Title : Medicinal plants used by the traditional healers for treatment of Diabetes in the South Region of Cameroon
Ethnopharmacological relevance: The metabolic syndrome defined by the association of morphological, physiological, and biochemical abnormalities is characterized by the presence of several associated abnormalities such as obesity, glucose intolerance and hypertension. It is the leading cause of death in the world. Its prevalence increases in emerging countries with age, gender and location. Because of the high cost of treatment offered by modern medicine, medicinal plants which constitute an inexhaustible source of active substances are becoming the preferred therapeutic alternative in developing countries. In the Department of Dja et Lobo in Cameroon, an ethnopharmacological study was set up to identify and characterize the medicinal flora used in the management of the symptoms of metabolic syndromes affecting the populations of Evindissi, Kombé, Kondemeyoss, Mintyaemignumin, Ngon and Nkpwang
Material and methods: Surveys were conducted in two languages, french and local languages of the six villages using semistructured forms. The healers interviewed in the population were selected with the help of the village chiefs and a representative of the administrative authority. The data concerning information on medicinal recipes were collected according to a standardized framework based on the proposed forms. The samples were collected, identified at the National Herbarium of Cameroon and preserved. The phytochemical characterization of the samples was carried out according to the method of Harbon, 1998 and Hevans, 2000. The ecological and pharmacological characterizations were carried out via the bibliographic review to verify the relevance of their uses in the said recipes.
Results: 135 individuals were identified and interviewed. 51% were males. 76% were between 51 and 80 years of age. 71% stated that they had received their knowledge from their ancestors, 24% that they had learned it and 5% that it was hereditary and empirical. 92% were from the departement of origin studied. A total of 88 recipes were mentioned in the management of metabolic syndrome by the 135 individuals interviewed. To prepare these recipes, 78 medicinal species were identified, of which 36.5% were ligneous and 28.57% herbaceous. They are divided into 44 families, the most represented being the Asteraceae. These forest species in the Pantropical area for the most part are rich in various metabolites and are used in association or not for the preparation of recipes in which the barks are the most solicited plant part. The phytochemical screening revealed the abundant presence of families of secondary metabolites of interest in the management of metabolic syndrome: Flavonoids, Phenols, Polyphenols, Tannins and Saponin in the extracts. In general, anthocyanins were extremely abundant in almost all extracts. Decoction with water and drinking twice a day is the most commonly used method of preparation and administration. Vernonia amygdalina, Annickia chlorantha, Phragmantera capitata, Fagara tessmannii, Alium sativum, Entandrophragma cylindricum, Cylicodiscus gabunensis, Massullaria acuminata, Piptadeniastrum africanum, Citrus lemon, Guilbourtia tessmannii are some of the species most used to treat the various pathologies of the metabolic syndrome.
Conclusion: The data obtained constitute a valuable source of information for the management of metabolic syndrome. The valorization of these plants and the determination of the health profile of the local populations of the department of Dja and Lobo requires the establishment of modern transformation units specialized in the improvement of the quality of the recipes produced in the form of ameliorated traditional drugs (ATD) and the discovery of new active substances.