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The main objective of this study was to show the different ways medicinal plants are used by the indigenous people of Oguru-ama town in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. Another objective was to document the medicinal plants used in this area and enumerate the need for conservation of these important plants.
One hundred structured questionnaires were administered, including oral interviews to herbal practitioners and users located at different parts of the community.
The results showed that a total of 41 plant species distributed into 38 genera and 28 families were recorded and classified according to their botanical, common, local, and family names. Also, plant parts used, mode of preparation, administration, and ailment cured were included.
The family with the highest number of species was the Poaceae, followed by the Rutaceae and Fabaceae families. The plant parts mostly used were leaves, followed by bark, fruit, seed, and root. The ethnobotanical uses of the plants include treatment of malaria, typhoid, cough, eczema, dysentery, catarrh, boil, wound, convulsion, etc.
Ethnobotanical knowledge is in the custody of traditional healers or native doctors and most of them die with this knowledge without passing it down. Also, herbs are not only useful in medicine but also in construction, arts and crafts work, cultivated as food crops, but their existence are being threatened due to deforestation, agricultural practices, and fire outbreak. Special attention should be given to the medicinal plants in this area through conservation because of their significant role in healthcare system, and environmental protection.