Original Research

Use of ethnoveterinary medicinal plants in cattle by Setswana-speaking people in the Madikwe area of the North West Province of South Africa

D. Van der Merwe, G.E. Swan, C.J. Botha
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 72, No 4 | a651 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v72i4.651 | © 2001 D. Van der Merwe, G.E. Swan, C.J. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2001 | Published: 09 July 2001

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D. Van der Merwe,
G.E. Swan,
C.J. Botha,

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Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) methods were employed to document the use of ethnoveterinary medicinal plants in cattle by Setswana-speaking people in the Madikwe area of the North West Province of South Africa. The study indicated that Setswana-speaking people in the North West Province have a rich heritage of ethnoveterinary knowledge, which includes all aspects of ethnoveterinary medicinal plant use. Information was gathered from informants through individual interviews, group interviews, guided field walks and observations. Ethnoveterinary uses in cattle of 45 plant species representing 24 families were recorded. Plants were used in 84 % of the total number of recorded ethnoveterinary remedies. These plants were used alone (64 %) or in mixtures (36 %) for 29 indications. The most important indications were retained placenta, diarrhoea, gallsickness, fractures, eye inflammation, general ailments, fertility enhancement, general gastrointestinal problems, heartwater, internal parasites, coughing, redwater and reduction of tick burden. Plant materials were prepared in various ways including infusion, decoction, ground fresh material, sap expressed from fresh material, charred and dried. The most common dosage formwas a liquid for oral dosing. Other dosage forms included drops, licks, ointments, lotions and powders. Liquid remedies for oral dosing were always administered using a bottle. Medicinal plant material was preferably stored in a dried form in a cool place out of direct sunlight and wind. Lack of transfer of ethnoveterinary knowledge to younger generations puts this knowledge at risk. RRA was found to be a successful method of investigation for the study of ethnoveterinary medicine.


Cattle; Ethnobotany; Ethnoveterinary Medicine; EVM; Herbal Medicine; Madikwe; North West Province; Rapid Rural Appraisal; Traditional Medicine


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