Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 734-38. 2009.


Conservation and Biodiversity Erosion in Ondo State, Nigeria: (4). Assessing Botanicals Used in the Cure of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Owo Region


J. Kayode1,4, R. A. Jose2 and O.E. Ige3


1Department of Plant Science, University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria                     

 2Department of Science Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Nigeria

Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology

Adekule Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria



      Issued 01 June 2009



            A combination of social survey and direct field observation was used to assess the botanicals used in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases in Owo region of Ondo State, Nigeria. A total of 33 belonging to 28 families were identified, 14 of which were found to be rare on the abundance scale used in the study. The need for the conservation of these species was stressed.

Key words: Botanicals, sexually transmitted diseases, Owo Region, Nigeria.


                In the recent times, there seems to be an unabated increase in the incidences of sexually transmitted diseases despite the series of awareness programs by governmental and non-governmental organisations. Previous studies had asserted that many indigenous groups in Nigeria depend on the use of botanicals for their health cures and maintenance. The dependency had been attributed to their ready availability, cheap, effectiveness with little or no side effects. It is also believed that the medicinal plants wiped away the diseases causative agents and unlike the orthodox medicines that treat only specific disease, medicinal plants have wider spectrum.

            The Owo indigenous group, popularly referred to as Owomode, is a distinct group of Yoruba in the rainforest zone of Nigeria. They are extremely conscious of their culture and tradition which include the use of botanicals for health maintenance. The study being reported here is part of on-going studies on the ethnobotanical utilization in Ondo State being conducted by the Department of Plant Science, University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria and the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods

            A combination of social survey and direct field observation (after Kayode 2002, Kayode and Ogunleye 2008) was used in this study. Three major communities, each of which possessed big market centers were selected. In each of these communities, five botanical vendors, ten indigenes who had maintained continuous domicile in the region for minimum of ten years were selected and interviewed with the aid of semi-structured questionnaire matrix.

            Botanicals identified as been used in for the cure of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were documented and their relative abundance determined by taken into consideration the time taken to physically come across the species in a distance of 500m form the center of the community. Voucher specimens of the species identified were obtained and later deposited at the herbarium of the Department of Plant Science, University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria.

            Secondary information was obtained from records and key informants which consisted of the officials of the Local Governments, General Hospital, Owo and the Ondo State Ministry of Health office.

Results and Discussion  

            A total of 33 botanicals were observed to be commonly used for the cure of STDs in the study area. These species belong to a total of 28 families (Table 1). The part mostly utilized was the leaves. The leaves of 16 of the botanicals were used. This constitutes 48% of the botanicals.Other parts include the roots (27%), stem barks/stem (24%) and fruits (12%). The forest constituted the major primary source of these species. 20 of the botanicals, that is 61% of the botanicals were claimed to be sourced primarily from the aboriginal forests of the communities. Household farms constituted the major secondary source as 52% of the botanicals were sourced from farms while the major tertiary source was the herbal markets section in the communities from where over 40% of the botanicals were sourced.

            The dependency of the respondents on the aboriginal forests and household farms confirmed the earlier assertions by Kayode et. al. (2008), Kayode and Omotoyinbo (2008, 2009) that the use of botanicals was freely assessable to the rural and urban resource-poor. Also the availability of botanical parts in major markets of the study area, though not a new phenomenon, confirmed the use of medicinal botanicals as important source of income in the study area. While the extraction methods used in most of these botanicals (leaves) could be said to be non-predatory, same cannot be said of the following species whose stem or stem barks or/and roots were used. They are A. difformis, A. djalonensis, C. gabonensis, D. guineense, D. senegambiensis, K. ivorensis, M. puberula, P. angolensis, S. anceps, S. mombin, T. macroptera, T. potatoria, U. afzeli and Z. zanthoxyloides. All these species were not even cultivated in the study area. Field observation revealed that hours of man time were taken before samples of these species were found in the study area. This observation tends to suggest that they were presently rare in the abundance scale. F. capiensis was observed to be found occasionally in the study area but field observation revealed that its being domesticated already existed in the study area where it is being cultivated as shade tree and wind breaker.

In conclusion, the conservation of these species, especially the identified rare species, is now desirable. Previous strategies already suggested by Kayode et al. (2009) in a study conducted in other part of Ondo State will still be quite relevant. 


Kayode, J. 2002. Ethnobotanical survey and conservation of plant species used for curing

malaria in Edo and Ekiti States of Nigeria. NISEB Journal 2(4): 247-252.

Kayode, J. and Ogunleye, T. 2008. Checklist and Status of Plant Species Used as Spices in

Kaduna State of Nigeria. Research Journal of Botany, 3 (1), 35-40

Kayode, J., Christmas, E. and Kayode, G. M. 2008. Checklist and Conservation of

Botanicals Used For Natality by the Okpe-Speaking People of Delta State, Nigeria.

Research Journal of Medicinal Plants. 2(1): 16-21.

Kayode, J. and Omotoyinbo, M. A. 2008. Cultural Erosion and biodiversity : conserving

chewing stick knowledge in Ekiti State Nigeria. African Scientist 9(1): 41-51.


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chewing sticks plant species in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Research Journal of Botany


Kayode, J., Ige. O. E. and Opeyemi, I. O. 2009. Conservation and Biodiversity Erosion in

Ondo State, Nigeria: (1). Assessing Wood used for Carving in Ondo Kingdom.

Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13, 564-567.


Table 1. Botanicals used in the cure of STDs in Owo region of Ondo State, Nigeria.

S/N       Botanical Name           Family   Vernacular Name   Parts Used             Sources*

                                                                                                                              10        20             30

1.      Abrus precatorius        Papilionaceae    Omisimisi             Leaves        HA       FA        -

2.      Ageratum conyzoides   Asteraceae        Imi-esu                  Leaves        HA       FA        -

3.      Alcornea laxiflora        Euphorbiaceae   Iya peepe              Leaves     FA        HF       HA

4.      Anchomanes difformis   Araceae         Isu-abirisoko            Stem        HA        HF      FA

5.      Annona senegalensis     Annonacae     Ewe-aso                   Leaves     FA         HF      HA

6.      Anthocleista djalonensis Loganiaceae  Sapo                        Root        FA         HF      PM

7.      Capsicum frutescens      Solanaceae      Ata wewe               Fruits       HF         PM       -

8.      Carica papaya                Caricaceae      Ibepe                      Fruits       HF         HA      PM

9.      Colocynthis citrullus      Curcubitaceae Eso-bara                 Fruits       HF         FA      PM

10.  Cylicodiscus gabonensis Mimosaceae  Olisa-rogun             Roots       FA         PM     HF

11.  Dialium guineense          Caesalpiniaceae Uyan                   Stem bark FA        PM     HF

12.  Dissotis senegambiensis Melastomataceae Atawo edun  Roots, Stem bark  FA  PM     -

13.  Dracaena mannii            Dracaenaceae  Peregun wewe       Leaves       FA       HF      PM

14.  Dracaena sp                    Dracaenaceae  Ope- orisa             Leaves       FA       PM      -

15.   Elaeis guinensis            Arecaceae        Ojele imo ope        Young leaves HF    HA    FA

16.  Ficus capiensis               Moraceae         Opoto                    Stem bark      FA     HF    HA

17.  Ficus exasperata            Moraceae         Ipin                        Leaves            FA    HF     PM

18.  Glyphae brevis               Tiliaceae           Atorin                   Leaves            HF    FA      PM

19.  Heinsia crinite               Rubiaceae          Tannaposo           Leaves            FA     HF     PM

20.  Jatropha gossypifolia    Euphorbiaceae    Alabose/ Lapalapa Leaves        HA     HF     FA

21.  Khaya ivorensis             Meliaceae           Oganwo                Roots            FA     HA     HF

22.  Microdermis puberula   Pandaceae           Apeta                    Roots            FA     HF     PM

23.  Musa paradisiaca          Musaceae           Ogede agbagba      Fruits            HF      PM    HA

24.  Pycnanthus angolensis   Myristicaceae    Ifu                          Stem bark     FA     HF     PM

25.  Sida acuta                       Malvaceae         Iseketu         Stem, Leaves           HF     FA    HA

26.  Smilax anceps                 Smilacaceae      Igbao            Stem, Leaves          FA      PM    HF   

27.  Sorgum bicolar               Poaceae             Oka baba                Leaves          HF      PM    -

28.  Spondias mombin           Anacardiaceae   Ekikan/Iyeye Stem bark, Roots   HA     HF     FA

29.  Terminalia macroptera  Combretaceae     Idi                          Roots         FA      HF      PM

30.  Tetracera potatoria   Dilleniaceae           Efun-amuren           Leaves       FA      HF      PM

31.  Uvaria afzeli              Annonaceae           Gbogbonise   Stem bark, Roots  FA      HF      PM

32.  Xylopia aethiopica     Annonaceae           Erinje/Eru                Leaves       FA     HF       PM

33.  Zanthozylum zanthoxyloides Rutaceae     Orin-ata                   Roots          FA    HF       PM