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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 735423, 11 pages
Research Article

Phytotherapeutic Information on Plants Used for the Treatment of Tuberculosis in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Medicinal Plant and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa

Received 2 February 2014; Revised 18 March 2014; Accepted 26 March 2014; Published 22 April 2014

Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher

Copyright © 2014 I. O. Lawal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The current rate of deforestation in Africa constitutes a serious danger to the future of medicinal plants on this continent. Conservation of these medicinal plants in the field and the scientific documentation of our knowledge about them are therefore crucial. An ethnobotanical survey of plants used for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) was carried out in selected areas of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. These areas were Hala, Ncera, Sheshegu, and Gquamashe, all within the Nkonkobe Municipality. One hundred informants were interviewed. The survey included the identification of scientific and vernacular names of the plants used for treatment of TB as well as the methods of preparation and administration, the part used, dosage, and duration of treatment. The survey revealed 30 plants belonging to 21 families which are commonly used by traditional healers for the treatment of TB and associated diseases. Of these plants Clausena anisata, Haemanthus albiflos, and Artemisia afra were the most cited. The leaves were the most common part used in the medicinal preparations. Our findings are discussed in relation to the importance of the documentation of medicinal plants.