Medicinal plants use in and around kalinzu central forest reserve, Western Uganda

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This study assessed medicinal use, diversity, and conservation techniques for plant species used in the treatment of various ailments among the local communities living around Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve in Western Uganda. The objectives of the study were: (1) to assess the diversity, use, and conservation of medicinal plants in and around Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve; and (2) to evaluate the importance of medicinal plants to communities surrounding the tropical forest. Plant species were identified and their distinctiveness such as their mode of extract preparation, parts used, and ailments treated documented. In-situ study and information on plant species was obtained by using transects or quadrant methods, Semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. Eighteen (18) plant species belonging to thirteen (13) families and sixteen (16) genera were identified by local communities for medical purposes. The utilization and preference of plant products included fruits, vegetables, medicines, fire wood, construction materials, and other purposes as 76.7% of the local people use the forest as a source for medicines. Shannon Weiner Index, H’ = 2.554 and Species Evenness, EH = 0.8836 were calculated. These values indicated uneven distribution of medicinal plant species especially in areas where there is no replacement. Adherence to traditional norms and cultures, inadequate medical services and other health care services put medicinal plants at the centre of basic primary health care. This has made it difficult to effectively implement conservation measures in Kalinzu central forest reserve due to the high dependencies on the forest products by the surrounding communities.
Floristic parts, Medicinal plants, Species Diversity, Species Evenness, Species Richness, Uganda, Herbal Medicine