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Herbal Cosmetics Knowledge of Arab-Choa and Kotoko Ethnic Groups in the Semi-Arid Areas of Far North Cameroon: Ethnobotanical Assessment and Phytochemical Review

Advanced Teacher’s Training School for Technical Education, University of Douala, Douala 1872, Cameroon
Institute of Medical Research and Medicinal Plant Studies, Yaounde 6163, Cameroon
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cosmetics 2018, 5(2), 31;
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants Used in Cosmetics)
PDF [1884 KB, uploaded 2 May 2018]


The plant-based traditional knowledge of many Cameroonian populations concerning beauty and skin care is still poorly documented, yet they are real resources of innovation and economic development. The aim of this study is to document the indigenous knowledge of Choa Arab and Kotoko ethnic group in Kousséri (Far North Region of Cameroon) about plants used for cosmetics. Ethnobotanical data collected among key informants revealed a total of 13 plants species belonging to 12 families used by local people. Canarium schweinfurthii Engl and Santalum album L. obtained the highest frequency of citation. Trees are the most abundant life forms, while barks and seeds are the most frequently used parts. More than 40% of recorded plants are used for skin care. The cosmetic allegations of recorded plants include: dermatology, anti-cancers, antioxidant agent, perfume, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, wounds healing activity, skin lightening, dental caries, astringent and hair care. They all contain various phytochemicals that are of interest in cosmetics. Despite the strong relationship between the Choa Arab and Kotoko people and herbal cosmetic ingredients, these plants are still less investigated for their cosmetic application. The authors urge for the development of sustainable supply chain for plants with potentials as cosmetics, involving local communities in the planning, implementation and monitoring process, following principles of Nagoya protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing. View Full-Text
Keywords: Choa Arab; Kotoko; indigenous knowledge; phytochemicals; cosmetics Choa Arab; Kotoko; indigenous knowledge; phytochemicals; cosmetics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Fongnzossie Fedoung, E.; Zra, T.; Nyangono Biyegue, C.F.; Nouga Bissoue, A.; Baraye, S.; Tsabang, N. Herbal Cosmetics Knowledge of Arab-Choa and Kotoko Ethnic Groups in the Semi-Arid Areas of Far North Cameroon: Ethnobotanical Assessment and Phytochemical Review. Cosmetics 2018, 5, 31.

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