Nutri-medicinal plants used by the immunocompromised people in Namungalwe sub county, Iganga District
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Nutrition deficiency is a key determinant of an immune deficient body state. There is scientific evidence that plant species effective in disease management confers both nutritional and medicinal benefits to the people using them. The main objective of this study was to identify the plants known to be used in disease management among immunocompromised People and determine their macronutrient and micronutrient composition. To achieve the first objective objective, a survey was conducted between July 2009 and February 2010 using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires; focused group discussions, participant observation and field visits. Nutrition composition of plants used was determined using standard laboratory methods in the nutrition laboratory in the Department of Food Science and Technology. One hundred and four plants species belonging to 47 families and 97 genera are used as medicine. Forty species are known to be both nutritious and medicinal. Twenty three percent species have the same parts being used as both nutri- medicinal in the management of diseases among immunocompromised people. Forty one percent of the species are herbaceous followed by trees 26% and climbers 15% and the least used plant lifeform is the grass (0.8%). The leaves are the most commonly used plant parts followed by roots 26% and bark 16% and the least used were the sap from the leaves. The plants analysed in this study had all macronutrients and micronutrients except phosphorus and sodium. Traditional Knowledge on nutri-medicinal plants used in disease management among immunocompromised people is owned known by women (mothers) and is mainly on plants used in disease management among the children. Majority of the plants are being domesticated. Common foods eaten by the immunocompromised people especially children, pregnant women and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Namungalwe Sub County are complemented with the micronutrients found in the plants used in disease management.