Tag Archives: ethnobotany

Ethnobotany, Climate Change & Conservation Strategies in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada del Cocuy-Güicán

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Ethnobotany of the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy-Güicán: climate change and conservation strategies in the Colombian Andes

Rodríguez MA, Angueyra A, Cleef AM, Van Andel T
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2018 May 5;14(1):34
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5935911

Ritacuba Blanco, Parque Natural Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Chita o Guican
Ritacuba Blanco, Parque Natural Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, Chita o Guican [Photo: Martin Roca, Wikimedia Commons]
Investigators at Leiden University, Universidad de los Andes, University of Amsterdam, Wageningen University, and Naturalis Biodiversity Center conducted an ethnobotanical inventory among local farmer communities in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy-Güicán in the Colombian Andes in an effort to determine the effects of vegetation change on the availability of useful plants in the face of expanding agriculture, deforestation, tourism, and climate change.

Writing in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, the authors note the importance of research to better understand the effect of climate change on human-vegetation dynamics:

“Climate change affects altitudinal plant distribution in high-elevation tropical mountains. Perceptions on climate change in mountain ecosystems indicate that local people can give relevant insights about climate change dynamics as they are narrowly acquainted with its surroundings. From an ethnobotanical approach, climate change affects human-vegetation dynamics, like altering the patterns of planting and harvesting in the Himalayas, disrupting traditional plant practices in British Columbia, and affecting the diversity of useful flora in alpine ecosystems, and therefore threatening the traditional knowledge associated with these plants. These studies stress the need to consider local people’s perspectives to reduce the impacts of climate warming. Changes in plant diversity as a consequence of climate processes show alarming effects on plant population over time. Predictions on the effects of climate warming in the Andean ecosystems include displacement, adaptations (physiological changes), and local extinction of plant communities. Ethnobotanical research in Andean mountain ecosystems have mostly focused on medicinal plant use by local communities. Research on non-medicinal plants of importance for the inhabitants of high altitude zones, or on local perceptions on the decline of useful plants related to climate change are lacking.”

The team worked with local farmer communities to record the ethnoflora of the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy-Güicán, which has been protected as a Colombian national natural park since 1977 because of its fragile páramo (high altitude tropical wetland) ecosystems, extraordinary biodiversity, high plant endemism, and function as water reservoir.

In interviews, they posed the following questions:

  • What are the plant species used by the campesinos?
  • At what altitudes do they collect useful plants?
  • What is the proportion of native versus introduced species?
  • Have the campesinos noticed a reduction in plant availability?
  • Could potentially declining plant resources be associated with climate change?

They also walked into the field and along existing mountain trails with staff from the national park and local farmers to collect useful plant specimens, documenting 174 useful plants, 68 percent native to the area and 32 percent introduced.

The farmers noted a reduction of native and especially medicinal plant resources accessible to them, with species like Niphogeton dissecta being more difficult to find, having shifted to higher altitudes, possibly due to climate change. (Temperatures have increased 2 °C in the national park in less than four decades.)

In their conclusion, the authors stress the vital importance of placing local people as key actors to help prevent or at least mollify the degradation of the páramos and their cultural plant legacy:

“This study confirms the concern among local farmers about the melting snow, so it is crucial to include people’s perceptions on climate change to design effective conservation policies. During our workshops, we noticed that local farmers worried about the preservation of their natural resources. Local concerns can be solved with the implementation of environmental policies and active participation that take into account the local population needs. Courses on environmental conservation for local farmers are highly relevant, especially for those who are directly involved in the tourist business. Employees from the NNP-Cocuy, specialists on plant resources management and local people should work together to develop conservational strategies towards sustainable tourism and practices and accomplish the policies that were implemented since the opening of the NNP-Cocuy, such as obligatory-guided heritage tours, limited number of tourists, and no garbage disposal in the environment.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Plants Used by Saraguro Community Healers in Ecuador

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Ethnobotany of Indigenous Saraguros: Medicinal Plants Used by Community Healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, Southern Ecuador

Andrade JM, Lucero Mosquera H, Armijos C
Biomed Res Int. Epub 2017 Jul 4
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5514338

Investigators at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) conducted an ethnobotanical survey of the use of medicinal plants by community healers known as Hampiyachakkuna by the indigenous Saraguro people living in San Lucas Parish, Loja Province, Ecuador.

Writing in Biomed Research International, the authors note that this ethnobotanical knowledge is endangered by cultural changes:

“The community of healers locally known as ‘Hampiyachakkuna’ maintains the ancient medical treatments of the Saraguros. The ‘Yachak’ or ‘Hampi yachakkuna’ is the person who knows the curative properties of plants, animals, and/or minerals. Under the Andean cosmovision of the Saraguros ethnical group, the diseases they treat are thought to be produced by either cold or heat. As such, their natural medicines are classified as hot and fresh; and depending on the nature of the patient’s condition, different plants are selected for the treatment in accordance with this classification. However, although the knowledge regarding the usage of plants for medicinal practices has been transmitted orally from generation to generation, the Saraguros are experimenting cultural changes that threaten the preservation of their ancestral knowledge. These cultural changes lead to negative consequences such as the loss of traditional knowledge, a decline in the use of natural resources, and changes in the patterns of food intake, medical treatment, and, furthermore, their cosmovision. For these reasons, there is an urgent need to document and preserve their invaluable knowledge.”

Working with four healers from the Saraguro community – a Wachakhampiyachak (midwife), a Yurakhampiyachak (herbalist), a Kakuyhampiyachak (bone-healer), and a Rikuyhampiyachak (visionary) – the team documented 183 plant species used in 75 different curative therapies. Uses included mythological treatments, nervous system treatments, cold treatments, infection treatments, general malaise treatments, and inflammatory treatments of the liver and kidneys.

Siphocampylus scandens
Siphocampylus scandens [Photo: Dick Culbert, Wikimedia Commons]
Endemic medicinal species identified included Achyrocline hallii, Ageratina dendroides, Bejaria subsessilis, Brachyotum scandens, Dendrophthora fastigiata, Diplostephium juniperinum, Diplostephium oblanceolatum, Fuchsia hypoleuca, Huperzia austroecuadorica, Lepechinia paniculata, Phoradendron parietarioides, Siphocampylus scandens, and Salvia leucocephala. Most of the endemic plants in the group were determined to be in danger, threatened, or vulnerable.

The study was conducted under a technical and scientific collaborative effort of the UTPL, the Dirección Provincial de Salud de Loja, and the Consejo de Sanadores de Saraguro “with the objective of recognizing and recovering the traditional knowledge of herbal medicinal resources used by the Saraguro community”:

“Because of the increasing recognition of the importance of the different medicinal species used by the Saraguros and in an effort to preserve their knowledge, in this work we seek to contribute to the conservation strategy on the sustainable uses of the Ecuadorian medicinal biodiversity. The latter is considered a fundamental step in order to raise awareness of its cultural value and the importance of its preservation. By doing that, we intended to safeguard the popular knowledge concerning natural medicinal plants and to provide a baseline for future actions regarding scientific research programs, environmental education, social awareness, and sustainable natural resources exploitation…. The results of this research also aim at becoming a starting point to attract the attention of national and international tourists, in order to promote a self-sustaining development of the Saraguro community.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Ethnomedicinal Plants Used by Traditional Healers of Three Indigenous Communities in the Bandarban District of Bangladesh

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Quantitative Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by Indigenous Communities in the Bandarban District of Bangladesh

Faruque MO, Uddin SB, Barlow JW, Hu S, Dong S, Cai Q, Li X, Hu X
Front Pharmacol. 2018 Feb 6;9:40
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5808248

Investigators at Huazhong Agricultural University, University of Chittagong, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Hubei Cancer Hospital documented information on ethnomedicinal plants used by traditional healers of three indigenous communities in the Bandarban, a hilly, primarily agricultural district in southeastern Bangladesh.

The team chose three Bandarban district upazilas (administration regions) for the study (Naikhyonchari, Rowangchari, and Ruma) as their distance from cities make them some of the most remote areas of Bangladesh. Of the twelve indigenous communities, three (Chakma, Marma, and Tripura) are reported to employ ethnomedicinal herbal practices particularly heavily and were asked to participate in the interviews.

A total of 159 ethnomedicinal plant species, 128 of them native, were reported to be useful for therapeutic purposes including the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, as a sedative, for anti-tumor, anti-allergic, or carminative activity, for coughs and colds, and for boils and other skin ailments.

Congea tomentosa
Congea tomentosa [photo: Forest & Kim Starr, Wikimedia Commons]
The five most commonly used ethnomedicinal plant species were Duabanga grandiflora, Zingiber officinale, Congea tomentosa, Matricaria chamomilla, and Engelhardtia spicata. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, seven of the species documented in the study have never before been ethnobotanically and pharmacologically studied in Western scientific literature: Agastache urticifolia, Asarum cordifolium, Congea tomentosa, Engelhardia spicata, Hypserpa nitida, Merremia vitifolia, and Smilax odoratissima.

In their conclusion, the authors recommend a closer look at C. tomentosa and E. spicata in particular:

The present study showed that traditional treatment systems using medicinal plants is still prevalent in the studied areas, and it underlines the importance in the documentation of traditional ethnomedicinal knowledge before losing this diverse resource. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative ethnomedicinal study in the study area indicating UV, ICF, FC, RFC, RI, and JI indices. The present study records new ethnomedicinal species with their therapeutic uses, which can potentially lead to the development of new therapies and may represent novel bioresources for phytochemical and pharmacological studies, notably C. tomentosa and E. spicata, which have claimed anticancer effects by the healers of all studied indigenous communities in the study area.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Wild Vegetables of Sicily

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The wild taxa utilized as vegetables in Sicily (Italy): a traditional component of the Mediterranean diet

Geraci A, Amato F, Di Noto G, Bazan G, Schicchi R
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2018 Feb 14;14(1):14
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5813353

Investigators at Università degli Studi di Palermo, ARPA Sicilia, and Dipartimento Regionale dello Sviluppo Rurale e Territoriale – Regione Siciliana conducted an ethnobotanical field investigation to identify wild native species traditionally gathered and consumed as vegetables in Sicily and highlight new culinary uses of those plants.

From the introduction:

“Wild vegetables play a very important role in the diet of the people living in Sicily, an island located in the middle of the Mediterranean region. In the past, people used to go almost daily, especially during the winter and spring, to the countryside and the margins of cultivated fields and woods, looking for wild vegetables to eat. This alimentary habit derived substantially from the situation of poverty in which most of the rural and urban population lived. In the last 40 years, the eating habits of Sicilian people, like those of other populations living in Western countries, have greatly changed, and wild vegetable flavors are almost unknown to young people. The elderly and those who still have strong links with the country follow a strictly Mediterranean-style diet instead. They know the best gathering seasons for the wild vegetables, and they are able to recognize and cook them according to established traditional practices. In recent years, several studies on wild food plants have been carried out to preserve the traditional knowledge linked to their use in Sicily.”

Umbilicus rupestris
Umbilicus rupestris [Photo: sannse, Wikimedia Commons]
The team interviewed 980 people over the age of fifty — mainly farmers, shepherds, and experts on local traditions — in 187 towns and villages. They documented 253 species of wild vegetables, 72 of them eaten only in Sicily and 26 cited in this paper for the first time. Several so-called “ancient vegetables” were also included (Onopordum illyricum, Centaurea calcitrapa, Nasturtium officinale, Scolymus spp., Smyrnium rotundifolium). At least two species of wild vegetables, Umbilicus rupestris and Umbilicus horizontalis, are also known for uses in traditional medicine.

In their conclusion, the authors make an eloquent and compelling argument for conservation of these useful plants, and knowledge about them, as they are “healthy and authentic ingredients for local and ancient recipes” that are “fundamental to the revitalization of quality food strictly connected to traditional agroecosystems.”

“Wild vegetables, with the traditions, customs, and practices surrounding them, are a part of the Sicilian cultural heritage, which unfortunately every day is at risk of disappearing under the pressure of globalization. This situation may, in a few decades, lead to the loss of the knowledge acquired throughout the centuries by generations of farmers, herders, foresters and other people who lived closely together with nature. Such a loss would be very heavy because it would deprive the population of a food source of considerable interest from a qualitative point of view. Non-cultivated vegetables are rich in nutritional components that are often present in smaller quantities in species of cultivated varieties, which are selected for their high manufacturing yields. In times of possible food shortages, the population would no longer be able to identify the food resources available.

“In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in non-cultivated vegetables, for both cognitive and consumption reasons, because of the growing demand for healthy foods related to a specific territory that is connected to identity. Wild vegetables are, in fact, the best ambassadors of the site in which they live. They are able to please tourists through the many local culinary preparations, expressing a solid and layered cultural tradition. The latter represents the real added value of a raw material that is obtained in an environment unique in its biological characteristics, soil, climate, and history, and which can be considered as the most expressive and symbolic cradle of the Mediterranean diet.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Uses of Wild Food Plants in Italy’s Middle Agri Valley

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Ethnobotanical survey of wild food plants traditionally collected and consumed in the Middle Agri Valley (Basilicata region, southern Italy)

Sansanelli S, Ferri M, Salinitro M, Tassoni A
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017 Sep 6;13(1):50
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5586000

Investigators from the University of Bologna conducted an ethnobotanical survey in a scarcely populated area of Italy’s Middle Agri Valley to record local knowledge of the traditional uses of wild food plants, and to collect information regarding the medicinal uses related to these plants.

Asparagus acutifolius
Asparagus acutifolius [photo: Hectonichus, Wikimedia Commons]
Working with local informants, the team identified six species of wild food plants that were also noted for their therapeutic value: Asparagus acutifolius (kidney wellbeing), Cichorium intybus (liver wellbeing), Foeniculum vulgare (digestion), Glycyrrhiza glabra (feet sweating), Leopoldia comosa (soothing of burning eyes), and Sambucus nigra (stomachache).

The authors noted a relative paucity of reported medicinal properties of wild food plants in the region, which they attributed to a possible loss of ethnomedicinal knowledge:

“Some plant species previously reported … as phytoremedies, such as Laurus nobilis and Origanum vulgare, were also mentioned by the informants but only to be used as food and without any relation to possible therapeutic properties, indicating the loss of such knowledge over the years. This pattern was also confirmed by comparing the present results with other studies carried out few years ago in Basilicata region both among Italians and Arbëreshë communities. In particular, many species mentioned in the present research as having only food use, were previously indicated as also showing a medicinal application such as A. rusticana (anti-rheumatic), C. vitalba (heal mouth inflammation), C. cardunculus (anti-rheumatic, digestive), L. nobilis, F. carica, G. glabra, M. domestica and Z. jujuba (heal sore-throat), Rubus spp. and P. spinosa (hepato-protective), S. marianum (laxative), S. oleraceus (anti-gastritis), P. rhoeas (mild sedative)…. In addition, some species that have a well-known medicinal use in other parts of Italy, were not mentioned as having particular therapeutic effects in the Midlle Agri Valley. In particular, no medicinal properties were reported for Urtica spp., which in many other studies in Italy and abroad is known both as food and for medical use (refreshing, against kidney problems and for arthritis), and for Taraxacum officinale Weber and Sonchus spp., that have previously been defined as medicinal foods with both high nutritional values and depurative, blood cleaning and refreshing effects.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Plants Used by Balti People in Pakistan’s Shigar Valley

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Medicinal plants used by inhabitants of the Shigar Valley, Baltistan region of Karakorum range-Pakistan

Abbas Z, Khan SM, Alam J, Khan SW, Abbasi AM
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017 Sep 25;13(1):53
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5613401

Skardu, Shigar Valley, Pakistan
Skardu, Shigar Valley, Pakistan [Photo: Rizwan Saeed, Wikimedia Commons]
Investigators at Hazara University, Quaid-i-Azam University, Karakoram International University, and COMSATS conducted an ethnobotanical study to document medicinal uses of plant species by the inhabitants of the Shigar Valley in the Karakorum Range of Northern Pakistan. This is the first such study in the region, which is home to ethnic Balti people of Tibetan descent:

“Baltistan is an archetypal mountainous region of the Northern Pakistan with average altitude of 3555 m above sea level. Historically, it has often been referred as “Western Tibet” or ‘Little Tibet’. The territories of the Baltistan region lie sparsely at acclivities and in deep mountains of Karakorum and Himalaya with unique landscape, climate, flora and fauna. However, remoteness, difficult access and inadequate funding may be the major handicaps to conduct field survey in these areas. Only few workers have conducted ethnobotanical survey in some parts of Northern Pakistan. Therefore, very limited ethno-botanical literature is available in the region. Shigar valley is located in the Karakorum Ranges, and is the home of various peaks (including K2), glaciers and hot springs, which have always been the most preferred tracking places for visitors across the country and abroad. Ethno-botany is a recently introduced and rapidly flourishing field in this region, and is gaining adequate attention by researchers. Although, various ethnobotanical surveys have be conducted in different parts of Pakistan. However, Northern parts of country are still poorly explored. Therefore, present survey aimed to provide the first inventory on ethno-pharmacological application of medicinal plant species used by the inhabitants of Balti community of Shigar valley, Karakorum Mountains-Pakistan.”

Allium carolinianum
Allium carolinianum [Photo: Sherpaworld, Wikimedia Commons]
Working with local respondents, the team identified 84 medicinal plant species used primarily to treat abdominal, respiratory, and skin ailments. Commonly used plants included Allium carolinianum, Hippophe rhamnoides, Tanacetum falconeri, and Thymus linearis. Roughly a quarter of the species were identified for medicinal uses for the first time and included Aconitum violoceum, Arnebia guttata, Biebersteinia odora, Clematis alpina, Corydalis adiantifolia, Hedysarum falconeri, and Saussurea simpsoniana.

The authors found the results to be significant for scientific purposes, as well as for conservation and cultural/economic development:

“Present study illustrated diverse medicinal flora in the territories of Gilgit-Baltistan mountains. The exclusive alliance of medicinal plants, mountain restricted distribution and high level disagreement in traditional uses corroborate the significance of this study. Being the first inventory on medicinal flora of Shigar valley, present study offers baseline data for researchers, particularly interested in high mountains phyto-diversity and related traditional knowledge. The sub-alpine species in environs are practicable for conservation and cultivation. The abundance of medicinal plant species in the study area could enhance the economic status of local communities by marketing and sustainable utilization. Local inhabitants can make their home gardens or micro park system of medicinally important species on their own land.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Plants Used as Insect Repellents in Malaria-Endemic Localities of Cameroon

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Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used as insects repellents in six malaria endemic localities of Cameroon

Youmsi RDF, Fokou PVT, Menkem EZ, Bakarnga-Via I, Keumoe R, Nana V, Boyom FF
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017 Jun 8;13(1):3
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5465592

Investigators from the University of Yaoundé, University of Adam Barka-Abeche, and National Herbarium of Cameroon conducted an ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used as insect repellents in six malaria-endemic localities of Cameroon: Lolodorf, Bipindi, Kribi-Londji, Dimako, Kon-Yambetta, and Mbouda (Babete). The inhabitants of these regions include Bagyeli, Bakola, and Baka pygmies, among others.

Citrus limon
Citrus limon [Photo: WAH]
Working with 182 local informants, the team identified 16 plant species commonly used as insect repellents, including Canarium schweinfurthii, Chromolaena odorata, Citrus limon, and Elaeis guineensis. Important modes of administration included plants burnt to produce smoke inside the house (50%), smashed for topical application (31%), and hung inside the house (19%).

The authors concluded that the results have baseline potential for further scientific investigation of plant-based mosquito repellents, while urging caution regarding the use of one plant, Erythrophleum ivorense:

“[T]he insecticidal activity of the bark extract of Erythrophleum ivorense was previously reported in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Besides, Erythrophleum ivorense is resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. This denotes repellency/insecticidal properties that might be explained by the presence of pharmacologically active alkaloids in the bark and seed such as cassaine, cassaidine and erythrophleguine. However, it should be noted that high doses of the bark extract are extremely strong, rapid-acting cardiac poison in warm-blooded animals causing shortness of breath, seizures and cardiac arrest in a few minutes. Furthermore, the seeds are reported to be more toxic due to a strong haemolytic saponin which acts synergistically with the alkaloids. Fresh bark of this plant was reported to be burnt by Mbamda (Bafia) people to repel in-house mosquitoes. Given the presence of toxic alkaloids in the bark, the resulting smokes are highly likely to be equally poisonous to insects and human, stressing the fact that it should be used with caution or simply discontinued.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Ethnobotanical Use of Medicinal Plants in Sheikhupura District, Punjab, Pakistan

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An ethnopharmacological evaluation of Navapind and Shahpur Virkanin district Sheikupura, Pakistan for their herbal medicines

Zahoor M, Yousaf Z, Aqsa T, Haroon M, Saleh N, Aftab A, Javed S, Qadeer M, Ramazan H
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017 May 8;13(1):27
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5422909

Punjab Province, Pakistan
Punjab Province, Pakistan [Source: TUBS, Wikimedia Commons]
Investigators from the Lahore College for Women University conducted an ethnopharmacological survey to document the medicinal uses of wild plants in the villages of Nava Pind and Shahpur Virkanin in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab province in eastern Pakistan. This is the first quantitative ethnobotanical documentation of medicinal plants to be undertaken in the region.

“The village[s] NavaPind and ShahpurVirkan [of the] district Sheikhupura are floristically quite rich tropical regions of Punjab. Ethnobotanical study of this area has never been conducted. The climate of the area is subjected to extreme variations. Wheat, Rice and Sugarcane are the main cash crops. Guavas, Strawberries and Citrus are grown at a larger scale in this district. Literacy rate of the villages is very low. Generally it is observed that most men in these areas are engaged in unskilled labor, while women are self-employed in petty trade of agriculture especially in the collection and trade of wild food and medicinal plants. Mostly plants are used for many purposes like food, shelter and therapeutic agents. However, lack of scientific knowledge about the useable parts, proper time of collection and wasteful methods of collection lead to mismanagement of these plants. So, the indigenous knowledge is going to be depleted. Hence ethnobotanical survey is planned for NavaPind and ShahpurVirkan district Sheikhupura, province Punjab to document the traditional uses of medicinal plants in the area before the information is lost.”

Ocimum sanctum
Ocimum sanctum [Photo: WAH]
Working with indigenous local informants, the team identified 96 plant species used for medicinal purposes, including 12 species that had not been previously reported for medicinal properties: Allium roylei, Asthenatherum forkalii, Carthamus tinctorius, Conyza erigeron, Digitaria ciliaris, Digitaria nodosa, Jasminum nudiflorum, Malva verticillata, Melilotus indica [Melilotus indicus], Ocimum sanctum, Schoenoplectus supinus, and Tetrapogon tenellus. Therapeutic applications included abdominal pain, respiratory disorder, cholera, and use as a skin tonic, among others.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Wild Plants Used for Food and Healing in a Small Village in Belarus

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Multi-functionality of the few: current and past uses of wild plants for food and healing in Liubań region, Belarus

Sõukand R, Hrynevich Y, Vasilyeva I, Prakofjewa J, Vnukovich Y, Paciupa J, Hlushko A, Knureva Y, Litvinava Y, Vyskvarka S, Silivonchyk H, Paulava A, Kõiva M, Kalle R
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017 Feb 8;13(1):10
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5299745

Investigators from the Estonian Literary Museum; the Center for Belarusian Culture, Language and Literature Research; Liubań District Culture Center; and the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts conducted an ethnobotanical survey to document current and past uses of wild plants in the Liubań region of Belarus for food and medication.

Writing in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, the authors examine the use of wild plants for food, human medicinal, and veterinary purposes in a small territory limited to one village council.

“Liubań district is located in the southeast of the Minsk Region. The town of Liubań is the centre of the district which includes the township of Urečča and 125 rural settlements. The northern part of the district is located on the Central Biarezina plain, while the southern part is within the Prypiać Paliessie. In the central part of the district the Aresa River (a left-bank tributary of the Prypiać) flows from north to south. Most areas of the Paliessie region have been drained. About 33% of the area is covered by forests (coniferous and mixed deciduous forest, as well as birch, oak and alder that also grow there). The area is mostly agricultural and specializes in meat and milk cattle breeding, pig breeding and potato cultivation.”

Plantago major
Plantago major [Photo: WAH]
Working with local residents, the team identified 74 plant species used for human medicinal purposes, including respiratory diseases, dermatological diseases, gastrointestinal ailments, and for general health. The most commonly cited medicinal plant species included Betula spp., Rubus idaeus, Vaccinium myrtillus, Chelidonium majus, Plantago major, Hypericum spp., Potentilla erecta, Tilia cordata, Arctium tomentosum, and Quercus robur.

Some people remarked that radiation had taken away all of the good qualities of wild plants in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.




The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Review of Traditional Medicinal Plants Used to Treat Malaria in Ethiopia

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Systematic review on traditional medicinal plants used for the treatment of malaria in Ethiopia: trends and perspectives

Alebie G, Urga B, Worku A
Malar J. 2017 Aug 1;16(1):307
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5540187

Investigators at Jigjiga University conducted a systematic web search analysis and review of research literature pertaining to medicinal plants used for traditional malaria treatment in Ethiopia.

Writing in Malaria Journal, the authors note that antimalarial ethnomedicinal research in Ethiopia remains limited:

“Despite the remarkable historic success of traditional medicinal practices and abundance of indigenous medicinal plant resources, anti-malarial ethno-pharmacological research in Ethiopia remains at primitive stage, with scope limited to evaluating crude extracts from various anti-malarial plants against Plasmodium berghei. A prominent gap is evident with regard to research geared towards identifying plant bioactive entities, and establishing the efficacy and safety of medical plants through in vitro assays using human Plasmodium parasites, in vivo assay involving higher animal models and randomized clinical trials. Absence of favourable medicinal plant research and development impedes optimum exploitation of potential economic benefits. Thus, despite holding one of the richest (diversity and quantity) resources in the continent, large-scale production and export of medicinal plants has remained limited in Ethiopia. Prevailing scenarios underscore a pressing need for enhancing pre-clinical and clinical research aimed at developing safe, effective and affordable alternative anti-malarial agents from indigenous plant resources. This requires collaborative engagement involving government bodies, researchers, traditional healers, and prospective business investors.”

Tamarindus indica
Tamarindus indica [Photo: WAH]
Collecting data from 82 studies identifying a total 200 different plant species used in traditional malaria treatments throughout Ethiopia, the team highlighted a rich diversity of indigenous medicinal plants commonly used for traditional treatment of malaria in Ethiopia. The most frequently cited species included Allium sativum, Carica papaya, Vernonia amygdalina, Croton macrostachyus, Lepidium sativum, Justicia schimperiana, Phytolacca dodecandra, Dodonaea angustifolia, Melia azedarach, Clerodendrum myricoides, Aloe sp., Azadirachta indica, Brucea antidysenteric, Calpurnia aurea, Eucalyptus globulus, Ajuga integrifolia, Carissa spinarum, Artemisia afra, Moringa stenopetala, Ruta chalepensis, Salvadora persica, and Tamarindus indica.

Decoction, concoction, eating/chewing, infusion, and pounding represented the most common methods of preparation. Some of the medicinal products were prepared from mixtures of two or more different plant species and various other additives were also used in some of the treatments:

“Additives were mostly used to moderate the power and/or improve the taste and enhance the efficacy and healing conditions of the remedy. This could possibly be attributed to synergistic effects of the mixtures that might contain a range of pharmacologically active compounds potentially augmenting the chance of the drug interacting with numerous, varied biological targets. Their interaction might influence selectivity, availability, absorption and displacement (distribution) of the remedy, and bioactivity, including enzyme activities. Thus, such traditional practices could provide the opportunity to understand drug interaction and mechanisms of actions, and pave the way to discovering lead structures for the development of novel anti-malarial drugs.”

Many of the species identified in the study have previously demonstrated promising antimalarial potential in preclinical and clinical investigations, among them Artemisia annua, Ajuga remota, Azadirachta indica, Argemone mexicana, Vernonia amygdalina, Asparagus africanus, Uvaria leptocladon, and Gossypium spp. In addition, promising candidate antimalarial compounds have been identified from some of the plants.

In their conclusion, the authors recommend coordinated multidisciplinary research to further develop the therapeutic potential of anti-malarial compounds from plant species used for the treatment of malaria in Ethiopia:

“Ethno-medicinal research on distribution and usage pattern of anti-malarial plants shows substantial variability across a spectrum of geographic and social strata in the country. Baseline information gaps are evident in key geographic settings, such as the Beshangul Gumuz and Gambella regions. Divergent preparation and use patterns of anti-malarial herbal remedies, as well as associated toxicity risks and countermeasures, generally demand deeper, exhaustive investigations. Experimental research and advanced chemical analysis are required to identify and validate the therapeutic potential of anti-malarial chemical compounds from promising plant species, with due consideration to efficacy and safety issues. Sustainable development and exploitation of indigenous medicinal plant resources entails coordinated multidisciplinary research programmes that give due credit to traditional practitioners and engage with commercial investors.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.




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