Scientific Papers

Traditional zootherapeutic prescriptions employed in the management of neurological and related disorders in Ethiopia


Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAMs) is a traditional healthcare systems (THS) and practice that has accumulated and persisted for centuries on account of the multifaceted interaction of mankind with the surrounding environment or biodiversity through adaptive and evolutionary processes [1]. It refers to a broad range of intervention based on different beliefs, approaches and practices that involve nonconventional regimens sought by patients instead of orthodox treatments [2,3]. Biological-based practices (dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, etc.); energy medicines (electromagnetic radiation, reiki, therapeutic touch, etc.); manipulative and body-based therapies (chiropractic, massage, reflexology, etc.); and mind-body medicines (meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis, yoga, etc.) are the main entities of CAMs-based THS [[4], [5], [6]]. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2019 report, about 88% of the member states are cognizant of the role of CAMs to fulfil the healthcare requirements of the society [7]. Traditional medicines (TMs) of fauna and flora origin, have become an integral part of the THS of developed and developing countries since prehistoric times [[8], [9], [10], [11]]. In this regard, over 60% of the global population entirely depend on plant- and animal-based remedies to relieve from different types of ailments [7,12] in view of the presence of different bioactive compounds with pronounced pharmacological activities and diminished toxicities as compared to conventional drugs [13,14]. Zootherpay involves the use animal-based formulation comprised of different animal body parts, secretions (blood, milk, venom, bile, etc.), animal products (such as honey, propolis, nests, etc.) and excreta (urine, faeces, etc.) alone or in combination to manage human and animal diseases [[15], [16], [17]]. Animal species (AS) which belong to a class of mammals, reptiles, arthropods, birds, fishes, etc. serve as a source of therapeutic arsenal throughout the world [[18], [19], [20], [21], [22]]. According to China National Corporation of Traditional and Herbal Medicine, more than 1500 AS are routinely exploited in the preparation Traditional Chinese Medicine [7]. In addition, approximately 15–20% of Ayurvedic medicines are comprised of animals and animal-based products [13]. Moreover, Unani medicine uses around 500 invertebrate species for the formulation of remedies and at least 584 AS and their products along with medicinal flora were used in Latin America [23]. Worldwide, at least 284 reptiles and 47 amphibians, 110 primates, 108 mammalian carnivores, 266 marine invertebrates, and hundreds of terrestrial invertebrates are used in folk animal-based remedies [24] signifying the global importance of medicinal animals (MAs) and associated products in the management of different disorders.



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