Background: The innate pharmacological potentials of plants have been extensively explored in the development of therapeutics to cure many ailments. To achieve this, the science of ethnobotany served as a guide, leading to the discovery of many different compounds. This study aimed at documenting medicinal plants that are traditionally used to boost immunity against many pathogenic, viral, and bacterial infections in Oyo State, Southwestern Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Three study sites (Ibadan, Ago-Are, and Iseyin) where the practice of traditional medicine is evident were covered in this study and the study data were obtained using a structured questionnaire written in English and orally translated in respondents’ local language. The scientific names, common names, and families of the plants were validated through the plant database; www.worldflora.org. Information regarding the respondents’ demography, local immune-boosting plants, plant parts used, mode of preparation, dosage, and administration of remedies were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics, the relative frequency of citation (RFC), and medicinal use value (UV).
Results: Thirty-nine plant species belonging to 35 different families were documented to boost immunity in the study area. Allium sativum, Zingiber officinale, Phoenix dactylifera, Parquetina nigrescens and Garcinia kola showed high medicinal importance with RFC values 0.46, 0.32, 0.24, 0.19 and 0.16 respectively. The leaves are the most frequently used plant part mostly prepared by infusion and administered orally. The plants are used singly and in combinations.
Conclusion: This study has presented a documentary of plants with claims to boost immunity. Experimental studies should, however, be carried out to further establish these claims scientifically.
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