Plants have widely been used and documented for their therapeutic potential in many parts of the world. There are, however, few reports on the use of plants for the treatment of diseases of equines. To this end, participatory epidemiology and rapid rural appraisal techniques were used to document the plants having pharmacotherapeutic significance against different ailments of equines in selected population of Punjab, Pakistan.
A survey was conducted to interview a total of 450 respondents (150 from each of the districts of Faisalabad, Lahore and Sargodha of Pakistan) to collect information about disease recognition of the equines and their treatment on a well − structured questionnaire. A total of 60 plants belonging to 40 families were documented. An inventory was developed depicting detailed information of plants used in treatment of different conditions of equines.
The top ten species of plants used were: Allium cepa, Zingiber officinale, Vernonia anthelmintica, Capsicum annum, Brassica campestris, Trachyspermum ammi, Anethum graveolens, Picrorhiza kurroa, Azadirachta indica, and Citrullus colocynthis. Seeds were the most frequently used (n = 16/60) parts, followed by leaves (n = 12/60) and fruits (n = 11/60) of plants. Based on the combination of different parts of plants used in different ratios and variation in their dose or mode of preparation led to a large number of recipes/remedies against wounds, lameness, bronchitis, colic, anorexia, dermatitis, weakness, parasitism (internal & external), fever, heat stress, urine retention, swelling, toxemia, and indigestion.
This study generated lot of data on phytomedicinal approach for the treatment of ailments in the equines in some selected areas. It would, therefore, be imperative to expand similar studies in other parts of Pakistan and elsewhere. Moreover, use of the documented plants may be validated employing standard scientific procedures, which may have their application in the drug discovery/development by the pharmaceutical industry.