n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Self-medication through administration of indigenous plant medicine among the Northern Sotho people of Limpopo Province, South Africa : rural health and indigenous knowledge system

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Self-medication is an aspect of self-care. It is about responsible selection and use of non-prescription medicines to treat self-recognised illnesses and symptoms. Scientists assert that this method of health promotion evolved with human culture and was further developed into traditional healing or ethnomedicine. The objective of this study was to examine factors that encourage reliance on self-medication through administration of traditional plant medicine. Data were collected through interviews with 53 local community members and 10 traditional health practitioners purposively selected to participate in the study. From the study it is evident that self-medication is encouraged by participants' cultural orientation. Factors such as the need to treat minor ailments, self-diagnosis, family tradition and one's responsibility to maintain good health and well-being are culturally-based. Knowledge of indigenous plant-derived medicine is noticeable among the study participants. Ten indigenous plant-derived medicines known by the participants are administered for self-treatment of minor ailments.

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