Medicinal properties of Ximenia: Lessons from the traditional healers in Oshikoto region, Namibia

Ximenia is an important indigenous plant in many countries and used often in herbal preparations by traditional healers. The plant is claimed to possess medicinal properties and is used in the treatment of different ailments and diseases. The aim of this study is to report some of the medicinal properties of Ximenia used by traditional healers in Oshikoto region. An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken to collect information from traditional healers on their use of medicinal plants in the traditional healing system. It was found that Ximenia is the most frequently used medicinal plant. A total of 47 respondents were interviewed; most of them were at the age of 66 years and above. The traditional healers in Oshikoto region use X. americana and X. caffra to treat various diseases and disorders such as Gonorrhea, Culture Bound Syndrome (CBS), Impotency and Scoliosis. Both forms of the plant status (fresh and dry) were used during the medicinal preparations. Roots are the most used parts in the treatment. The average of the fidelity level (FL) of the both species for all ailments was 33.33% with the highest FL for X. caffra to treat CBS of 66.66%. This study is confirming the potential value of using Ximenia species in traditional medicinal remedies in Oshikoto region in Namibia.
Ximenia, Rthnobotanical survey, Indigenous knowledge, Traditional healing
Cheikhyoussef, A., Shapi, M., Matengu, K., & Ashelele, HM. (2010, September). Medicinal properties of Ximenia; Lessons from the traditional healers in Oshikoto region, Namibia. National Research Symposium. Ministry of Education, Directorate of Research, Science and Technology, Windhoek.