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Ancient Science of Life  1996;15(3):230-237.
The paper reports the ethnomedicinal uses of 32 plants by the tribals of Narayanapatna area of koraput district, Orissa. Besides, uses of other plants or plant products are also dealt, with. Distribution of plants in the area, their field numbers, local and oriya names are appended.
PMCID: PMC3331211  PMID: 22556748
2.  Persistent foci of falciparum malaria among tribes over two decades in Koraput district of Odisha State, India 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:72.
Koraput, a predominantly tribe-inhabited and one of the highly endemic districts of Odisha State that contributes a substantial number of malaria cases to the India’s total. Control of malaria in such districts would contribute to change the national scenario on malaria situation. Hence, a study was carried out to measure the magnitude of malaria prevalence in the district to strengthen the malaria control activities.
Prevalence of malaria was assessed through a sample blood survey (SBS) in seven randomly selected community health centres (CHCs). Individuals of all age groups in the villages selected (one in each subcentre) were screened for malaria infection. Both thick and thin smears were prepared from blood samples collected by finger prick, stained and examined for malaria parasites searching 100 fields in each smear. The results of a blood survey (n = 10,733) carried out, as a part of another study, during 1986–87 covering a population of 17,722 spread in 37 villages of Koraput district were compared with the current survey results. Software SPSS version 16.0 was used for data analysis.
During the current study, blood survey was done in 135 villages screening 12,045 individuals (16.1% of the total population) and among them, 1,983 (16.5%) were found positive for malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum was the major malaria parasite species accounted for 89.1% (1,767) of the total positives; Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae accounted for 9.3% (184) and 0.2% (5), respectively. Gametocytes were found in 7.7% (n = 152) of the positive cases. The majority of parasite carriers (78.9%) were afebrile. The 1986–87 blood survey showed that of 10,733 people screened, 833 (7.8%) were positive for malaria parasites, 714 (85.7%) with P. falciparum, 86 (10.3%) with P. vivax, 12 (1.4%) with P. malariae and 21 (2.5%) with mixed infections.
The results of the current study indicated a rising trend in transmission of malaria in Koraput district compared to the situation during 1986–87 and indicated the necessity for a focused and reinforced approach for the control of the disease by improving people’s access to diagnosis and treatment and ensuring implementation of the intervention measures with adequate coverage and compliance.
PMCID: PMC3598688  PMID: 23433186
Plasmodium falciparum; Koraput; Odisha; India
Ancient Science of Life  1988;8(1):60-67.
The paper presents the ethnomedicinal use of 35 plants by the tribals of Koraput district to cure 25 diseases they suffer from. Apart from this, a note on the vegetation pattern, tribal population and geography of the district is given here.
PMCID: PMC3331344  PMID: 22557632
4.  Prediction of outcome of severe falciparum malaria in Koraput, Odisha, India: A hospital-based study 
Tropical Parasitology  2014;4(2):105-110.
Background and Objectives:
Infection with Plasmodium falciparum, caused 627,000 deaths in 2012 in the world. P. falciparum infection causes myriads of clinical manifestations. Exact clinical manifestation resulting in poor prognosis in hyper-endemic epidemiological settings need to be ascertained to save human lives. A hospital-based study was conducted to elucidate the different severe clinical presentations of falciparum malaria and to examine the critical clinical and laboratory parameters on the prognosis of these severe manifestations in a stable hyper-endemic falciparum area in the state of Odisha, India.
Materials and Methods:
Consecutive patients admitted in a tertiary care hospital with severe manifestations of malaria as per WHO criteria and confirmed by parasitological examination were included in the study. A detailed clinical and biochemical parameters were examined. Clinical data were reviewed before being double entered into a computer and analyzed. Statistical analyses were carried out using Epi Info 6.04. Continuous and normal distributed data were compared by two-tailed Student's t-test and proportions compared with χ2 tests with Yates’ correction or Fisher's exact test.
Results and Discussion:
A total of 1320 patients with clinical malaria, diagnosed at outpatients’ department were admitted in the hospital during the 1 year study period of which, 292 (22.1%) were children under 14 years of age. The major clinical categories on admission were hyperpyrexia (70.7%), cerebral malaria (9.4%), malarial anemia (7.7%), algid malaria (1.5%), and malaria associated categories were respiratory infection (2.2%), hepatitis (2.0%), urinary tract infection (1.8%), enteric fever (3.3%), and sickle cell disease (1.2%). The overall case fatality rate (CFR) was 4.3 (57/1320). The CFR in children 12.3 (36/292) was significantly higher when compared to adults, that is, 2.0 (21/1028). The major causes of death were cerebral malaria (45.6%), malaria along with a respiratory infection (19.3%) and anemia (10.5%). Malarial anemia along sickle cell disease accounted for 19.3% of all malaria related deaths. Proportion of mortality due to acute renal failure was higher in adults. Biochemical parameters suggest involvement of multiple organs. The findings suggest that the area can be effectively managed by sustained and continuous preventive and curative efforts.
PMCID: PMC4166794  PMID: 25250231
Falciparum malaria; severity; prediction; outcome
5.  Ethnobotanical investigations among tribes in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu (India) 
An ethnobotanical survey was carried out to collect information on the use of medicinal plants in Southern Western Ghats of India (Madurai district, Tamil Nadu). Information presented in this paper was gathered from the paliyar tribes using an integrated approach of botanical collections, group discussions and interviews with questionnaires in the years 1998 – 1999. The informants interviewed were 12 among whom 4 were tribal practitioners.
A total of 60 ethnomedicinal plant species distributed in 32 families are documented in this study. The medicinal plants used by paliyars are listed with Latin name, family, local name, parts used, mode of preparation and medicinal uses. Generally, fresh part of the plant was used for the preparation of medicine.
We observed that the documented ethnomedicinal plants were mostly used to cure skin diseases, poison bites, stomachache and nervous disorders. The results of this study showed that these tribal people still depend on medicinal plants in Madurai district forest areas.
PMCID: PMC1475842  PMID: 16689985
6.  Wild plant folk nomenclature of the Mongol herdsmen in the Arhorchin national nature reserve, Inner Mongolia, PR China 
Folk names of plants are the root of traditional plant biodiversity knowledge. In pace with social change and economic development, Mongolian knowledge concerning plant diversity is gradually vanishing. Collection and analysis of Mongolian folk names of plants is extremely important. During 2008 to 2012, the authors have been to the Arhorchin National Nature Reserve area 5 times. Fieldwork was done in 13 villages, with 56 local Mongol herdsmen being interviewed. This report documents plant folk names, analyzes the relationship between folk names and scientific names, looks at the structure and special characteristics of folk names, plant use information, and comparative analysis were also improved.
Ethnobotanical interviewing methods of free-listing and open-ended questionnaires were used. Ethnobotanical interview and voucher specimen collection were carried out in two ways as local plant specimens were collected beforehand and then used in interviews, and local Mongol herdsmen were invited to the field and interviewed while collecting voucher specimens. Mongolian oral language was used as the working language and findings were originally recorded in Mongolian written language. Scientific names of plants are defined through collection and identification of voucher specimens by the methods of plant taxonomy.
A total of 146 folk names of local plants are recorded. Plant folk names corresponded with 111 species, 1 subspecies, 7 varieties, 1 form, which belong to 42 families and 88 genera. The correspondence between plant folk names and scientific names may be classified as one to one correspondence, two or three to one correspondence, and one to multitude correspondence. The structure of folk names were classified as primary names, secondary names and borrowed names. There were 12 folk names that contain animal names and they have correspondence with 15 species. There are nine folk names that contain usage information and they have correspondence with 10 species in which five species and one variety of plant are still used by the local people. The results of comparative analysis on the Mongol herdsmen in the Arhorchin National Nature Reserve and the Mongolians in the Ejina desert area shows that there are some similarities, as well as many differences whether in language or in the structure.
In the corresponding rate between plant folk names and scientific names yielded a computational correspondence of 82.19%, which can be considered as a high level of consistency between scientific knowledge and traditional knowledge in botanical nomenclature. Primary names have most cultural significance in the plant folk names. Special characteristic of plant folk names were focused on the physical characteristics of animals which were closely related to their traditional animal husbandry and environment. Plant folk names are not only a code to distinguish between different plant species, but also a kind of culture rich in a deep knowledge concerning nature. The results of comparative analysis shows that Mongolian culture in terms of plant nomenclature have characteristics of diversity between the different regions and different tribes.
PMCID: PMC3649933  PMID: 23628479
Wild plants; The Mongol herdsmen; Folk nomenclature; Arhorchin National Nature Reserve; Inner Mongolia
Ancient Science of Life  1995;14(3):191-196.
This paper deals with the ethnobotanical observations of the tribals of Koraput district of Orissa. About 49 species of plants and their mode of usage are mentioned.
PMCID: PMC3331241  PMID: 22556698
8.  Uses of Local Plant Biodiversity among the Tribal Communities of Pangi Valley of District Chamba in Cold Desert Himalaya, India 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:753289.
Pangi Valley is the interior most tribal area in Himachal Pradesh of Northwest Himalaya. An ethnobotanical investigation is attempted to highlight the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants being used by the tribes of Pangi Valley. Various localities visited in the valley 2-3 times in a year and ethnobotanical information was collected through interviews with elderly people, women, shepherds, and local vaids during May 2009 to September 2013. This paper documented 67 plant species from 59 genera and 36 families along with their botanical name, local name, family name, habit, medicinal parts used, and traditional usage, including the use of 35 plants with new ethnomedicinal and other use from the study area for the first time. Wild plants represent an important part of their medicinal, dietary, handicraft, fuel wood, veterinary, and fodder components. These tribal inhabitants and migrants depend on the wild plant resources for food, medicines, fuel, fibre, timber, and household articles for their livelihood security. The present study documents and contributes significant ethnobotanical information from the remote high altitude and difficult region of the world, which remains cut off from rest of the world for 6-7 months due to heavy snowfall.
PMCID: PMC3947750  PMID: 24696658
9.  Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants used by Saperas community of Khetawas, Jhajjar District, Haryana, India 
Plants have traditionally been used as a source of medicine in India by indigenous people of different ethnic groups inhabiting various terrains for the control of various ailments afflicting human and their domestic animals. The indigenous community of snake charmers belongs to the 'Nath' community in India have played important role of healers in treating snake bite victims. Snake charmers also sell herbal remedies for common ailments. In the present paper an attempt has been made to document on ethno botanical survey and traditional medicines used by snake charmers of village Khetawas located in district Jhajjar of Haryana, India as the little work has been made in the past to document the knowledge from this community.
Ethno botanical data and traditional uses of plants information was obtained by semi structured oral interviews from experienced rural folk, traditional herbal medicine practitioners of the 'Nath' community. A total of 42 selected inhabitants were interviewed, 41 were male and only one woman. The age of the healers was between 25 years and 75 years. The plant specimens were identified according to different references concerning the medicinal plants of Haryana and adjoining areas and further confirmation from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.
The present study revealed that the people of the snake charmer community used 57 medicinal plants species that belonged to 51 genera and 35 families for the treatment of various diseases. The study has brought to light that the main diseases treated by this community was snakebite in which 19 different types of medicinal plants belongs to 13 families were used. Significantly higher number of medicinal plants was claimed by men as compared to women. The highest numbers of medicinal plants for traditional uses utilized by this community were belonging to family Fabaceae.
This community carries a vast knowledge of medicinal plants but as snake charming is banned in India as part of efforts to protect India's steadily depleting wildlife, this knowledge is also rapidly disappearing in this community. Such type of ethno botanical studies will help in systematic documentation of ethno botanical knowledge and availing to the scientific world plant therapies used as antivenin by the Saperas community.
PMCID: PMC2826346  PMID: 20109179
10.  Asháninka medicinal plants: a case study from the native community of Bajo Quimiriki, Junín, Peru 
The Asháninka Native Community Bajo Quimiriki, District Pichanaki, Junín, Peru, is located only 4 km from a larger urban area and is dissected by a major road. Therefore the loss of traditional knowledge is a main concern of the local headman and inhabitants. The present study assesses the state of traditional medicinal plant knowledge in the community and compares the local pharmacopoeia with the one from a related ethnic group.
Fieldwork was conducted between July and September 2007. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, collection of medicinal plants in the homegardens, forest walks, a walk along the river banks, participant observation, informal conversation, cross check through voucher specimens and a focus group interview with children.
Four-hundred and two medicinal plants, mainly herbs, were indicated by the informants. The most important families in terms of taxa were Asteraceae, Araceae, Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Solanaceae and Piperaceae. Eighty-four percent of the medicinal plants were wild and 63% were collected from the forest. Exotics accounted to only 2% of the medicinal plants. Problems related to the dermal system, digestive system, and cultural belief system represented 57% of all the medicinal applications. Some traditional healers received non-indigenous customers, using their knowledge as a source of income. Age and gender were significantly correlated to medicinal plant knowledge. Children knew the medicinal plants almost exclusively by their Spanish names. Sixteen percent of the medicinal plants found in this community were also reported among the Yanesha of the Pasco Region.
Despite the vicinity to a city, knowledge on medicinal plants and cultural beliefs are still abundant in this Asháninka Native Community and the medicinal plants are still available in the surroundings. Nevertheless, the use of Spanish names for the medicinal plants and the shift of healing practices towards a source of income with mainly non-indigenous customers, are signs of acculturation. Future studies on quantification of the use of medicinal plants, dynamics of transmission of ethno-medicinal knowledge to the young generations and comparison with available pharmacological data on the most promising medicinal plants are suggested.
PMCID: PMC2933607  PMID: 20707893
11.  Ethnobotanical survey of folklore plants used in treatment of snakebite in Paschim Medinipur district, West Bengal 
To investigate and collect information from traditional health healers/tribal communities on the use of medicinal plants for treatment of snakebite.
The ethno-medicinal study was conducted in 8 villages of the Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal in 2012-2013 through questionnaire and personal interviews. Following the method of Martin, information about medicinal plants used in snake bite, precise plant parts used, methods of treatment and administration was enquired from the tribal communities (Santhals, Mundas, Lodhas, Bhumijs, Oraon Kherias) of the region.
The present study enumerates 20 ethnomedicinal plant species belonging to 16 families used by the tribal communities and medicinal healers of Paschim Medinipur district, West Bengal in treatment of snakebite. Each plant species has been listed alphabetically according to its botanical name, family, vernacular name, part(s) used, mode of preparation/administration.
The importance of traditional medicinal system among the tribal communities of Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal has been highlighted in the present study.
PMCID: PMC3985059  PMID: 25182729
Traditional medicinal system; Snakebite; Paschim Medinipur district
12.  A survey of medicinal plants used by the Deb barma clan of the Tripura tribe of Moulvibazar district, Bangladesh 
The number of tribes present within Bangladesh has been estimated to approximate one hundred and fifty. Information on traditional medicinal practices, particularly of the smaller tribes and their clans is lacking. It was the objective of the study to document the tribal medicinal practices of the Deb barma clan of the Tripura tribe, which clan can be found residing in Dolusora Tripura Palli of Moulvibazar district of Bangladesh. A further objective was to determine the extent of the community households who still prefer traditional treatment to other forms of treatment, particularly allopathic treatment.
Interviews of the tribal healer and the tribal community regarding their ethnomedicinal practices were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. All together 67 clan members were interviewed including the Headman, tribal healer, 19 Heads of households and 46 other adult members of the clan. Information on number of members of household, their age, gender, educational status, occupation of working household members and preferred mode of treatment was obtained through the semi-structured questionnaire. In the guided field-walk method, the healer took the interviewers on field-walks through areas from where he collected his medicinal plants, pointed out the plants, and described their uses.
The clan had a total of 135 people distributed into 20 households and had only one traditional healer. Use of medicinal plants, wearing of amulets, and worship of the evil god ‘Bura debta’ constituted the traditional medicinal practices of the clan for treatment of diseases. The healer used a total of 44 medicinal plants distributed into 34 families for treatment of various ailments like pain, coughs, cold, gastrointestinal disorders, cuts and wounds, diabetes, malaria, heart disorders, and paralysis.
Available scientific reports validate the use of a number of plants by the traditional healer. A number of the plants used by the clan healer had reported similar uses in Ayurveda, but differ considerably in their therapeutic uses from that reported for other tribes in Bangladesh. The present survey also indicated that in recent years the Deb barma clan members are inclining more towards allopathic medicine.
PMCID: PMC3996145  PMID: 24502444
Indigenous knowledge; Allopathic medicine; Ethnomedicine; Bangladesh
13.  Medicinal plants used for traditional veterinary in the Sierras de Córdoba (Argentina): An ethnobotanical comparison with human medicinal uses 
This is a first description of the main ethnoveterinary features of the peasants in the Sierras de Córdoba. The aim of this study was to analyze the use of medicinal plants and other traditional therapeutic practices for healing domestic animals and cattle. Our particular goals were to: characterize veterinary ethnobotanical knowledge considering age, gender and role of the specialists; interpret the cultural features of the traditional local veterinary medicine and plant uses associated to it; compare the plants used in traditional veterinary medicine, with those used in human medicine in the same region.
Fieldwork was carried out as part of an ethnobotanic regional study where 64 informants were interviewed regarding medicinal plants used in veterinary medicine throughout 2001-2010. Based participant observation and open and semi-structured interviews we obtained information on the traditional practices of diagnosis and healing, focusing on the veterinary uses given to plants (part of the plant used, method of preparation and administration). Plants speciemens were collected with the informants and their vernacular and scientific names were registered in a database. Non-parametric statistic was used to evaluate differences in medicinal plant knowledge, use, and valorization by local people. A comparison between traditional veterinary medicine and previous human medicine studies developed in the region was performed by analyzing the percentages of common species and uses, and by considering Sorensen's Similarity Index.
A total of 127 medicinal uses were registered, corresponding to 70 species of plants belonging to 39 botanic families. Veterinary ethnobotanical knowledge was specialized, restricted, in general, to cattle breeders (mainly men) and to a less degree to healers, and was independent of the age of the interviewees. Native plants were mostly used as skin cicatrizants, disinfectants or for treating digestive disorders. Together with a vast repertoire of plant pharmacopoeia, the therapies also involve religious or ritualistic practices and other popular remedies that evidence the influence of traditional Hispanic-European knowledge. Although the traditional veterinary knowledge seems to be similar or else is inlcuded in the local human ethnomedicine, sharing a common group of plants, it has distinct traits originated by a constant assessment of new applications specifically destined to the treatment of animals.
Veterinary medicine is a fountain of relevant vernacular knowledge, a permanent source for testing new applications with valuable ethnobotanical interest. Knowledge on medicinal applications of native plants will allow future validations and tests for new homeopathic or phytotherapeutic preparations.
PMCID: PMC3163512  PMID: 21816043
ethnoveterinary; ethnomedicine; breeders; healers; pharmacopoeia; sierras de Córdoba
14.  Ethno-medicinal study of plants used for treatment of human and livestock ailments by traditional healers in South Omo, Southern Ethiopia 
Plants have traditionally been used for treatment of human and livestock ailments in Ethiopia by different ethnic and social groups. However, this valuable source of knowledge is not adequately documented, which impedes their widespread use, evaluation and validation. Here, we recorded indigenous knowledge and standard practices for human and livestock disease control, of three ethnic groups (Aari, Maale and Bena-Tsemay) in South Omo Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional study was carried out using a semi-structured questionnaire to document knowledge of 50 traditional healers (40 male and 10 female) in medicinal plant use for treatment of human and livestock ailments. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze and summarize the ethno-botanical data.
Ninety-one plants, with claimed medicinal properties against a total of 34 human and livestock ailments, were reported and botanically identified as belonging to 57 genera and 33 plant families. Most of the plant species reported belonged to one of seven major families: Lamiaceae, Solanaceae, Menispermiaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae, Plumbaginaceae and Geraniaceae. Woody plants (shrubs 21% and trees 29%) were the major growth form used, whilst roots (40%) and leaves (35%) were the major plant parts used in the study areas. Healers mostly practice oral administration of plant preparations (65%). Multiple medicinal plants were cited against particular ailments, and mixing of two or more different medicinal plants (14.3%) against a single ailment was also commonly reported.
This study showed that traditional medicine, mainly involving the use of medicinal plants, is playing a significant role in meeting the primary healthcare needs of the three ethnic groups. Acceptance of traditional medicine and limited access to modern healthcare facilities could be considered as the main factors for the continuation of the practice. Documented knowledge of the traditional healers can be used to support the country’s human and livestock health care system and improve lives and livelihoods. Information generated will be used in future studies to validate bioactivity of selected medicinal plants used by traditional healers, so to increase their acceptability in health care systems both nationally and internationally.
PMCID: PMC3679849  PMID: 23680260
Ethnomedicine; Traditional healers; Medicinal plants; South Omo; Ailments; Informants consensus factor
15.  Medicinal Formulations of a Kanda Tribal Healer — A Tribe on the Verge of Disappearance in Bangladesh 
The Kanda tribe is one of the lesser known small tribes of Bangladesh with an estimated population of about 1700 people (according to them), and on the verge of extinction as a separate entity. To some extent, they have assimilated with the surrounding mainstream Bengali-speaking population, but they still maintain their cultural practices including traditional medicinal practices, for which they have their own tribal healers. Nothing at all has been documented thus far about their traditional medicinal practices and formulations, which are on the verge of disappearance. The Kanda tribe can be found only in scattered tea gardens of Sreemangal in Sylhet district of Bangladesh; dispersion of the tribe into small separated communities is also contributing to the fast losing of traditional medicinal practices. The objective of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the traditional healers of the Kanda tribe (in fact, only one such healer was found after extensive searches). Information was collected from the healer with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. A total of 24 formulations were obtained from the healer containing 34 plants including two plants, which could not be identified. Besides medicinal plants, the Kanda healer also used the body hairs of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and bats (Pteropus giganteus giganteus) in one of his formulation for treatment of fever with shivering. The ailments treated by the Kanda healer were fairly common ailments like cuts and wounds, skin diseases, helminthiasis, fever, respiratory problems (coughs, asthma), gastrointestinal disorders (stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea), burning sensations during urination, various types of pain (headache, body ache, toothache, ear ache), conjunctivitis, poisonous snake, insect or reptile bites, jaundice, and bone fractures. A number of important drugs in allopathic medicine like quinine, artemisinin, and morphine (to name only a few) have been discovered from observing indigenous medicinal practices. From that view point, the formulations used by the Kanda healer merit scientific studies for their potential in the discovery of cheap and effective new drugs. Scientific validation of the medicinal formulations of the Kanda healer can also be effective for treatment of ailments among this tribe, which does not have or does not want to have any contact with modern medicine.
PMCID: PMC3746568  PMID: 24146444
16.  Botanical identification of medicinal roots collected and traded in Morocco and comparison to the existing literature 
A literature review revealed heavy reliance on a few key publications for identification of medicinal plant species from local or vernacular names and a lack of citation of voucher specimens in many publications. There is a need for more reliable and standardized data on the identity of species used for medicine, especially because local names vary from region to region. This is especially true in the case of medicinal roots, for which identification of species is difficult. This paper contributes to existing data on the species sold as medicinal roots (and other underground plant parts such as bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers) in Morocco.
Data were collected in collaboration with herbalists in Marrakech and collectors in rural regions near Marrakech where species are collected from the wild. The ethno-medicinal uses of these species were also recorded.
We identified the vernacular names for 67 medicinal roots (by free listing) used to treat a variety of human diseases. We were able to collect and identify one or more species for 39 of the recorded vernacular names. The ones we were not able to identify were either imported or no longer available in the markets. We collected more than one species for some of the vernacular names for a total of 43 species. We identified six new vernacular names and four species which had not been previously described in the literature. Our botanical identification matched at least one of the names listed in the literature 63% of the time and did not match any species listed in the literature 37% of the time. Of the three most commonly cited pieces of literature we compared to, we found the greatest overlap with the broader, more comprehensive work of Bellakhdar 1997 (as opposed to Benchâabane and Abbad 1997 which worked in a similarly focused geographical area). However there was only 63% agreement between Bellakhdar 1997 and our botanical identifications, and 29% of the time our identification didn’t match even the genus of any of the species listed in any of the 3 most commonly cited pieces of literature.
More rigorous methodology and reporting are needed for medicinal plant research in Morocco. This will ensure that studies are comparable, help to protect traditional medicine users from negative health effects, and, support efforts to conserve overharvested wild medicinal plants.
PMCID: PMC3846589  PMID: 23945196
Medicinal plant; Root; Voucher; Herbalist; Collector; Ethnobotany; Marrakech; Plantes médicinales; Racines; Voucher; Herboriste; Collecteur; Ethnobotanique; Marrakech
17.  Ethnoveterinary medicines in four districts of Jimma zone, Ethiopia: cross sectional survey for plant species and mode of use 
Traditional medicines have been used for nearly 90% of livestock populations in Ethiopia where complimentary remedies are required to the modern health care system. All plants with pharmacological activity complimentarily prescribed as best choice against livestock diseases. A community based cross - sectional survey was conducted to investigate ethno-veterinary knowledge and practices of study area by purposive sampling techniques. The data from respondents were collected through face-to face interview using pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires, which was further accompanied by field observations of the medicinal plants. The vast majority of the statistics were analyzed descriptively by SPSS 16 Windows version to extrapolate our findings in ethno-botanical knowledge.
In the study, a total of 74 species of ethnoveterinary medicinal plant species from 31 families have been identified for treating 22 different livestock ailments. The three families: Asteraceae, Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae make up larger proportion of reported medicinal plants which accounted for 10.41%, 8.33% and 6.25%, respectively. Of reported medicinal plants, 16.7% informant consensus was recorded for the species Croton macrostachyus Del., 10.7% for Nicotiana tabacum L. and 9.5% for Olea capensis L.Subsp. macrocarpa (C.H. Wright) I.Verd. in treatment of one or more veterinary ailments. The greater varieties of medicinal plant species that accounted for 28.2% were used against management of blackleg which was common livestock diseases in the study area. The findings showed, trees accounted for 43.24%, followed by shrubs (33.78%) and herbs (14.86%). Eighty one percent of medicinal plants reported by respondents were collected from wild habitats, and leaves reported to be used by 68% of the informants for ethnoveterinary medicines preparations. The preparations were applied through different routes of administration; oral administration accounted for (76.2%), followed by application of topical (9.53%) and nasal (5.19%).
Ethnoveterinary practices significantly suggested to play greater roles in livestock health care as an alternative or integral part of modern veterinary practices. The traditional knowledge in treatment of livestock diseases of the study districts needs further scientific evaluations by phytochemical and antimicrobial experimentation to determine safety, efficacy, mode of delivery, drug development and dosage in pharmacological laboratory.
PMCID: PMC3978085  PMID: 24679045
Ethnoveterinary; Medicines; Plant species; Mode of use; Jimma; Ethiopia
18.  Quantitative ethnomedicinal study of plants used in the skardu valley at high altitude of Karakoram-Himalayan range, Pakistan 
The tribal inhabitants of the Skardu valley (Pakistan) live in an area of great endemic botanic diversity. This paper presents the first quantitative ethnomedicinal spectrum of the valley and information on the uses of medicinal plant. This paper aims to analyze and catalogue such knowledge based on Relative Frequency Citation (RFC) and Use Value (UV) of medicinal plants in addition to the configuration of the Pearson correlation coefficient.
The field study was carried out over a period of approximately 2 years (2011–2013) using semi-structured interviews with 71 informants (most of the informants belonged to an age between 50 and 70 years) in six remote locations in the valley. Ethnomedicinal data was analyzed using frequency citation (FC), relative frequency of citation (RFC) and use value (UV) along with a Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC). Demographic characteristics of participants, ethnobotanical inventory of plants and data on medicinal application and administration were recorded.
A total of 50 medicinal plants belonging to 25 families were reported to be used against 33 different ailments in the valley. The maximum reported medicinal plant families were Asteraceae (7 report species), Lamiaceae (6) , Polygonaceae (4) and Rosaceae (4), the most dominant life form of the species includes herbs (38) followed by shrubs and subshrubs (12), the most frequent used part was leaves (41%) followed by root (26%), flower (14%), fruit (9%), seeds (8%), bulb (1%) and bark (1%), the most common preparation and administration methods were infusion (32%), decoction (26%), paste (18%), herbal juice (17%) and powder drug (7%). The Pearson correlation coefficient between RFC and UV was 0.732 showing highly positive significant association.
In this study, we have documented considerable indigenous knowledge about the native medicinal plants in Skardu valley for treating common ailments which are ready to be further investigated phytochemically and pharmacologically which leads to natural drug discovery development. The study has various socioeconomic dimensions which are associated with the local communities.
PMCID: PMC4039317  PMID: 24885937
Quantitative ethnobotany; Medicinal plants; Skardu valley; Northern Pakistan
19.  People, plants and health: a conceptual framework for assessing changes in medicinal plant consumption 
A large number of people in both developing and developed countries rely on medicinal plant products to maintain their health or treat illnesses. Available evidence suggests that medicinal plant consumption will remain stable or increase in the short to medium term. Knowledge on what factors determine medicinal plant consumption is, however, scattered across many disciplines, impeding, for example, systematic consideration of plant-based traditional medicine in national health care systems. The aim of the paper is to develop a conceptual framework for understanding medicinal plant consumption dynamics. Consumption is employed in the economic sense: use of medicinal plants by consumers or in the production of other goods.
PubMed and Web of Knowledge (formerly Web of Science) were searched using a set of medicinal plant key terms (folk/peasant/rural/traditional/ethno/indigenous/CAM/herbal/botanical/phytotherapy); each search terms was combined with terms related to medicinal plant consumption dynamics (medicinal plants/health care/preference/trade/treatment seeking behavior/domestication/sustainability/conservation/urban/migration/climate change/policy/production systems). To eliminate studies not directly focused on medicinal plant consumption, searches were limited by a number of terms (chemistry/clinical/in vitro/antibacterial/dose/molecular/trial/efficacy/antimicrobial/alkaloid/bioactive/inhibit/antibody/purification/antioxidant/DNA/rat/aqueous). A total of 1940 references were identified; manual screening for relevance reduced this to 645 relevant documents. As the conceptual framework emerged inductively, additional targeted literature searches were undertaken on specific factors and link, bringing the final number of references to 737.
The paper first defines the four main groups of medicinal plant users (1. Hunter-gatherers, 2. Farmers and pastoralists, 3. Urban and peri-urban people, 4. Entrepreneurs) and the three main types of benefits (consumer, producer, society-wide) derived from medicinal plants usage. Then a single unified conceptual framework for understanding the factors influencing medicinal plant consumption in the economic sense is proposed; the framework distinguishes four spatial levels of analysis (international, national, local, household) and identifies and describes 15 factors and their relationships.
The framework provides a basis for increasing our conceptual understanding of medicinal plant consumption dynamics, allows a positioning of existing studies, and can serve to guide future research in the area. This would inform the formation of future health and natural resource management policies.
PMCID: PMC3549945  PMID: 23148504
Medicinal plants; Traditional medicine; Health; Global
20.  Plants and traditional knowledge: An ethnobotanical investigation on Monte Ortobene (Nuoro, Sardinia) 
Most of the traditional knowledge about plants and their uses is fast disappearing as a consequence of socio-economic and land use changes. This trend is also occurring in areas that are historically exposed to very few external influences, such as Sardinia (Italy). From 2004 to 2005, an ethnobotanical investigation was carried out in the area of Monte Ortobene, a mountain located near Nuoro, in central Sardinia.
Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews. All the records – defined as 'citations', i.e. a single use reported for a single botanical species by a single informant – were filed in a data base ('analytical table'), together with additional information: i.e. local names of plants, parts used, local frequencies, and habitats of plants, etc. In processing the data, plants and uses were grouped into general ('categories') and detailed ('secondary categories') typologies of use. Some synthetic indexes have also been used, such as Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC), Cultural Importance Index (CI), the Shannon-Wiener Index (H'), and Evenness Index (J).
Seventy-two plants were cited by the informants as being traditionally used in the area. These 72 'ethnospecies' correspond to 99 botanical taxa (species or subspecies) belonging to 34 families. Three-hundred and one citations, 50 secondary categories of use, and 191 different uses were recorded, most of them concerning alimentary and medicinal plants.
For the alimentary plants, 126 citations, 44 species, and 13 different uses were recorded, while for the medicinal plants, there were 106 citations, 40 species, and 12 uses. Few plants and uses were recorded for the remaining categories. Plants and uses for each category of use are discussed. Analyses of results include the relative abundance of botanical families, wild vs. cultivated species, habitats, frequency, parts of plant used, types of use, knowledge distribution, and the different cultural importance of the species in question.
The study provides examples of several interesting uses of plants in the community, which would seem to show that the custom of using wild plants is still alive in the Monte Ortobene area. However, many practices are no longer in use, and survive only as memories from the past in the minds of elderly people, and often only in one or just a few informants. This rapidly vanishing cultural diversity needs to be studied and documented before it disappears definitively.
PMCID: PMC2661884  PMID: 19208227
21.  Medicinal Plants Used by Various Tribes of Bangladesh for Treatment of Malaria 
Malaria Research and Treatment  2012;2012:371798.
It has been estimated that 300–500 million malaria infections occur on an annual basis and causes fatality to millions of human beings. Most of the drugs used for treatment of malaria have developed drug-resistant parasites or have serious side effects. Plant kingdom has throughout the centuries proved to be efficient source of efficacious malarial drugs like quinine and artemisinin. Since these drugs have already developed or in the process of developing drug resistance, it is important to continuously search the plant kingdom for more effective antimalarial drugs. In this aspect, the medicinal practices of indigenous communities can play a major role in identification of antimalarial plants. Bangladesh has a number of indigenous communities or tribes, who because of their living within or in close proximity to mosquito-infested forest regions, have high incidences of malaria. Over the centuries, the tribal medicinal practitioners have treated malaria with various plant-based formulations. The objective of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among various tribes of Bangladesh to identify the plants that they use for treatment of the disease. Surveys were conducted among seven tribes, namely, Bawm, Chak, Chakma, Garo, Marma, Murong, and Tripura, who inhabit the southeastern or northcentral forested regions of Bangladesh. Interviews conducted with the various tribal medicinal practitioners indicated that a total of eleven plants distributed into 10 families were used for treatment of malaria and accompanying symptoms like fever, anemia, ache, vomiting, and chills. Leaves constituted 35.7% of total uses followed by roots at 21.4%. Other plant parts used for treatment included barks, seeds, fruits, and flowers. A review of the published scientific literature showed that a number of plants used by the tribal medicinal practitioners have been scientifically validated in their uses. Taken together, the plants merit further scientific research towards possible discovery of novel compounds that can be used to successfully treat malaria with less undesirable sideeffects.
PMCID: PMC3270449  PMID: 22315700
22.  Medicinal flora and ethnoecological knowledge in the Naran Valley, Western Himalaya, Pakistan 
Mountain ecosystems all over the world support a high biological diversity and provide home and services to some 12% of the global human population, who use their traditional ecological knowledge to utilise local natural resources. The Himalayas are the world's youngest, highest and largest mountain range and support a high plant biodiversity. In this remote mountainous region of the Himalaya, people depend upon local plant resources to supply a range of goods and services, including grazing for livestock and medicinal supplies for themselves. Due to their remote location, harsh climate, rough terrain and topography, many areas within this region still remain poorly known for its floristic diversity, plant species distribution and vegetation ecosystem service.
The Naran valley in the north-western Pakistan is among such valleys and occupies a distinctive geographical location on the edge of the Western Himalaya range, close to the Hindu Kush range to the west and the Karakorum Mountains to the north. It is also located on climatic and geological divides, which further add to its botanical interest. In the present project 120 informants were interviewed at 12 main localities along the 60 km long valley. This paper focuses on assessment of medicinal plant species valued by local communities using their traditional knowledge.
Results revealed that 101 species belonging to 52 families (51.5% of the total plants) were used for 97 prominent therapeutic purposes. The largest number of ailments cured with medicinal plants were associated with the digestive system (32.76% responses) followed by those associated with the respiratory and urinary systems (13.72% and 9.13% respectively). The ailments associated with the blood circulatory and reproductive systems and the skin were 7.37%, 7.04% and 7.03%, respectively. The results also indicate that whole plants were used in 54% of recipes followed by rhizomes (21%), fruits (9.5%) and roots (5.5%).
Our findings demonstrate the range of ecosystem services that are provided by the vegetation and assess how utilisation of plants will impact on future resource sustainability. The study not only contributes to an improved understanding of traditional ethno-ecological knowledge amongst the peoples of the Western Himalaya but also identifies priorities at species and habitat level for local and regional plant conservation strategies.
PMCID: PMC3570439  PMID: 23302393
Biodiversity conservation; Ecosystem services; Medicinal plants; Vegetation
23.  Influence of language and ancestry on genetic structure of contiguous populations: A microsatellite based study on populations of Orissa 
BMC Genetics  2005;6:4.
We have examined genetic diversity at fifteen autosomal microsatellite loci in seven predominant populations of Orissa to decipher whether populations inhabiting the same geographic region can be differentiated on the basis of language or ancestry. The studied populations have diverse historical accounts of their origin, belong to two major ethnic groups and different linguistic families. Caucasoid caste populations are speakers of Indo-European language and comprise Brahmins, Khandayat, Karan and Gope, while the three Australoid tribal populations include two Austric speakers: Juang and Saora and a Dravidian speaking population, Paroja. These divergent groups provide a varied substratum for understanding variation of genetic patterns in a geographical area resulting from differential admixture between migrants groups and aboriginals, and the influence of this admixture on population stratification.
The allele distribution pattern showed uniformity in the studied groups with approximately 81% genetic variability within populations. The coefficient of gene differentiation was found to be significantly higher in tribes (0.014) than caste groups (0.004). Genetic variance between the groups was 0.34% in both ethnic and linguistic clusters and statistically significant only in the ethnic apportionment. Although the populations were genetically close (FST = 0.010), the contemporary caste and tribal groups formed distinct clusters in both Principal-Component plot and Neighbor-Joining tree. In the phylogenetic tree, the Orissa Brahmins showed close affinity to populations of North India, while Khandayat and Gope clustered with the tribal groups, suggesting a possibility of their origin from indigenous people.
The extent of genetic differentiation in the contemporary caste and tribal groups of Orissa is highly significant and constitutes two distinct genetic clusters. Based on our observations, we suggest that since genetic distances and coefficient of gene differentiation were fairly small, the studied populations are indeed genetically similar and that the genetic structure of populations in a geographical region is primarily influenced by their ancestry and not by socio-cultural hierarchy or language. The scenario of genetic structure, however, might be different for other regions of the subcontinent where populations have more similar ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and there might be variations in the patterns of genomic and socio-cultural affinities in different geographical regions.
PMCID: PMC549189  PMID: 15694006
24.  Theory of Feminism and Tribal Women: An Empirical Study of Koraput 
Mens Sana Monographs  2009;7(1):80-92.
In the mainstream culture to identify oneself as a “feminist” has been a fashion. Feminism covers all issues degrading and depriving women of their due in society vis-à-vis male members and it has started a crusade against atrocities on women across the globe. It is therefore regarded as synonymous with a movement and revolution to defend and promote issues involving women. However, the concerns that feminism raises do seem alien to tribal inhabitants in the Koraput district of Orissa, because, unknowingly, they are its champions. Its principles are ingrained in their very culture. They practice and follow feminism as a matter of habit that has come to them down the ages. They do not follow it out of fear, compassion, enlightenment, education or compulsion; it is a necessity that comes quite naturally to them. It has been spontaneous and indigenous.
PMCID: PMC3151457  PMID: 21836781
Civil society; Feminism; Femininity; Gender discrimination; Leviration; Postfeminism; Women's Liberation Movement
25.  Medicinal plants used by tribal population of Coochbehar district, West Bengal, India-an ethnobotanical survey 
To explore traditional ethnomedicinal knowledge of different tribes of Coochbehar district of West Bengal, India, and its present status.
With the help of standardized questionnaires, traditional healers and resource persons were interviewed on medicinal use of local flora in all the tribal villages of Coochbehar district during July, 2007 to December, 2009 and some of the places were revisited for this purpose again during July to December of 2012.
A total of 46 plant species belonging to 42 genera and 27 families were reported to be used for treating 33 various physical ailments. In terms of the number of medicinal plant species, Fabaceae (5 species) and Euphorbiaceae (4 species) are dominant families. Among different plant parts used for the preparation of medicine, leaves were most frequently used for the treatment of diseases.
In all tribal villages we found the use of medicinal plants, particularly to treat common physical problems like smaller injuries, stomachache and abdominal disorder. However, non-availability of such plants in close vicinity is imposing restriction on using medicinal plants. Further research on these species may lead to the discovery of novel bioactive molecules in one hand and also it may open up a new horizon of sustainable development.
PMCID: PMC4025282  PMID: 25183132
Tribal ethnobotany; Medicinal plants; Coochbehar district

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