Title : Ethnobotanical utilization of five neglected herbaceous species Heliotropium indicum Schrankia leptocarpa Argemone mexicana, Kedrostis foetidissima and Peperomia pellucida in Benin
Ethnobotanical utilization of five neglected herbaceous species Heliotropium indicum, Schrankia leptocarpa, Argemone mexicana, Kedrostis fœtidissima, and Peperomia pellucida was investigated in Southern Benin. Thirty-six herbal medicine traders were surveyed in six different markets in three districts in order to gather ethnobotanical knowledge. Ethnobotanical indices such as the Relative Frequency Citation, Fidelity Level, Use Value, and Rahman Similarity Index were used to state the diversity of medico-magic exploitation of the species. All informants traded A. mexicana while the majority of them traded H. indicum, K. fœtidissima, and P. pellucida. There were less informants trading S. leptocarpa compared to the other species (55% of traders). Purchase in traders' own markets was the most single important source of H. indicum, A. mexicana , and P. pellucida while this source in addition to the collection from the wild populations were reported as predominant for S. leptocarpa. A. mexicana was recorded as most demanded by customers. H. mexicana was mainly used to treat hypertension and fever using the entire plant as well as its leaves as decoction with oral administration for the first disease. Similarly, S. leptocarpa was mostly reported in the treatment of hypertension and to ease childbirth. Against hypertension, the entire plant as decoction with oral administration was reported. K. fœtidissima mainly served to fight against bad spirits by mostly using leafy stems. Likewise, P. pellucida was mainly recorded as used to implant a vodun, a traditional West African religion. The entire plant of A. mexicana was frequently used as decoction through oral route to heal babies just after the umbilical cord fall. Jaundice was also traded using the leafy stems of the species as decoction through oral administration. S. leptocarpa had the highest Use Value. Overall, traders dis not the study species so there is an urgent to define conservation tools and strategies for their conservation.