Wild Edible Plants of Nepal


Diversity of use and local knowledge of wild edible plant resources in Nepal

Yadav Uprety, Ram C Poudel, Krishna K Shrestha, Sangeeta Rajbhandary, Narandra N Tiwari, Uttam B Shrestha, Hugo Asselin
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed
2012 Apr 30;8:16
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3448512
Nepal (Source: Wikimedia Commons user Shahid Parvez, Based on a file by en:User:Ssolbergj)

Researchers from the Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal, Tribhuvan University, and Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue used focus group discussions and key informant interviews to document 81 species of wild edible plants including Angiosperms (74), Pteridophytes (5), and Fungi (2).

Priority edible plant species included Aegle marmelos, Asparagus racemosus, Buchanania latifolia, Dioscorea deltoidea, Diplazium esculentum, Murraya koenigii, Phyllanthus emblica, Piper longum, Syzygium cumini and Zizyphus mauritiana.

Aegle marmelos
Aegle marmelos (Source: Wikimedia Commons User: J.M.Garg)

Besides their value as food, nearly half (47%) of the species were reported to have additional use(s). Among them, 19 species (24%) were also used as medicine.

Of particular interest, the authors found that “young people who spend most of the time in the forest as herdsmen are particularly knowledgeable of wild fruit plants.”

From the Conclusion:

“We provide empirical evidence from a relatively large area of Nepal about diversity and status of WEP [wild edible plants], as well as methodological insights about the proper knowledge holders to consult. Regarding the unique and important knowledge they have on WEP, young people should be included when recruiting participants to ethnobotanical studies or to any type of consultation about WEP. The habit of using wild edible plants is still alive and is a traditional culinary practice that demonstrates rich traditional knowledge of local people. WEP were found to be important for livelihood as well as showing great potential for crop improvement. Priority species should be promoted for income generation activities through sustainable collection and trade. Communities should engage in minimizing the threats to these valuable resources.”

Read the complete article at PubMed.

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