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Online database launched for Ghanaian indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants

  • Online database launched for Ghanaian indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants

    by Market Insider

    Thursday, 29 Sep. 2016

    Announced yesterday, an online database of Ghanaian indigenous knowledge (IK) on forest foods and medicinal plants has been launched.
    The online database is the culmination of a project started in 2015, funded by the Elsevier Foundation (Amsterdam, Netherlands), developed and carried out by Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), an institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In the past, CSIR had been directly involved in the development of the Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia, first published in 1992, significantly revised and republished in 2007.
    Elsevier Foundation awards grants to non-profit organizations for projects focusing on the world’s libraries. Project objectives included, among others to Identify, capture, document and digitise Ghanaian indigenous knowledge (IK) on forest foods and medicinal plants; create a database; and “share knowledge of useful IK practices and their usage and thereby preserve the information to promote their wider application.”
    The database is not only intended to prevent the appropriation of Ghanaian IK by individuals for private gain but also to serve as an authoritative source of data for researchers to assess the contributions of IK to scientific research.
    The Ghanaian IK database, available online at, enables searching by scientific Latin name (of the medicinal plant), by local common names, and sorting by category, whether forest food, medicinal plant, or both. Search results provide a page with a photograph of the medicinal plant, nomenclature (Latin binomial, family name, local names), plant category, plant parts and their uses according to the literature, traditional uses in Ghana, and a listing of diseases treated.
    Ghana’s most economically important medicinal and aromatic plants for domestic consumption and for the global export market are included in the database.
    1. Busia K (ed.). Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Accra: Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI). 2007
    2. Elsevier Foundation:
    3. Forestry Research Institute of Ghana. Digitisation of Indigenous Knowledge in the Forestry Sector in Ghana. 
    4. CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana. Indigenous Knowledge on Forest Foods & Medicinal Plants in Ghana: 
    5. CSIR. Ghana Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Accra: Policy Research and Strategy Planning Institute (PORSPI). 1992.
    6. Kwabia Owusu-Mensah GNA. Ghana establishes online database on forest foods and medicinal plants. Ghana News Agency. 27 September 2016.

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