Though metal based drugs have been prescribed in Ayurveda for centuries to treat various diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, toxicity of these drugs containing heavy metal is a great drawback for practical application. So, proper scientific validation of herbo-metallic drugs like Arkeshwara Rasa (AR) have become one of the focused research arena of new drugs against cancers.
To investigate the in vitro anticancer effects of AR.
Materials and Methods:
Anticancer activity of AR was investigated on two human cancer cell lines, which represent two different tissues (pancreas and skin). Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay for enzyme activity and trypan blue assay for cell morphology were performed for further confirmation.
AR showed potent activity against pancreatic cancer cells (MIA-PaCa-2). LDH activity confirmed that AR was active against pancreatic cancer cells. Finally, it was observed that AR exhibited significant effects on cancer cells due to synergistic effects of different compounds of AR.
The study strongly suggests that AR has the potential to be an anticancer drug against pancreatic cancer.
Anticancer; Arkeshwara Rasa; natural products
Garo Hills represents one of earliest human habitation in Bangladesh preserving its ancient cultures due to the geographic location. It is situated in the most northern part of Durgapur sub-district having border with Meghalaya of India. Durgapur is rich in ethnic diversity with Garo and Hajong as the major ethnic groups along with Bangalee settlers from the mainstream population. Thus the ethnomedicinal practice in Garo Hills is considered rich as it encompasses three different groups. Present survey was undertaken to compile the medicinal plant usage among the various communities of the Garo Hills.
The ethnomedicinal data was collected through open and focussed group discussions, and personal interviews using semi-structured questionnaire. A total of 185 people were interviewed, including the three community people and their traditional health practitioners (THPs). The usage of the plants were further analysed and are presented as use value (UV), informant consensus factor (ICF) and fidelity level (FL).
A total of 71 plants from 46 families and 64 genera were documented during our survey. Gastrointestinal disorders represented the major ailment category with the use of 36 plant species followed by dermatological problems (25 species). The ICF ranged from 0.90 to 0.99, with an average value of 0.96. Leaves (41) were the principle source of medication followed by fruits (27). Trees (33) were the major plant type used in the ethnobotanical practice. A total of 25 plants showed high FL (70.91 to 100 %) with 12 plants showing maximum FL (100 %). A number of the plants appear to have unique ethnomedicinal uses.
Present investigation revealed a rich traditional practice in the studied region, which provides primary health care to the local community. This compilation of the ethnobotanical knowledge can help researchers to identify the uses of various medicinal plants that have a long history of use.
Garo hills; Tribal people; Use value; Informant consensus factor; Fidelity level
Eclipta alba can be found growing wild in fallow lands of Bangladesh where it is considered as a weed by farmers. Traditional medicinal systems of the Indian subcontinent countries as well as tribal practitioners consider the plant to have diverse medicinal values and use it commonly for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory tract disorders (including asthma), fever, hair loss and graying of hair, liver disorders (including jaundice), skin disorders, spleen enlargement, and cuts and wounds. The plant has several phytoconstituents like wedelolactone, eclalbasaponins, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, luteolin, and apigenin. Pharmacological activities of plant extracts and individual phytoconstituents have revealed anticancer, hepatoprotective, snake venom neutralizing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Phytoconstituents like wedelolactone and ursolic and oleanolic acids as well as luteolin and apigenin can form the basis of new drugs against cancer, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, skin diseases, and liver disorders.
Xanthosoma violaceum is commonly observed in fallow areas of Bangladesh but almost no scientific studies exist on this plant. Rural people consume the plant on a frequent basis. The objective of this study was to scientifically analyze the antinociceptive property of methanol extract of aerial parts of the plant along with antihyperglycemic activity.
Antihyperglycemic activity was measured by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Antinociceptive activity was determined by observed decreases in abdominal constrictions in intraperitoneally administered acetic acid-induced pain model in mice.
Administration of methanol extract of aerial parts led to dose-dependent and significant reductions in blood glucose levels in glucose-loaded mice. At doses of 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight, the extract reduced blood sugar levels by 19.3, 23.2, 31.8, and 47.1%, respectively compared to control animals. By comparison, a standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, when administered at a dose of 10 mg per kg body weight, reduced blood glucose level by 48.9%. In antinociceptive activity tests, the extract at the above four doses reduced the number of abdominal constrictions by 41.4, 44.8, 48.3, and 55.2%, respectively. A standard pain relieving (antinociceptive) drug, aspirin, reduced the number of writhings by 31.0 and 51.7%, respectively, when administered at doses of 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight.
To our knowledge, this is the first report on oral glucose tolerance and antinociceptive activity evaluation of aerial parts of the plant. Since the plant is widely available in Bangladesh, the aerial parts can be a readily available source for particularly the rural population for lowering blood sugar in diabetic patients and for alleviating pain.
Antihyperglycemic; Xanthosoma violaceum; OGTT; Antinociceptive; Araceae
Amaranthus tricolor whole plants are used by folk medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh for treatment of pain, anaemia, dysentery, skin diseases, diabetes, and as a blood purifier. Thus far, no scientific studies have evaluated the antihyperglycaemic and antinociceptive effects of the plant. The present study was carried out to evaluate the possible glucose tolerance efficacy of methanolic extracts of A. tricolour whole plants using glucose-induced hyperglycaemic mice, and antinociceptive effects with acetic acid-induced gastric pain models in mice. In antihyperglycaemic activity tests, the extract at different doses was administered one hour prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hours of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. The statistical data indicated the significant oral hypoglycaemic activity on glucose-loaded mice at all doses of the extracts tested. Maximum antihyperglycaemic activity was shown at 400 mg extract per kg body weight, which was comparable to that of a standard drug, glibenclamide (10 mg/kg body weight). In antinociceptive activity tests, the extract also demonstrated a dose-dependent significant reduction in the number of writhings induced in mice through intraperitoneal administration of acetic acid. Maximum antinociceptive activity was observed at a dose of 400 mg extract per kg body weight, which compared favourably with that of a standard antinociceptive drug, aspirin, when administered at a dose of 200 mg per kg body weight. The results validate the folk medicinal use of the plant for reduction of blood sugar in diabetic patients as well as the folk medicinal use for alleviation of pain. The results suggest that this plant may possess further potential for scientific studies leading to possible discovery of efficacious antihyperglycaemic and antinociceptive components.
Amaranthus tricolour; antihyperglycaemic; antinociceptive; Amaranthaceae
Mangrove plants are specialized woody plants growing in the swamps of tidal-coastal areas and river deltas of tropical and subtropical parts of the world. They have been utilized for medicinal and other purposes by the coastal people over the years. Heritiera fomes Buch. Ham. (family: Sterculiaceae) commonly known as Sundari (Bengali) is a preeminent mangrove plant occurring in the Sundarbans forest located in the southern part of Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal province of India. The plant has applications in traditional folk medicine as evidenced by its extensive use for treating diabetes, hepatic disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, goiter, and skin diseases by the local people and traditional health practitioners. A number of investigations indicated that the plant possesses significant antioxidant, antinociceptive, antihyperglycemic, antimicrobial, and anticancer activities. Phytochemical analyses have revealed the presence of important chemical constituents like saponins, alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, steroids, flavonoids, gums, phytosterols, and reducing sugars. The present study is aimed at compiling information on phytochemical, biological, pharmacological, and ethnobotanical properties of this important medicinal plant, with a view to critically assess the legitimacy of the use of this plant in the aforementioned disorders as well as providing directions for further research.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease particularly affecting elderly people which leads to massive bone destruction with consequent inflammation, pain, and debility. Allopathic medicine can provide only symptomatic relief. However, Zingiber officinale is a plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, which has traditionally been used for treatment of RA in alternative medicines of many countries. Many of the phytochemical constituents of the rhizomes of this plant have therapeutic benefits including amelioration of RA. This review attempts to list those phytochemical constituents with their reported mechanisms of action. It is concluded that these phytochemicals can form the basis of discovery of new drugs, which not only can provide symptomatic relief but also may provide total relief from RA by stopping RA-induced bone destruction. As the development of RA is a complex process, further research should be continued towards elucidating the molecular details leading to RA and drugs that can stop or reverse these processes by phytoconstituents of ginger.
Alternanthera sessilis is used by folk medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh for alleviation of severe pain. The objective of this study was to scientifically analyze the analgesic (non-narcotic) property of aerial parts of the plant along with antihyperglycemic activity.
Antihyperglycemic activity was measured by oral glucose tolerance tests. Analgesic (non-narcotic) activity was determined by observed decreases in abdominal writhings in intraperitoneally administered acetic acid-induced pain model in mice.
Administration of methanol extract of aerial parts led to dose-dependent and significant reductions in blood glucose levels in glucose-loaded mice. At doses of 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight, the extract reduced blood sugar levels by 22.9, 30.7, 45.4 and 46.1%, respectively compared to control animals. By comparison, a standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, when administered at a dose of 10 mg per kg body weight, reduced blood glucose level by 48.9%. In analgesic activity tests, the extract at the above four doses reduced the number of abdominal writhings by 27.6, 37.9, 41.4, and 44.8%, respectively. A standard analgesic drug, aspirin, reduced the number of writhings by 31.0 and 51.7%, respectively, when administered at doses of 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight.
The results validate the folk medicinal use of the plant to alleviate pain. At the same time, the antihyperglycemic activity result suggests that the plant may be a potential source for blood sugar lowering drug(s).
Antihyperglycemic; Alternanthera sessilis; Glucose tolerance; Non-narcotic analgesic; Amaranthaceae
‘Khoyer’ is prepared by boiling the wood of Acacia catechu in water and then evaporating the resultant brew. The resultant hard material is powdered and chewed with betel leaves and lime with or without tobacco by a large number of the people of Bangladesh as an addictive psycho-stimulating and euphoria-inducing formulation. There are folk medicinal claims that khoyer helps in the relief of pain and is also useful to diabetic patients to maintain normal sugar levels. Thus far no scientific studies have evaluated the antihyperglycemic and antinociceptive effects of khoyer. The present study was carried out to evaluate the possible glucose tolerance efficacy of methanolic extracts of khoyer using glucose-induced hyperglycemic mice, and antinociceptive effects with acetic acid-induced gastric pain models in mice. In antihyperglycemic activity tests, the extract at different doses was administered one hour prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hours of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. The statistical data indicated the significant oral hypoglycemic activity on glucose-loaded mice at all doses of the extracts tested. Maximum anti-hyperglycemic activity was shown at 400 mg extract per kg body weight, which was less than that of a standard drug, glibenclamide (10 mg/kg body weight). In antinociceptive activity tests, the extract also demonstrated a dose-dependent significant reduction in the number of writhing induced in mice through intraperitoneal administration of acetic acid. Maximum antinociceptive activity was observed at a dose of 400 mg extract per kg body weight, which was greater than that of a standard antinociceptive drug, aspirin, when administered at a dose of 400 mg per kg body weight. The results validate the folk medicinal use of the plant for reduction of blood sugar in diabetic patients, as well as the folk medicinal use for alleviation of pain.
Acacia catechu; antihyperglycemic; antinociceptive; khoyer
Plants have served as sources of food and medicines for human beings since their advent. During famines or conditions of food scarcity, people throughout the world depend on unconventional plant items to satiate their hunger and meet their nutritional needs. Malnourished people often suffer from various diseases, much more than people eating a balanced diet. We are hypothesizing that the unconventional food plants that people eat during times of scarcity of their normal diet are also medicinal plants and thus can play a role in satiating hunger, meeting nutritional needs, and serving therapeutic purposes. Towards testing our hypothesis, surveys were carried out among the low income people of four villages in Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts of Bangladesh. People and particularly the low income people of these two districts suffer each year from a seasonal famine known as Monga. Over 200 informants from 167 households in the villages were interviewed with the help of a semistructured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. The informants mentioned a total of 34 plant species that they consumed during Monga. Published literature shows that all the species consumed had ethnomedicinal uses. It is concluded that famine food plants also serve as ethnomedicinal plants.
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.
Indigenous knowledge; Allopathic medicine; Ethnomedicine; 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.
Xanthium indicum stem is used in folk medicine of Bangladesh to control sugar in diabetic patients and to alleviate pain. The objective of the study was to evaluate antihyperglycemic and antinociceptive activity of methanolic extract of Xanthium indicum stems (XISE) in mice.
Antihyperglycemic activity was measured by oral glucose tolerance tests in glucose-loaded Swiss albino mice. Antinociceptive activity was determined by observed decreases in abdominal constrictions in acetic acid-induced gastric pain model in mice.
The methanol extract of stems showed dose-dependent and statistically significant antihyperglycemic activity at doses of 50, 100, 200 and 400 mg per kg body weight (p values, respectively, < than 0.01, 0.01, 0.005, and 0.01). Highest reduction in blood glucose level (31.2%) was observed with the highest dose (400 mg) of the extract. A standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, reduced blood glucose levels by 46.2%, when administered at a dose of 10 mg per kg body weight. In antinociceptive activity tests, the extract when administered at the afore-mentioned four doses, reduced the number of abdominal constrictions in mice, respectively, by 41.7, 50.0, 54.2, and 61.0%. In comparison, a standard antinociceptive drug, aspirin, when administered at a dose of 200 mg per kg body weight, reduced the number of abdominal constrictions by 37.5%.
The experimental results obtained in the present study validate the use of X. indicum stems in folk medicines of Bangladesh to lower blood sugar in diabetic patients and to alleviate pain.
Antihyperglycemic; Xanthium indicum; Glucose tolerance; Antinociceptive; Asteraceae
The Bedes form one of the largest tribal or indigenous communities in Bangladesh and are popularly known as the boat people or water gypsies because of their preference for living in boats. They travel almost throughout the whole year by boats on the numerous waterways of Bangladesh and earn their livelihood by selling sundry items, performing jugglery acts, catching snakes, and treating village people by the various riversides with their traditional medicinal formulations. Life is hard for the community, and both men and women toil day long. As a result of their strenuous lifestyle, they suffer from various types of pain, and have developed an assortment of formulations for treatment of pain in different parts of the body. Pain is the most common reason for physician consultation in all parts of the world including Bangladesh. Although a number of drugs are available to treat pain, including non-steroidal, steroidal, and narcotic drugs, such drugs usually have side-effects like causing bleeding in the stomach over prolonged use (as in the case of rheumatic pain), or can be addictive. Moreover, pain arising from causes like rheumatism has no proper treatment in allopathic medicine. It was the objective of the present study to document the formulations used by the Bede traditional practitioners for pain treatment, for they claim to have used these formulations over centuries with success. Surveys were conducted among a large Bede community, who reside in boats on the Bangshi River by Porabari village of Savar area in Dhaka district of Bangladesh. Interviews of 30 traditional practitioners were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. It was observed that the Bede practitioners used 53 formulations for treatment of various types of pain, the main ingredient of all formulations being medicinal plants. Out of the 53 formulations, 25 were for treatment of rheumatic pain, either exclusively, or along with other types of body pain. A total of 65 plants belonging to 39 families were used in the formulations. The Fabaceae family provided 7 plants followed by the Solanaceae family with 4 plants. 47 out of the 53 formulations were used topically, 5 formulations were orally administered, and 1 formulation had both topical and oral uses. 8 formulations for treatment of rheumatic pain contained Calotropis gigantea, suggesting that the plant has strong potential for further scientific studies leading to discovery of novel efficacious compounds for rheumatic pain treatment.
The Mandais are a little known tribe of Bangladesh inhabiting the north central regions, particularly Tangail district of Bangladesh. Their population has been estimated to be less than 10,000 people. Although the tribe has for the most part assimilated with the mainstream Bengali-speaking population, they to some extent still retain their original tribal customs, including their traditional medicinal practices. Since this practice is also on the verge of disappearance, the objective of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among Mandai tribal practitioners to document their use of medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. Four traditional practitioners were found in the exclusive Mandai-inhabited village of Chokchokia in Tangail district. Information was collected from the practitioners with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and guided field-walk method. It was observed that the four traditional practitioners used a total of 31 plants distributed into 23 families for treatment. The various ailments treated included diabetes, low semen density, jaundice, gastrointestinal tract disorders (stomach ache, indigestion, dysentery, and diarrhea), leucorrhea, pain (rheumatic pain, joint pain), skin disorders, respiratory tract disorders (coughs, mucus, and allergy), debility, fever, and helminthiasis. From the number of plants used (seven), it appeared that gastrointestinal tract disorders formed the most common ailment among the Mandai community, possibly brought about by the low income status of the people coupled with unhygienic conditions of living.
Medicinal plants; CAM; ethnomedicine; Mandai
Tribal healers mainly use land plants in their medicinal formulations; use of aquatic plants has been scarcely reported.
The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey working with a Bagdi tribal healer of Rajbari District, Bangladesh.
Settings and Design:
The survey was carried out working with a Bagdi healer, who lived alone in the wetlands of Rajbari District and used primarily aquatic plants for treatment.
Materials and Methods:
Interview of the healer was carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method.
The Bagdi healer was observed to use seven different aquatic plant species coming from five plant families for treatment of ailments such as hemorrhoids, tonsillitis, heart disorders, burning sensations and pain in hands or legs, blurred vision, debility, sexual weakness in males, chronic dysentery, infertility in women, constipation, chronic leucorrhea, blackness and foul odor of menstrual blood, hair loss, graying of hair and to keep the head cool. One plant was used to treat what the healer mentioned as “evil eye”, this refers to their belief in black-magic.
This is the first reported instance of a Bagdi healer who primarily uses aquatic plants for treatment. Ethnomedicinal uses of a number of the plants used by the Bagdi healer have been reported for other places in India and Pakistan. Taken together, the various uses of the different plant species opens up scientific possibilities of new drug discoveries from the plants.
Aquatic plants; Bagdi; Bangladesh; ethnomedicine; Rajbari
Diabetes mellitus is an endocrinological disorder arising from insulin deficiency or due to ineffectiveness of the insulin produced by the body. This results in high blood glucose and with time, to neurological, cardiovascular, retinal and renal complications. It is a debilitating disease and affects the population of every country of the world. Around 200 million people of the world suffer from this disease and this figure is projected to rise to 300 million in the coming years. The disease cannot be cured with allopathic medicine as the drugs used do not restore normal glucose homeostasis and moreover have side-effects. On the other hand, traditional medicinal practitioners of various countries claim to cure diabetes or at least alleviate the major symptoms and progression of this disease through administration of medicinal plants. The Garos are an indigenous community of Bangladesh, who still follow their traditional medicinal practices. Their traditional medicinal formulations contain a number of plants, which they claim to be active antidiabetic agents. Since observation of indigenous practices have led to discovery of many modern drugs, it was the objective of the present study to conduct a survey among the Marakh sect of the Garos residing in Mymensingh district of Bangladesh to find out the medicinal plants that they use for treatment of diabetes. It was found that the tribal practitioners of the Marakh sect of the Garos use twelve medicinal plants for treatment of diabetes. These plants were Lannea coromandelica, Alstonia scholaris, Catharanthus roseus, Enhydra fluctuans, Terminalia chebula, Coccinia grandis, Momordica charantia, Cuscuta reflexa, Phyllanthus emblica, Syzygium aqueum, Drynaria quercifolia, and Clerodendrum viscosum. A review of the scientific literature demonstrated that almost all the plants used by the Garo tribal practitioners have reported antidiabetic and/or antioxidant properties and have enormous potential for possible development of new and efficacious antidiabetic drugs.
Diabetes; CAM; ethnomedicine; Garo
The Pahans and the Telis are two of the smallest indigenous communities in Bangladesh. The Pahans, numbering about 14,000 people are widely scattered in several northern districts of the country, while the Telis are such a small community that nothing has been reported on their numbers and lifestyle. Both tribes are on the verge of disappearance. One each of the Pahan and the Teli community was located after much search in two adjoining villages of Natore district, Bangladesh. Since the tribes were found to still depend on their traditional medicinal practitioners for treatment of ailments, it was the objective of the present study to document their traditional usage of medicinal plants and to evaluate such plants against modern research-based pharmacological activity studies on these plants. Interviews were conducted of the practitioners of the Pahan and Teli community of Natore district with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and using the guided field-walk method. Plant specimens as pointed out by the practitioners were collected and pressed on the field and identification completed at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. The Pahan tribal practitioners used 13 plants distributed into 9 families for treatment of 14 different ailments. The Teli tribal practitioner used 15 plants divided into 14 families for treatment of 17 different ailments. Eight out of the thirteen plants used by the Pahan tribal practitioner (61.5%) had reported relevant pharmacological activities in the scientific literature, while six out of the fifteen plants used by the Teli tribal practitioners (40%) had such relevant pharmacological activities in accordance with their usage. The medicinal plants used by the Pahans and Telis warrant further scientific studies toward discovery of lead compounds and efficacious drugs and the documentation and protection of the traditional medical knowledge held by these tribes.
Asian medicine; CAM; ethnomedicine; alternative therapy
The Santals form the largest tribal community in northern Bangladesh reside primarily in Rajshahi and Rangpur Divisions, where they live in the districts of Rajshahi, Rangpur, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, and Panchagarh. Although they are fast losing their traditional medicinal practices, they still have their own medicinal practitioners who rely mostly on medicinal plants for treatment of a variety of ailments. The traditional medicinal practices vary quite extensively between the twelve clans of the Santals. The objective of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey amongst the Soren clan of the Santal community residing in two villages of Tanor Santal Para in Rajshahi district to collect information on their use of medicinal plants. Interviews were conducted of the two existing Santal traditional medicinal practitioners of the Soren clan with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and using the guided field-walk method. Plant specimens as pointed out by the practitioners were collected and pressed on the field and identification completed at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. Information on 53 medicinal plants distributed into 32 families was obtained in this survey. Ailments treated by these plants included skin disorders, respiratory tract disorders, gastro-intestinal disorders, sexual dysfunctions, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, helminthiasis, pain, urinary problems, filariasis, leprosy, tuberculosis, epilepsy, snake bite, enlarged heart, and paralysis. The medicinal plants used by the Santals merit further scientific studies for some of their formulations are used to treat diseases like diabetes, paralysis, enlarged heart, tuberculosis, and filariasis for which modern medicine has no known cure or medicines have developed resistant vectors.
Asian medicine; CAM; ethnomedicine; alternative therapy
Medicinal practices of the tribes of Bangladesh remain largely un-documented.
The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey and documentation among the Nag clan of the Rai Ghatual tribe of Bangladesh.
Settings and Design:
The survey was carried out among the Nag clan of the Rai Ghatual tribal community of Moulvibazar district. The clan, according to them, is the only Nag clan of the Rai Ghatual tribe in Bangladesh. The clan has three tribal healers, still continuing their traditional medicinal practices.
Materials and Methods:
Interviews of the healers were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method.
The Nag clan healers were observed to use 28 different plant species distributed into 22 families for treatment of ailments such as fever, loss of appetite, male infertility, dysentery, lower abdominal pain during menstruation, jaundice, stomachache, burning sensations during urination, bodily pain and weak health.
This is the first reported study of the traditional medicinal practices of Nag clan healers. Several of the plants can be validated in their uses on the basis of existing scientific literature. The medicinal plants used by the Nag healers warrant further scientific studies, for the plants are readily available and can form alternative medicinal sources instead of costlier biomedical drugs.
Bangladesh; ethnomedicine; Moulvibazar; Nag clan; Rai Ghatual
Bangladesh reportedly has more than 100 tribal communities; however, documentation of their medicinal practices is markedly absent.
The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the little known Bauri tribe of Bangladesh, whose tribal medicinal practices are yet to be documented.
Settings and Design:
The survey was carried out among the Bauri tribal community of Purbo Tila village in Moulvibazar District. The community is believed to be the only Bauri community in the country and had four tribal healers who continue their traditional medicinal practices.
Materials and Methods:
Interviews of the healers were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method where the healers took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal plants. Here they identified the plants and described their uses.
The Bauri healers were observed to use 40 different plant species and one bird species for treatment of ailments such as fever, respiratory tract disorders, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, eye problems like cataract and conjunctivitis, jaundice, abscess, cardiovascular disorders, urinary problems, paralysis, dog bite, snake bite, helminthiasis, lesions on the tongue or lips and piles. Leaves were the major plant part used and constituted 38.3% of total uses followed by fruits at 14.9%.
A review of the relevant scientific literature showed that a number of medicinal plants used by the Bauri healers possess pharmacological activities, which were in line with the traditional uses, thus validating their use by the Bauri tribe.
Bauri; ethnomedicine; Moulvibazar
Averrhoa carambola L. (Oxalidaceae), Ficus hispida L.f. (Moraceae), and Syzygium samarangense (Blume) Merr. & L.M. Perry (Myrtaceae) are three common plants in Bangladesh, the fruits of which are edible. The leaves and fruits of A. carambola and F. hispida are used by folk medicinal practitioners for treatment of diabetes, while the leaves of S. samarangense are used for treatment of cold, itches, and waist pain. Since scientific studies are absent on the antihyperglycemic effects of the leaves of the three plants, it was the objective of the present study to evaluate the antihyperglycemic potential of methanolic extract of leaves of the plants in oral glucose tolerance tests carried out with glucose-loaded mice. The extracts at different doses were administered one hour prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hours of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. Significant oral hypoglycemic activity was found with the extracts of leaves of all three plants tested. The fall in serum glucose levels were dose-dependent for every individual plant, being highest at the highest dose tested of 400 mg extract per kg body weight. At this dose, the extracts of A. carambola, F. hispida, and S. samarangense caused, respectively, 34.1, 22.7, and 59.3% reductions in serum glucose levels when compared to control animals. The standard antihyperglycemic drug, glibenclamide, caused a 57.3% reduction in serum glucose levels versus control. Among the three plants evaluated, the methanolic extract of leaves of S. samarangense proved to be the most potent in demonstrating antihyperglycemic effects. The result validates the folk medicinal uses of A. carambola and F. hispida in the treatment of diabetes, and indicates that the leaves of S. samarangense can also possibly be used for amelioration of diabetes-induced hyperglycemia.
Averrhoa carambola; Ficus hispida; Syzygium samarangense; antihyperglycemic
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.
Delonix regia (Fabaceae) leaf is used in folk medicine of Bangladesh for the treatment of diabetes, but so far no scientific study has been done which may support its use in traditional medicine. The present study was carried out to evaluate the possible glucose tolerance efficacy of methanolic extract of Delonix regia leaf using glucose-induced hyperglycemic mice. The extract at different doses was administered one hr prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hrs of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. The statistical data indicated significant oral hypoglycemic activity on glucose-loaded mice at every dose. Maximum anti-hyperglycemic activity was showed at 400 mg/kg which was comparable to that of a standard drug, glibenclamide (10 mg/kg). The methanolic extract of leaf of Delonix regia had beneficial effects in reducing the elevated blood glucose level of hyperglycemic mice.
Delonix regia; Hypoglycemic activity; Serum glucose level; Glibenclamide
Neolamarckia cadamba (Rubiaceae) leaf is used in folk medicine of Bangladesh for the treatment of diabetes, but so far no scientific study has been done which may support its use in traditional medicine. The present study was carried out to evaluate the possible glucose tolerance efficacy of methanolic extract of Neolamarckia cadamba leaf using glucose-induced hyperglycemic mice. The extract at different doses was administered one hour prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hours of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. The statistical data indicated significant oral hypoglycemic activity on glucose-loaded mice at the two highest doses of 200 and 400 mg extract per kg body weight. Maximum anti-hyperglycemic activity was shown at 400 mg per kg body weight, which was comparable to that of, glibenclamide (10 mg/kg). The methanolic extract of leaf of Neolamarckia cadamba had beneficial effects in reducing the elevated blood glucose level of hyperglycemic mice.
Neolamarckia cadamba; Hypoglycemic activity; Serum glucose level; Glibenclamide