n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Indigenous knowledge and its impact on medicinal plant conservation in Guruve, Zimbabwe




Since the ancient time, plant medicine has been an important part of health care system in Africa. Today, some medicinal plant species face extinction due to extensive use by man and there is no guarantee that we will continue to benefit indefinitely from this valuable resource. Too often in the past, the contributions of the indigenous people to conservation have been ignored or belittled. Yet indigenous peoples control most of the world's remaining natural areas either consciously or unconsciously through their traditional practice and often have a strong conservation ethic. This paper reports on the influence of indigenous knowledge systems on conservation of medicinal plants in the rural communities of Guruve district of Zimbabwe. The methods are associated with taboos and social beliefs. Collaboration amongst traditional healers, researchers and policy makers could build the encouragement of such customary practices in our modern ways of conservation to ensure continued plant diversity.


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