Osunderu, O. A. (2018) Herbal Medicine.
Nigerian Journal of Forestry, 48 (2) 39 - 45
In a recent study conducted amongst Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs) in Ogun and Lagos States, Southwest Nigeria, it was confirmed that herbal medicines are beneficial because medicinal plants are used to address the twin challenge of promoting sustainable livelihoods and treating numerous illnesses in Nigeria. Medicinal plants also contribute positively to the attainment of a befitting primary health care for the citizenry by achieving the millennium development goals on health. The study aimed to evaluate the economic value of forest products as major key drivers towards green economy in southwest Nigeria, particularly in Ogun and Lagos States. Primary data was obtained in a cross section survey of 127 (TMPs) and 100 respondents from the general public drawn by multistage sampling technique from the study area. Interview schedule was used in collection of data on the socio-economic characteristics of the TMPs and income from their activities. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse socio-economic variables and regression to identify variables contributing to income generation in the study area. Economic tools of Gini coefficient and budgetary analysis were equally used in the analysis to show income inequality in the market and profit making by TMPs. The contribution of forest products to the economy of southwest Nigeria was evaluated through income, profit and production cost. Seven different families of plants were identified; Annonaceae Rutaceae, Anarcardiaceae, Asteraceae, Meliaceae, Guttiferaceae and Leguminaceae which topped the list of TMPs priority list. Result of economic analysis shows that the net profit realized by the TMPs was ₦650 769.98 per annum while the rate of return was 280.08%. In addition, rate of return on investment was 180.08% indicating that the TMPs were making profit.It is therefore concluded that herbal medicine is a key driver towards green economy in Southwest Nigeria and there is a need for government to recognize and formulate policies that will maximize the medicinal properties of forest products.