ETHNOVETERINARY STUDY TO DOCUMENT MEDICINAL PLANTS USED TO MANAGE CATTLE DISEASES IN MASHONALAND WEST AND MIDLANDS PROVINCES OF ZIMBABWE
Livestock, in particular cattle are an integral part of communal societies; providing power for tillage, nutrition, income and security for many in third world countries like Zimbabwe. Their welfare and health therefore becomes of paramount importance. Many of these communities have medicinal plants as their only option in assuring animal health due to many reasons. Many are in so remote areas that access to modern medicines is a daunting task; lack of training on and costs of modern medicines also prevents access among other reasons. A study was therefore carried out to determine medicinal plants that communal smallholder farmers are relying on. Fidelity of the findings was also determined usingthe informant consensus factor (ICF) and familiarity index (FI). Diarrhoea, retained afterbirth, tick infestation, dermatophilosis, lumpy skin disease (LSD) and tick-borne diseases (TBD)had an ICF of 0.80 and above; which meant that all the informants agreed on the medicinal plants that were supposed to be used for managing those conditions. Cissus quadrangularis had a relatively high FI of 71.9%.Theplant was reported to be used to manage wounds, worm infestations, LSD and dermatophilosis. The findings highlighted plants and plant parts that are used by the indigenous people of the Mashonaland West and Midlands Provinces of Zimbabwe. The study also highlighted the plantsneeded further phytochemical and pharmacological evaluations and validations for the claimed uses.