Ethnobotanical survey of antifertility medicinal plants in Dali District, Yunnan Province, China

Ruo-Peng Zhang, Jia-Huan Luo, Hui-Xia Lu, Li-Rong Zhang, Zhao-Mei Dong, Zhao-Mei Dong, An-Li Xu, Bao-Zhong Duan, Wen-Zhen Zhao


In recent years, contraceptive medication has been widely used for birth control. It is worth noting that contraceptive medication from botanical source has great potential for clinical use. Yunnan is the province with the most species of plants in China and is known as the "plant kingdom". This study aims to archive herbal remedies traditionally used as antifertility remedies in Dali District, Yunnan Province, P. R. China. The survey was conducted from February 2011 to September 2016 in the population distributed in Dali and the surrounding counties. The data were collected from three groups of practitioners within the study area: therapists using traditional medicines (n = 104), aboriginal families (n = 37), and herbalists in commercial stalls (n = 12), and a total number of 117 plant species were recorded. Among the 117 plant species, 104 of which have been authenticated by a plant taxonomist from the Dali Herbarium. These plants were classified into 98 genera and 54 families, including Leguminosae (12 species), Liliaceae (7 species), Cucurbitaceae, Rosaceae and Rutaceae (5 species, respectively), Malvaceae, Compositae and Euphorbiaceae (4 species, respectively). Our data provides an in-depth delineation of the contraceptive plants used in Dali, which serve as valuable information for the practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine in contraceptive use. In addition, these data also hint that plants from different genus contain contraceptive components, which should be avoided by pregnant women. Future studies are required to identify the active contraceptive components, assess the toxicology, and elucidate the pharmacological mechanism of action. (Afr J Reprod Health 2022; 26[5]: 107-119).

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