Biomedicines of the Rongmei tribe of Manipur, India


Indigenous traditional knowledge and usage of folk bio-medicines among Rongmei tribe of Tamenglong district of Manipur, India

Prakash N, Ansari MA, Punitha P, Sharma PK
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014 Apr 3;11(3):239-47
PubMed Central PMC4202445

Tamenglong District (Manipur, India)
Tamenglong District (Manipur, India) [Source: Abhijitsathe, Wikimedia Commons]
Investigators from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research conducted a field survey to document and preserve ethnomedicinal knowledge of the indigenous Rongmei tribe of the village of Charoi Chagotlong (Tamenglong district, Manipur, India).

Justicia adhatoda/Adhatoda vasica
Justicia adhatoda/Adhatoda vasica [Source: ShineB, Wikimedia Commons]
The team identified 60 species of plants used for medicinal purposes, including Adhatoda vasica, Centella asiatica, Dioscorea bulbifera, Dioscorea pentaphylla, Eryngium foetidum, Euphorbia antiquarum, Ficus retusa, Michelia champaca, Oroxylum indicum, Rhus semialata, Zanthoxylum acanthopodium, and Zingiber officinale.

From the paper’s Discussion section:

“The villagers expressed concern at the possible loss of native plant species and indigenous traditional knowledge about the utility and usefulness of different plant species. They attributed it to strong dis-interest shown by the youths in the acquisition of traditional knowledge from the village elders. This decrease in usage of native species of edible plants is likely to continue in the future as more non native edible plants are made easily available to them in nearby shops. Traditional knowledge of medicinal plants can provide leads for further scientific studies on species and genetic diversification with certain desirable traits that can be used or transferred into the modern biomedicine for prevention and cure of certain chronic diseases. It is important not only to put such traditional knowledge on record and conduct further studies, but also to take steps to conserve the species and genetic diversity of folk biomedicine before they are lost to humans.”

The authors recommend focused efforts to promote the preservation of ethnomedicinal knowledge within the Rongmei community and exploration of their biomedicines for the prevention and cure of various human diseases.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

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