Planta Med 2013; 79 - PN60
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1352403

Validation of plant materials used by resource-limited livestock farmers for ethno-veterinary medicine in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa

V Maphosa 1, PJ Masika 2
  • 1University of Fort Hare, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, Livestock and Pasture Science, Alice, 5700, South Africa
  • 2University of Fort Hare, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute (ARDRI), Alice, 5700, South Africa

Traditional medicine has a significant role in the animal health care system in Africa and resource limited rural communities. There has been much documentation of the plant materials used in ethno veterinary medicine world-wide, but limited validation to determine the effectiveness and potential toxicity of the materials used. Over the years, our team has focused on documenting, assessing effectiveness and potential toxicity of plant materials used by farmers in treatment and control of external and internal parasites of livestock. Their antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties were also assessed. This was achieved using qualitative data collection. Validation of the plant materials was done using in vitro assays (tick, flea and egg hatch for helminthes) and for in vivo assessment goats, cattle and the rat model were used.

sPlants screened

Example of medicinal properties

Dose range

Aloe ferox Mill



0.2 mg/ml

0.1 – 5.0 mg/ml

Elephantorrhiza elephantina (Burch.) Skeels


0.625 – 25 mg/ml

Leonotis leonurus (L) R.Br.

Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic

25 – 75 mg/ml

Ptaeroxylon obliquum, (Thunb.) Radlk

Lantana, camara L

Tagetes minuta L


10 – 30% (w/v)

Agave sisalana Perrine

Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic

50 – 400 mg/kg BWt

Ptaeroxylon obliquum (Thunb.) Radlk

Calpurnia aurea (Aiton) Benth


10 – 100% (w/v)

Plants evaluated for toxicity were found to be safe at levels of 100 mg/ml and below.

The results showed some of the materials to be as effective as the conventional remedies, whereas others were not. These finds will contribute to the body of knowledge to be used in the production of an organic animal.


[1] Maphosa V Masika PJ 2012. In vivo validation of Aloe ferox (Mill). Elephantorrhiza elephantina Bruch. Skeels. and Leonotis leonurus (L) R. BR as potential anthelminthics and antiprotozoals against mixed infections of gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. Parasitol Res 110:103 – 108