Medicinal Plants of the Kavirajes

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A survey of medicinal plants used by Kavirajes of Chalna area, Khulna district, Bangladesh

Mohammed Rahmatullah, Dilara Ferdausi, Md Ariful Haque Mollik, Rownak Jahan, Majeedul H Chowdhury, Wahid Mozammel Haque
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med
2009 Dec 30;7(2):91-7
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3021158
Khulna District, Bangladesh
Khulna District, Bangladesh (Source: Wikimedia Commons, Armanaziz adapted by Himalayan Explorer)

Researchers at the University of Development Alternative (Bangladesh) and New York City College of Technology conducted an ethnomedicinal survey amongst the Kavirajes (traditional healers) of Chalna area, Khulna district, Bangladesh, which is known to contain a diversity of medicinal plants. Information on 50 plant species was obtained, including plants used to treat skin diseases, intestinal tract disorders, cancer/tumor, rheumatoid arthritis, wounds (including tiger and snake bites), jaundice, diabetes, leprosy, sexually transmitted diseases, impotence, helminthiasis and heart disorders.

Barleria lupulina
Barleria lupulina (Source: Wikimedia Commons User: Biswarup Ganguly)

Prominent among those medicinal plants (ie, those used to treat four or more ailments) were Barleria lupulina, Hygrophila auriculata, Sansevieria trifasciata, Amaranthus spinosus, Spondias dulcis, Centella asiatica, Gnaphalium luteo-album, Tridax procumbens, Carica papaya, Brassica oleracea, Trichosanthes kirilowii, Excoecaria agallocha, Cassia fistula, Cassia occidentalis, Saraca indica, Sesbania grandiflora, Anisomeles malabarica, Clerodendrum inerme, Cuphea hyssopifolia, Psidium guajava, Cedrus deodara, Hygroryza aristata, Phragmites australis, Zea mays, Persicaria hydropiper, Richardia scabra, Murraya paniculata, Veronica officinalis and Boehmeria macrophylla.

From the discussion section:

Sundarbans
The Sundarbans (Source: Wikimedia Commons, SPOT Image)

“Our survey indicated that the plant species used for medicinal purposes in Chalna area differ from other areas of Bangladesh. However, the diseases treated by the Kavirajes of Chalna area were quite similar to diseases treated by Kavirajes in other regions of Bangladesh. One notable exception, as pointed out earlier, was the comparatively large number of plant species used to treat cancer. A number of the medicinal plant species are collected from the Sunderbans forest. Since depletion of this forest region is going on at an alarming rate, it is imperative that modern scientific studies be conducted as soon as possible on the medicinal plants of the area. Not only such scientific studies can lead to possible discoveries of novel pharmacologically active compounds, but also such discoveries can be an inducement for preservation of the forest region.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

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