Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3550

Full Length Research Paper

The “Doctrine of Signatures” in herbal prescriptions in Ikale and Ilaje communities of Ondo State, Southwestern Nigeria

Aworinde David Olaniran
  • Aworinde David Olaniran
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Nigeria.
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Erinoso Sakiru Morenikeji
  • Erinoso Sakiru Morenikeji
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Nigeria.
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Ogundele Alimi Adeyemi
  • Ogundele Alimi Adeyemi
  • Department of Biology, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Nigeria.
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Teniola Olasimbo Anuoluwapo
  • Teniola Olasimbo Anuoluwapo
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Nigeria.
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Ojo Samuel Omoniyi
  • Ojo Samuel Omoniyi
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 02 March 2018
  •  Accepted: 20 April 2018
  •  Published: 25 June 2018

Abstract

The knowledge and application of the notion of “doctrine of signatures or correspondences” was evaluated among the Ikale and Ilaje people of Ondo State, Southwestern Nigeria. Information was solicited by administering questionnaires to one hundred and five (105) informants. Periodic field observations were also made. The research yielded 60 plants belonging to 37 families. The plants have characteristics such as colour, taste, habit, structure, and appellation which are suggestive of their trado-medical uses. Azadirachtha indica, Petivera alliaceae, Vernonia amygdalina, and Morinda lucida commonly known as “bitters” are used as antimalarial plants. Due to the shape of their fruits/tubers, Kigelia africana and Ipomoea batatas formed part of recipes used in the treatment of breast disorders while others such as Carica papaya and Alstonia boonei are useful as botanical galactogogues. Plants used for magical preparations are also documented. This study confirms the application of the doctrine in plant knowledge and uses. This doctrine can be applied in future bio-prospect and drug development.

Key words: Traditional medicine, Doctrine of Signatures, ethnobotany, Ondo State, Nigeria.