Garden Plants in Zimbabwe: Their ethnomedicinal uses and reported toxicity

Alfred Maroyi


The present study is aimed at documenting the toxicity and ethnomedicinal uses of garden plants in Zimbabwe. Herbarium and field studies were supplemented by a literature review. Data on ethnomedicinal uses of garden plants in Zimbabwe were assembled together with their poisonous properties. 106 popular garden plant species are regarded as poisonous in Zimbabwe and 23 of these have found various uses in traditional medicine in many parts of the country. They are distributed in 80 genera belonging to 39 families. Families with the highest number of poisonous plants include: Solanaceae (16 species); Euphorbiaceae (14 species); Apocynaceae (9 species) and Fabaceae (9 species). Of these 10.4% are indigenous and the rest are exotic. Information on these plants is presented together with their toxic and ethnomedical properties, which will serve as a basis for further studies to establish the medicinal claims. 

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
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