Title : Ethnopharmacological study of plants used in the treatment of Covid-19 in the department of Mfoundi Cameroon
In Cameroon, despite the establishment of a protocol for the management of COVID-19, part of the population uses traditional herbal medicine to preserve themselves and find a cure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: This study aimed to record and identify the plants and recipes used to treat COVID-19 in the Department of Mfoundi in the Center Region (Cameroon). Methodology: An ethno pharmacological survey took place over a period of five months from December 2020 to April 2021, among traditional healers in the districts of Yaounde I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. The various plant samples collected were subsequently submitted for identification at the National Herbarium of Cameroon. Results: In total, 74 people including 9 traditional therapists, 28 herbalists and 37 resource persons accepted to participate on a voluntary basis by sharing their knowledge and know-how. 38 plants species distributed in 24 families have been identified. The most represented family is the Apocynaceae with 13.2% (5 species), followed by Annonaeae, Asteraceae and Rutaceae with 7.9% (3 species). The most cited plants species in decreasing order of citation frequencies by traditional therapists and herbalists for the treatment of COVID-19 are; Enantia chlorantha (FC = 13.7%), Astonia boonei (FC = 10.3%), Picralima nitida (FC = 11.1%), Rauvolfia vomitoria (FC = 9.2%), Shumanniophyton Mannificum (FC = 7.7%), Artemesia annua (FC = 5.5%), Cylicodiscus gabonense (FC = 5.5%), Entandrophragma cylindricum (FC = 5.2%) and the organs being used included bark (34.2%) and leaves (28.9%). The most common method of preparation was decoction (63.2%), the oral route was the route of administration for almost all of these recipes (95.0%). Among the recipes for the treatment of COVID 19 cases, the most recommended were the recipe 11: Alstonia boonei (bark) + Enantia chlorantha (bark)) + Picralima nitida (fruit); and the recipe 23 : Astonia boonei (bark) + Enantia chlorantha (bark) + Rauwolfia vomitoria (bark) + Picralima nitida (fruit) + Shumanniophyton manificum (bark) + Entandrophragma cylindricum (bark). Conclusion: The ethno pharmacological survey identified medicinal plants used in the treatment of Covid-19 in the department of Mfoundi. It appears that these plants were already used in the traditional treatment of malaria. Therefore, it seems appropriate to assess the antiplasmodial activity of the recipe of interest.