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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 165-175

Ethnobotanical Survey and Antimicrobial Evaluation of Medicinal Plants used by the Samburu Community (Kenya) for treatment of Diarrhorea

1 Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences, Kenyatta University, P.O Box 43844, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
2 Department of Zoological sciences, Kenyatta University, P.O Box 43844, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
P O Okemo
Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences, Kenyatta University, P.O Box 43844, Nairobi 00100
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The Samburu are a marginalized nomadic people who have no access to conventional medical services. The Samburu therefore depend on traditional medical practice and medicinal plants for most of their medicare. The medicinal plants used have not been tested for efficacy especially on diarrhoreal diseases which are endemic in the community. This study evaluated plants commonly used for the treatment of diarrhoea in-vitro for antimicrobial activity against standard Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. Results obtained show that the zones of inhibition for the active plants ranged between 16mm to 36.33mm. The MICs of the most active plants ranged from 0.9375 mg/50μl to7.5 mg/50μl. The MBCs ranged between 0.9375 mg/50μ to 7.5 mg/50μ. These results were significant at p< 0.01. The findings show that most of the medicinal plants used by the Samburu community have significant activity against E.coli (Acacia nilotica- 21.66 mm) S. typhi (Acacia horrida- 19mm) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Cordia monoica- 36.33 mm) which are human pathogens especially Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhi which cause diarrhoea.

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