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Gettysburg College

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


The objective of this study was to compare and examine which factors impact usage and perceptions of traditional medicine in Ushongo Mtoni and Kizanda villages. More specifically, this study aimed to gain an understanding of the usages, with a specific focus on gendered usages of medicinal plants in Kizanda village and Ushongo Mtoni village and to try to examine the differences in perceptions towards traditional medicine usage in Kizanda and Ushongo. Additionally, this study aimed to determine if there are any major themes that are constant with medicinal plants in both Ushongo and Kizanda. In order to conduct this study both participatory observations as well as interviews with traditional healers as well as the general population of the town were done. This study was conducted in Kizanda village in Lushoto district and Ushongo Mtoni village in Pangani district from the dates of 10/8/19-10/25/19. This study was done by using a snowball/convenience sampling method to conduct interviews in both villages. This study also included observatory practical in each area with a traditional healer. This study determined that traditional medicine is prevalent in both Ushongo Mtoni and Kizanda village. It is used very practically and for a number of ailments in each location. However, the depth of knowledge of traditional medicine is much deeper in Kizanda. In general, there are very positive perceptions towards traditional medicine in both areas. However, people in Ushongo use hospital medicine more often than people in Kizanda. The gendered usage of plants are fairly reflective of the greater gender dynamics of Tanzania in both areas. Finally, this study determined that the depth of knowledge of traditional medicine increases the conservation of medicinal plants. This study recommends that future literature explore how knowledge of traditional medicine increases conservation of traditional plants due to results which suggest this finding has significant impacts on conservation potential through traditional medicine.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Biodiversity | Gender and Sexuality | Medicine and Health | Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy | Plant Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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