Medicinal Plants Used to Treat Oral Diseases in the Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa – Pages 175-183

Medicinal Plants Used to Treat Oral Diseases in the Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Pages 175-183

Sebua Silas Semenya1, Sekgothe Mokgoatšana2 and Alfred Maroyi3

1Technology Transfer Office, Research Administration and Development Department, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa; 2Department of Cultural and Political Studies, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa; 3Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa; 4Department of Biodiversity, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa

DOI: https://doi.org/120.29169/1927-5951.2019.09.03.6

Abstract: Purpose: Therefore, this study was aimed at documenting medicinal plants used to treat oral diseases in the Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Methods: Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, supplemented by field observations with 30 traditional healers from the Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality in the Capricorn District of the Limpopo Province in South Africa.

Results: A total of 41 plant species belonging to 30 botanical families, mainly the Asteraceae and Solanaceae (13.3% each), were reported as remedies for different oral diseases. Leaves (51%) and roots (28%), harvested from herbs and trees were preferred for medicinal preparations. The majority of plant species (60.4%) were used as monotherapy, to treat a single oral disease, while the remainder (39.6%) treated more than one ailment. The majority of the species (44.2%) were used as herbal medicines for toothache, followed by 32.6% used against bad breath and 25.6% used against dental caries.

Conclusion: Traditional healers play an important role in the provision of primary health care as oral pathogens are also responsible for nonstomatological infections.

Keywords: Medicinal plants, Limpopo Province, oral diseases, South Africa.