African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 628

Review

Current outlook and future promise of ethnobotany in Nigeria: A review and personal observation

Erinoso S. M.
  • Erinoso S. M.
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Aworinde D. O.
  • Aworinde D. O.
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 12 May 2017
  •  Accepted: 13 June 2017
  •  Published: 30 April 2018

Abstract

This paper reviews the current state and future prospects of ethnobotany in Nigeria. A brief historical background is presented. Books and journals indexed by Scopus and Science Direct were reviewed. Direct search was also made on the official websites of journals specializing in ethnobotany and allied disciplines. The field of ethnobotany manifests in all facets of human activities and relates to cultural and sociological relevance of plants. Ethnobotanical data generated from historical, religious, literary, linguistic, and pharmacological viewpoints serve as useful information regarding indigenous food production, traditional agricultural systems, and source for the development of new medicines. Since the vast majority of ethnobotanical studies conducted in Nigeria center on indigenous medicines, collaborative efforts geared toward efficient health service delivery is essential. This must include accreditation or documentation of traditional healers and herbal medicine vendors as well as policies in drug regulation, quality assurance, and control. Ethical guidelines and equitable sharing of benefits gained from sale of active compounds from source locations should be instituted and implemented. Conservation of indigenous plant resources requires the integration of ethnobotanical knowledge into national development programmes. Curriculum development and inclusion of ethnobotany (as a distinct subject) in Nigerian schools will direct future investigations in this promising field.
 
Key words: Ethnobotany, indigenous medicine, traditional botanical knowledge, Nigeria.