Ethnomedicinal plants used by traditional healers in North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines

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Research Paper 01/12/2018
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Ethnomedicinal plants used by traditional healers in North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines

Meriam M. Rubio, Mark Arcebal K. Naive
J. Bio. Env. Sci.13( 6), 74-82, December 2018.
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Traditional medicines remained as the most affordable and easily accessible source of treatment in the primary health care system among diverse communities in the Philippines. However, comprehensive study conducted on the knowledge and practices of traditional healers’ medicine in the island of Mindanao are few and poorly documented. Thus, a comprehensive assessment study with the aim of identifying and documenting the medicinal plants used by the traditional folk healers in North Cotabato, island of Mindanao was carried out. Purposive sampling method was used to select traditional medicinal practitioners of the study area. Semi-structured questionnaire, interview and focused group discussion were conducted to gather first hand ethnobotanical information on medicinal plants used for humans. A total of 63 species belonging to 61 genera in 37 families were recorded and identified by the tribal folk healers to treat several ailments such as fever, stomach ache, cough, urinary infections and diarrhea. Leaves were the most commonly used plant part and decoction was the most widely used method of preparation which was mostly administered internally. The documentation of this rich traditional ethno-medicinal knowledge has furnished us with novel information that not only will provide recognition of this undocumented knowledge but also could provide new avenues for pharmacological investigations to improve healthcare for a range of ailments.


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