Medicinal Plants of the Pahan & Teli Communities of Bangladesh

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Survey and scientific evaluation of medicinal plants used by the Pahan and Teli tribal communities of Natore district, Bangladesh

Mohammed Rahmatullah, Zubaida Khatun, Abid Hasan, Waheda Parvin, Md Moniruzzaman, Asha Khatun, Mostafi Jumrut Mahal, Md Shaiful Alam Bhuiyan, Sadia Moin Mou, and Rownak Jahan
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med
2012 Apr 2;9(3):366-73
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3746669
Natore District, Bangladesh
Natore District, Bangladesh (Source: Wikimedia Commons, Armanaziz adapted by Himalayan Explorer)

Researchers from the University of Development Alternative undertook a study to document traditional usage of medicinal plants by the Pahan and Teli indigenous communities of Natore district in western Bangladesh and to evaluate the medicinal uses against modern research-based pharmacological activity studies on the plants.

From the abstract:

“The Pahans and the Telis are two of the smallest indigenous communities in Bangladesh. The Pahans, numbering about 14,000 people are widely scattered in several northern districts of the country, while the Telis are such a small community that nothing has been reported on their numbers and lifestyle. Both tribes are on the verge of disappearance.”

Withania somnifera
Withania somnifera (Source: Wikimedia Commons User Wowbobwow12)

The team identified 13 plants used by Pahan tribal practitioners for treatment of 14 ailments, and 15 plants used by Teli practitioners for treatment of 17 different. One plant, Withania somnifera, was found to be in common use by Pahan and Teli practitioners alike. The authors recommend extensive scientific research of this plant, along with Moringa oleifera, Vitex negundo, Mucuna pruriens, Curculigo orchioides and Cocculus hirsutus.

The authors note that both Pahan and Teli traditional medicinal practices may have been influenced to some extent by Ayurvedic medicine.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

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