Veterinary Physiology

Table of Contents

Traditional Herbal Medicine and its Prospects among Goat Breeders of Benin


Introduction: The use of traditional medicinal plants for the treatment of diseases in livestock farming is a common practice in Benin. Various ethnoveterinary studies have documented plants that livestock farmers use to treat animal diseases. However, these studies have been limited mainly to inventorying these plants, without exploring farmers’ perceptions on the use of these plants to promote the sustainable use of medicinal plants. The current study aimed to fill this gap by gathering farmers’ views on the use of traditional herbal medicines.Materials and methods: A structured survey was conducted from February to April 2023 in the southern, central, and northern regions of Benin. This survey targeted 480 goat farmers who actively engage in veterinary phytotherapy practices. Data were collected through random individual interviews with farmers. The interviews focused on the socio-cultural characteristics of the farmers, their motivations for using medicinal plants, the different forms of preparation, theplantefficacy, the difficulties encountered when using them, and prospects for improvement using open-ended, multiple-choice, and yes/no questions.Results:There were three distinctgroups of goat farmers based on their opinions on the use of traditional herbal medicines and their socio-demographic characteristics. Group 1 consisted mainly of married and illiterate men. Group 2 was predominantly composed of married and educated men. Group 3 consisted mainly of married men, with a slightly higher illiteracy rate compared to Group 2. Group 1 used plants due to their easy accessibility and knowledge acquired since childhood, while groups 2 and 3 used them due to the high cost of conventional medicines and the perceived effectiveness of herbal medicine. Group 1 mainly used decoctions and powders, group 2 utilized powders, macerations, and trituration, and group 3 used raw preparations, decoctions, and macerations. All three groups agreed on the widely recognized efficacy of medicinal plants. Nevertheless, they encountered difficulties concerning conserving traditional herbal remedies and the imprecision of dosage. All three groups expressed a willingness to explore new forms of traditional herbal medicines, such as suspensions and tablets, prioritizing efficacy, availability, and affordability.Conclusion:The results indicated that all three groups of goat breeders expressed a willingness to use herbal medicines. However, they prefer suspensions and tablets of herbal medicines rather than other forms. In addition, prioritizing efficacy, availability, and affordability are notable for using herbal medicine in current study farmers. These results offer prospects for improving traditional herbal medicines.

1. Introduction:

The use of traditional herbal medicines to treat diseases in animal husbandry is a common practice in Benin.

Livestock farmers have long relied on medicinal plants to treat their animals for digestive parasites, constituting a form of traditional veterinary medicine1. Numerous ethnoveterinary surveys have been carried out in various regionsof Benin. These studies have documented the plants used by farmers to manage animal diseases, as well as their preparation procedure, administration methods, and treatment conditions2-6. Some of these plants have been the subject of scientific research and have proved effective, particularly against gastrointestinal parasites7-9. Given the efficacy of these medicinal plants, it would be interesting to develop improved traditional medicines (ITMs) to expand the possibilities of treatment and control of animal diseases. In order to formulate ITMs that are suitable for the needs of farmers,it is crucial to understand their motivations and perceptions regarding traditional herbal medicines This approach facilitates a more integrated and tailored strategy toward animal health, accounting for the distinctive aspects of goat farming….
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