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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief

ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants Used for Management of Cancer in Karonga District, Northern Malawi

Author(s): Bonface Mwamatope, David Tembo*, Ibrahim Chikowe, Cecilia Maliwichi-Nyirenda, Elizabeth Kampira and Friday Foster Masumbu

Volume 22, Issue 8, 2022

Published on: 12 January, 2022

Page: [1622 - 1631] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/1871520621666210708122037

Price: $65

Abstract

Background: In Malawi, cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. This has led to increased use of herbal medicines for cancer management.

Objective: This study aimed at identifying medicinal plants that are used for the management of cancer in the southern area of Karonga district, Northern Malawi.

Methods: Semi-structured individual questionnaire interviews were used to collect ethnobotanical data from traditional herbal practitioners in the study area.

Results: A total of twenty six (26) plant species from seventeen (17) botanical families were reported by Traditional Herbal Practitioners to be effective in the management of cancer. The botanical families with representation of more than one plant species were Fabaceae with five species, followed by Combretaceae and the Anacardiaceae with three species each, and Meliaceaewith with two species. The relative frequency of citation (RFC) showed that Senna singueana (RFC = 0.833), Lannea discolour (RFC = 0.833), Melia azedarach (RFC = 0.667), and Moringa oleifera (RFC = 0.667) were the medicinal plant species which were frequently mentioned and used in the study. The recipes could be a mixture of plant species or plant parts such as the leaves, barks, roots, rhizomes, seeds, flowers, and fruits.

Conclusion: The study showed that a potential cancer management drug could be developed from the medicinal plant species found in the area. The results of this study could provide baseline information on medicinal plant species for further phytochemical studies and other studies to validate their use.

Keywords: Cancer management, ethnobotanical survey, Karonga district, medicinal plants, traditional herbal practitioners, herbal medicine.

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