An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in Terai forest of western NepalAnant Gopal Singh, Akhilesh Kumar & Divya Darshan Tewari
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed
2012 May 16;8:19
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3473258
Researchers from Tribhuvan University, CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, and Maharani Lal Kunwari Post Graduate College documented indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants by the inhabitants of Terai forest in Western Nepal. Using questionnaire, personal interview and group discussion with pre-identified informants, the team identified 66 medicinal plant species used to treat various diseases and ailments grouped under 11 disease categories, with the highest number of species being used for gastrointestinal disorders, followed by dermatological disorders.
From the Background:
“We selected Terai forest of Rupandehi district and adjoining areas for ethnomedicinal investigation because this area is very rich in phytodiversity and tribal population. Besides other usages of plants the practice of oral tradition for healthcare management of human and domesticated animals using herbal medicines is still prevalent among the inhabitants of the area. They have enormous knowledge about medicinal uses of plants and this knowledge is mostly undocumented and transmitted orally from generation to generation. Recently due to unplanned developmental programs, increasing modern healthcare facilities and impact of modern civilization in this area, natural resource as well as traditional knowledge and tribal cultures are depleting rapidly at an alarming rate. Therefore, it is urgent to explore and document this unique and indigenous, traditional knowledge of the tribal community, before it diminishes with the knowledgeable persons. Further, documentation of indigenous and traditional knowledge is very important for future critical studies leading to sustainable utilization of natural resource and to face the challenges of bio-piracy and patenting indigenous and traditional knowledge by others. Besides, to the best of our knowledge no ethnobotanical work has been carried out in this area.”
The authors report, for the first time in Nepal and adjoining areas of India, new medicinal uses of Acacia catechu, Acalypha indica, Achyranthes aspera, Aegle marmelos, Aloe vera, Artemisia indica, Bauhinia variegata, Bombax ceiba, Calotropisgigantea, Carica papaya, Citrus limon, Colocasia esculenta, Coriandrum sativum, Curcuma amada, Cuscuta reflexa, Cynodon dactylon, Dalbergia sissoo, Datura metel, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Dioscorea pentaphylla, Ficus benghalensis, Gloriosa superba, Ipomoea aquatica, Ipomoea batatas, Ipomoea carnea Jacq. ssp. fistulosa, Lagenaria siceraria, Lepidium sativum, Linum usitatissimum, Malva parviflora, Mentha spicata, Mimosa pudica, Mucuna pruriens, Phragmites vallatoria, Polygonum barbatum, Rauvolfia serpentina, Ricinus communis Shorea robusta, Solanum nigrum, Terminalia chebula and Tribulus terrestris.
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