Ethnobotanical Survey of Plants used in the Management of Sickle Cell Disease in Two Local Government Areas of Kwara State, North-Central Nigeria.
Bilqis A. Lawal and Jones O. Moody2

1Department of Pharmacognosy and Drug Development, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. 2Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria.
*Corresponding author: A. Lawal; Phone No:+2348033717230, Email:,


Background: A lot of sufferers of sickle cell disease are left with physical disabilities, low self-esteem and confidence, little or no education and sometimes abject poverty. Medicinal plants have been a source of succour in the control of many diseases in developing countries and sickle cell disease is no exception. This study is aimed at carrying out an ethnobotanical survey for the purpose of documentation of plants used in the management of sickle cell disease (SCD) in one rural area (Irepodun Local Government) and one urban area (Ilorin-West Local Government) of Kwara State.

Methods: Interviews were conducted on plant species and remedies used in the management of sickle cell disease using semi-structured questionnaires and asking open-ended questions. The respondents (n = 40) were mostly traditional medical practitioners. Others were herb sellers, religious healers and patients. The Use Mention Index was calculated for all the plants mentioned both in single and multiple-species remedies; and the frequency and percentage was employed for data analysis.

Result: The ethnobotanical survey afforded a list of some plants used locally for the treatment of sickle cell disease by the people of Irepodun and Ilorin East Local Government Areas, Kwara State. A total of 57 plant species belonging to 34 families were identified. The most prominent among these plant families are the Fabaceae and Euphorbiaceae.

Conclusion: This study showed that Kwara State is blessed with abundant medicinal plant which can be a tool in the search for the management of sickle cell disease. Thus, research interest in medicinal plant as a potential source of new and reliable antisickling agent should be encouraged and adequately funded due to the fact that plants have been established as a reservoir of leads/hits chemical compounds in the drug discovery research.

Key words: Sickle cell disease, Medicinal plants, Ilorin-West Local Government, Irepodun Local Government, Kwara State.



1.      Ilesanmi OO (2010). Pathological basis of symptoms and crises in sickle cell disorder: implications for counseling                and psychotherapy. Haematology report 2(1): 10-23

  1. World Health Organization. (2005). Sickle cell anaemia. Report by the Secretariate, 117th session of Executive Board (EB117/34). World Health Organisation Geneva; 1.
  2. Weatherall DJ, Clegg JB (2001). Inherited haemoglobin disorders: an increasing global health problem. Bulletin of World Health Organization 79(8): 704–712.
  3. Wellems TE, Hayton K, Fairhurst RM (2009). The impact of malaria parasitism: from corpuscles to communities Journal of Clinical Investigation 119 (9): 2496–2505.
  4. Serjent GR, Serjeant BE (2001). Homozygous sickle cell disease In: Sickle cell disease. 3 rd New York: Oxford University Press; 429-435.
  5. Lozano R (2012). Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380(9859): 2095–2128.
  6. Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N, Aster J (2009). Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, Professional Edition: Expert Consult – Online (Robbins Pathology) (Kindle Locations 33530-33531). Elsevier Health. Kindle Edition.
  7. Wierenga KJ, Hambleton IR, Lewis NA (2001). Survival estimates for patients with omozygous sickle-cell disease in Jamaica: A clinic-based population study. Lancet 357 (9257): 680–683.
  8. Abdulmalik O, Osafa MK, Chen Q, Yang J, Brugnara C, Ohene-Frempong K, Abraham DJ, Asakura T (2005). 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural modifies intracellular sickle hemoglobin and inhibits sickling of red blood cells. British Journal of Haematology 128(4): 552-561

10.  Anosike EO, Uwakwe AA, Monanu MO, Ekeke GI (1991). Studies on human erythrocyte glutathione-S transferase                    from HbAA, HbAS and HbSS subjects. Biochemical Biomedical Acta 50: 1051-1055.

  1. Chang H, Ewert SM, Nagel, RL (1983). Identification of 2-imidazolines as anti-sickling agents. American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 23(3): 731-734.
  2. Brugnara C, Steinberg, MH (2002). Developing treatment for sickle cell disease. Expert opinion on investigational drugs 11(5): 645-659
  3. Nagalla S, Ballas SK (2010). Drugs for preventing red blood cell dehydration in people with sickle cell disease. The Cochrane Collaboration, 1:28.
  4. Cragg GM, Newman D J (2013). Natural Products: A continuing source of novel drug leads. Biochimica et Biophysical Acta 1830(6): 3670-3695
  5. Okpuzor J, Adebesin O, Ogbunugafor H, Amadi I (2008). The potential of medicinal plants in sickle cell disease control: A review. International Journal of Biomedical and Healthcare Science 4:47–55.

16.  Ajibade LT, Fatoba PO, Raheem AU, Odunnuga BA (2004). Ethnomedicine and primary healthcare in Ilorin, Nigeria.           Indian Journal of Traditional knowledge 4(2): 150-158

  1. Martin GJ (1995). Ethnobotany: a ‘People and Plants’ Conservation Manual. London: Chapman and Hall
  2. Namsa ND, Hui T, Mandal M, Das AK, Kalita P (2009). An ethnobotanical study of traditional anti-inflammatory plants used by the Lohit community of Arunachal Pradesh, Indian Journal of Ethnopharmacology 125:234-245.
  3. Kim H, Song MJ, Potter D (2006). Medicinal efficacy of plants utilized as temple food in traditional Korean Buddhism. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 104: 32-46.
  4. Cyril–Olutayo CM, Oladele AT, Elufioye TO (2012). Ethnobotanical survey of plants used as memory enhancer and antiaging in Ondo state. Nigerian International Journal of Pharmacy 2(1): 26-32.

21.  Ameh SJ, Obodozie OO, Inyang US, Abubakar MS, Garba M (2011). Climbing black pepper (Piper guineense) seeds as        an antisickling remedy. In V. R. Preedy, R. R. Watson, V. B. Patel (Editors), Nuts & Seeds in Health and Disease                         Prevention (1st ed.) (pp 333-343). Academic Press (Elsevier), London, Burlington, San Diego.

  1. Vaishnava S, Rangari VD (2016). A review on phytochemical and pharmacological research-remedy for sickle cell disease. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 7(2): 472-481

23.  Ameh SJ, Tarfa F, Abdulkareem T, Ibe M, Onanuga C, Obodozie, O. (2010). Physicochemical Analysis of the Aqueous            Extracts of Six Nigerian Medicinal Plants. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 9(2): 119-125.

  1. Magalion SA, Sanderson KR. (2001). Absolute diversification rates in angiosperm clades. Evolution, 55 (9): 1762-1780.
  2. Ernst M, Grace OM., Laquodakis, CH, Nilsson N, Simonsen HT, Ronsted N (2015). Global medicine uses of Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae). Journal of Ethnopharmacology 176: 90-101

26.  Amujoyegbe OO, Idu M, Agbedahunsi JM, Erhabor, JO (2016). Ethnomedicinal survey of medicinal plants used in                 the management of sickle cell disorder in Southern Nigeria. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 5(185): 347-360

  1. Katemo M, Mpiana PT, Mbala BM, Mihigo SO, Ngbolua KN, Tshibangu DST, Koyange PR (2012). Ethnopharmacological survey of plants used against diabetes in Kisangani City (D.R. Congo). Journal of Ethnopharmacology 144: 39-43.
  2. Wambebe C, Khamofu H, Momoh JA, Ekpeyong M, Audu BS, Njoku SO, Nasipuri NR, Kunle OO, Okogun JI, Enwerem NM, Gamaniel SK, Obodozie OO, Samuel B, Fojule G, Ogunyale PO (2001). Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised cross-over clinical trial of NIPRISAN in patients with sickle cell disorder. Phytomedicine 8(4): 252-261.
  3. Borokini TI, Omotayo FO (2012). Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical study of some selected medicinal plants from Nigeria. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 6(7): 1106-1118.
  4. Gbadamosi IT, Moody JO, Yekini AO (2012). Nutritional composition of ten Ethnobotanicals used for the treatment of anaemia in Southwest Nigeria. European Journal nof Medicinal Plants 2(2): 140-150.
  5. Ilondu EM, Enwa FO (2013). Commonly used medicinal plants in the management of sickle cell anaemia and diabetes mellitus by the local people of Edo State, Nigeria. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Biological and Chemical Sciences 2(2): 14-19
  6. Famojuro TI, Moody JO (2015). Survey of medicinal plants used in the management of sickle cell disease by traditional medical practitioners of Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine 19:78-84
  7. Tor-Anyiin TA, Shaato R, Oluma HOA (2005). Ethnobotanical survey of antimalarial medicinal plants amongst the Tiv people of Nigeria. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants 10, 61-74.