Ethnomedicinal and ecological status of plants in Garhwal Himalaya, IndiaMunesh Kumar, Mehraj A Sheikh and Rainer W Bussmann
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed
2011 Oct 19;7:32
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3212913
Researchers from HNB Garhwal University and Missouri Botanical Garden interviewed older, experienced men and women of Garhwal Himalaya in the state of Uttarakhand, India, about their use of ethnomedicinal plants and cataloged 57 species across the different climatic regions, including 14 tree species, 10 shrub species, and 33 herb species.
The plants were used to treat various ailments, including diarrhea, dysentery, bronchitis, menstrual disorders, gonorrhea, pulmonary affections, migraines and leprosy.
From the Results and Discussion:
“Ethnobotany is not new to India with over 400 different tribal and other ethnic groups. Ethnobotanical information on medicinal plants and their uses by indigenous cultures is useful not only for the conservation of traditional knowledge and biodiversity, but also to promote community health care, and might serve in drug development. The information can provide a guide for drug development, assuming that a plant that has been used by indigenous people over a long period of time may well have an allopathic application.”
Dominant species included Acacia catechu, Quercus leucotrichophora, Adhatoda vasica, Rhus parviflora, Sida cordifolia and Vernonia anthelmintica.
With rapidly growing demand for these medicinal plants, however, most of these plant populations have been depleted. The authors recommend that attention be given to the conservation of medicinal plants in Garhwal Himalaya to ensure their long-term availability to the local inhabitants, and that more data be collected on the use of individual species of ethnomedicinal plants to provide an in-depth assessment of the plants’ availability and to design conservation strategies to protect individual species.
Read the complete article at PubMed.
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