, Anthony B.
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Many people in Uganda, particularly in the rural areas depend on herbal medicine for health care. Although, medicinal plants are collected from different habitats, most of them are collected from the wild. Claims indicate that men use more forest products than women; and that women prefer younger vegetation succession stages as compared to those preferred by men for harvesting medicinal plants. However, there was no documented evidence to ascertain these claims. This study documented medicinal plants and investigated the influence of gender in the collection of these plants around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The plants used by various categories of herbalists were collected, identified and listed. The differences between herbalist categories regarding medicinal plant collection and use were studied using both qualitative and quantitative participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods. Two hundred and ninety five species encompassing all growth forms were listed with herbs and shrubs being most frequently used and majority (70%) of these occurred outside the forest. Most of the mentioned plants were reported to be used in mixtures while leaves were reported as the most frequently used plants